BPD Update Online, Spring 2003
The Fulbright Program: Opportunities for Us to Globalize Our Social Work Perspective and Experience
Editor's Prerogative
President's Report
International Education: Now, More Than Ever
Oh, The Places They Can Go
Jamaica Field Practicum
Collaboration between Countries
Experiences in El Salvador
Veritas, Romania
Sinikthemba - We Give Hope
The Fulbright Program
Fulbright Opportunities
The Call to Social Work
Update on Hartford
Welcome to Reno!
Reno Conference
Got a Question about the Reno Conference?
Technology Corner
Planned Evolution of the BPD Web Site
BPD CandidateStatements
Update Crossword
Reno Hilton, Site of the 2003 BPD Conference
Photo Album: Come to Reno!!!
BPD Membership Form
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Dennis J. Ritchie, Professor of Social Work at George Mason University (Former Senior Fulbright Scholar to Honduras, 2000-2001 Academic Year)


Barry Mickey, Professor of Social Work at the University of Findlay                   (Senior Fulbright Scholar to Haiti for the 2003-2004 Academic Year)

It is widely accepted that we live in a globally interconnected environment.  Yet, in spite of our profession’s emphasis on a person(s)-in-environment perspective, too few social work education programs in the United States incorporate a global perspective into our work: our curricula, teaching, scholarship, and practice.  Recent changes in CSWE’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards have responded to this situation. The Preamble of this document now states:

Social work practice promotes human well-being by strengthening opportunities, resources, and capacities of people in their environments and by creating policies and services to correct conditions that limit human rights and the quality of life. The social work profession works to eliminate poverty, discrimination, and oppression. Guided by a person-in-environment perspective and respect for human diversity, the profession works to effect social and economic justice worldwide [emphases added].

Programs are expected to use Educational Policy, Section 1, in formulating their mission, goals, and objectives.

Section 1.0, Purposes of the Social Work Profession, states:

The social work profession…is the primary profession in the development, provision, and evaluation of social services. Professional social workers are leaders in a variety of organizational settings and service delivery systems within a global context [emphasis added].

Effectively linking social work and human rights necessitates familiarity with the existing set of international human rights instruments (with which, in general, our social work colleagues in other parts of the world are much more familiar than we are).  Working to advance worldwide social and economic justice and viewing service delivery systems within a global context challenge us to broaden our vision.  Although one does not need to physically leave one’s own country to incorporate a global perspective into one’s work, the opportunity to live and work in another country and to collaborate with social workers from other countries, certainly enhances appreciation for and development of a global viewpoint and understanding.  Numerous means of doing so exist.  In this article we focus on the Fulbright Program as a wonderful opportunity for members of BPD to globalize social work and want to encourage you all to consider applying for Fulbright awards. 

As stated in the Program’s literature, the Fulbright Program is “the U.S. Government’s flagship exchange activity…viewed…as a much needed vehicle for mutual understanding that would provide the opportunity for future leaders to observe and better comprehend the institutions, cultures and societies of other countries and peoples.”

Sponsored by the U. S. Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), Fulbright provides funds for post-baccalaureate students, faculty, administrators, and professional practitioners to undertake graduate study, advanced research, and/or university teaching in 140 countries throughout the world. There are Fulbright programs for scholars and graduate students from other countries to come to U.S. universities and colleges and for our faculty, practitioners, and graduate students to become Fulbright Scholars in other countries. A brief overview and sampling of the range of programs follow, delineating those that we believe are most relevant to our social work education community. 

The U.S. Scholar Program is probably the one that most of us are familiar with.  This program provides on a yearly basis over 800 grants to university and college faculty and administrators, and to professional practitioners and independent scholars, to lecture and conduct research in some 140 countries around the world.  Most of the awards are for lecturing or a combination of lecturing and research, with only approximately 20 percent solely for research.   Any U.S. citizen who holds a doctorate, a Master’s, or equivalent professional terminal degree is eligible to apply.  Applications from both educators and professional practitioners are encouraged and the MSW is recognized as the terminal degree in social work.  Appropriate college or university teaching experience is required for lecturing awards.  It is a myth that only senior faculty members are awarded Fulbrights and that one must come from a large, prestigious university.  Although countries vary in what they are seeking, there are awards for faculty at all levels from junior to senior ranks. Fulbrighters also come from small as well as large institutions, from liberal arts and comprehensive and community colleges as well as from large universities.  There are numerous grants available for those of us who are monolingual; those grants also tend to be the ones for which most applications are received.  The possibilities multiply for those of us who are conversant in languages other than English. Awards also range in length of time, from two months to a full academic year.  Scholars are provided with a monthly stipend (typically between $2400 and $2600 per month; a monthly living allowance to cover housing, food, and local transportation; and a round-trip travel and relocation benefit. A dependent allowance (for up to two dependents) is also available.

It is recommended that applicants make contact with host-country institutions prior to submitting their proposals.  In many instances this will mean that the applicant should make a trip to the country or at least have significant contact with faculty and administrators via email, snail mail, or phone to inquire what skills, courses, disciplines and areas of expertise might be relevant and of particular interest to the host institution. 

It is imperative that applicants plan ahead.  Applications must be completed over a year before the project is scheduled to begin.  For example, The Council for International Exchange of Scholars is now receiving applications until August 1, 2003 for projects that are to begin during the academic year 2004-2005. 

We have found the program officers at CIES to be extremely helpful resources, responsive to questions, and willing to provide consultation and advise regarding all steps of the application to award process.  Do not hesitate to call or email them.  They are committed to the Fulbright Program and want to see you succeed.  They have a great, user friendly, website that provides a wealth of information.  On it you will find program descriptions, applications and guidelines, tips for completing the applications, and contact information for program officers.  The website is:  www.cies.org

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More on Fulbright is on the next page...

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BPD Update Online, Volume 25, No. 2, Spring 2003

The BPD Update Online Web Site is sponsored by Lyceum Books.