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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 05/31/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
UCIE Program Coordinator: Megan Trickler Program: Ambassador
Program Type: Study Abroad Program Faculty Advisor: Keown, Doug, Twill, Sarah, Dr.
Supporting Department: Social Work Registration Term: Summer B
Credit Hours: 3.0
Program Description:



Program Description:Zürich, Switzerland

Students will learn about the unique political structure of Switzerland compared to the US political system.  Particular attention will be given to how both countries provide services to meet the basic human needs of their citizens.  How do Switzerland and the US policies respond to poverty, immigration, crime, international wars, and the needs of youth?  Students will participate in a mixed class of Swiss and American social work majors.

The class format is a 3 hour lecture/discussion in the morning, with visits to one or more social service agencies each afternoon.  Professors from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences School of Social Work and Dr. Sarah Twill and Mr. Doug Keown will lead discussions about the social welfare system in each country.  Students from each country will develop group projects together based on their research of the class topics and their experiences of the agency visits. Social and cultural events will be planned in the evenings, including an optional trip to the Swiss Alps during one weekend.  

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Academic Course Information:

This select topics course is SW 3890/6890 Comparative Social Welfare: US and Switzerland.  Participants in the course will analyze the social welfare systems in the U.S. and Switzerland in addressing human rights, child welfare, older adults, poverty, and criminal justice systems. 

This will meet an elective requirement for graduate social work students.  It is also an excellent course for other related majors to consider, such as political science, international education, and German.  There are no prerequisites or language requirements.  It will count for 3.0 credit hours and will be assigned to Summer B term.

Students will meet as a group a few times before traveling.  Additionally, there will be a mandatory pre-departure orientation offered online.

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About the Faculty Program Advisor(s):Faculty Advisors

Dr. Sarah Twill, PhD, MSW, has been a faculty member at WSU since 2005.  She is an active traveler.  This will be her third study abroad experience to Switzerland.  Sarah has traveled extensively in Mexico, Eastern and Western Europe, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.  Before she dies, she wants to visit the Galapagos Islands and go on a safari.

Mr. Doug Keown, MSW, LSW, co-taught the 2017 Comparative Social Welfare Policy course. He has been a faculty member since 2015 and is the Field Director.  He is an active traveler and has traveled to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Pakistan, and all over the Caribbean.  This will be his first trip to Switzerland and Europe, and he is looking forward to exploring all of the culture and history that Europe has to offer.  

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Meals and Accommodations:

Students will receive the rich cultural opportunity of experiencing Swiss home life by living with host families near the University.  Students will be given a weekly meal stipend.  Two group dinners will be provided. 

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All program participants must have a 2.25 overall GPA or higher, submit a completed application, and participate in an interview with Mr. Keown or Dr. Twill.  Students of any major are welcome to apply.  This program is limited to 10 students.  A waiting list will be created after the first 10 are accepted.  


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Before You Leave:

Students will be required by the University Center for International Education to complete a mandatory pre-departure orientation online a few weeks before departure.

WSU Students in Switzerland
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Getting There:

UCIE recommends the following travel agencies that work with university students.  They may be able to provide payment plan options: STA Travel and Student Universe.

Students are responsible for purchasing their own tickets to and from the program destination. 

Students are free to arrive early or stay later but should be aware they are not part of the program during those times and are not covered by WSU insurances.
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Program Costs:

The $100 application fee for this program has been waived!

The cost of the program is $900. This includes breakfasts and a few group dinners, local transportation, and health and accident insurance. NOT included: lunches and some dinners, airfare, tuition, passport fees, personal expenses and weekend activities.

To officially reserve a spot in the program, you will need an application fee of $100 and a program deposit of $500.

$200 is due on March 1st
$200 is due on May 1st

All payments are non-refundable.
The UCIE reserves the right to adjust the price up
to 10%.

Swiss Alps
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Affording the Program:

WSU financial aid is applicable to this program.  To learn more about your specific financial aid options you should contact the Financial Aid Representative, Gail Cyan, at to schedule an appointment and learn about your specific situation.

Some academic departments offer scholarships for study abroad, there are some scholarships available nationally as well.  Please ask your study abroad coordinator for more information.

Many students reach out to family, friends, and community and religious organizations for support.  Some choose to create an online funding site, others send out letters requesting support.
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Passports and Visas:WSU Students in Switzerland

A valid passport is required for all international travel. Its best to apply for a passport now as processing times may vary. The UCIE is an official US Passport Center and we can help you with your photo and passport processing needs.  See here for more information.

Some study abroad destinations will require you to obtain a visa.  A visa is permission given to you by your host country to allow you to enter the country for a specific amount of time.  In order to obtain country-specific visa instructions and resources, refer to your host country’s embassy web page. One way to access this information is visa the US Department of State’s webpage.

The UCIE is happy to guide you to possible resources about visas for study abroad. Although, applying for the necessary visa for travel is the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements change frequently and we advise you to pay close information to consular updates. It is your responsibility to knowing and addressing the requirements for your host study abroad destination.
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Health and Safety:

WSU is committed to student and faculty safety while abroad. The following are a few resources for travel abroad.

WSU faculty, students and staff are responsible for their own health and safety abroad. Please consider reviewing the following sites for further information:
US Department of State
US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC)
International SOS ( for medical and security advice. WSU membership #: 11BSGC000054

Before travel WSU students, faculty and staff can utilize International SOS in several ways including:
  • Read about travel health information with medical advice, food and water safety, and cultural tips
  • Explore travel security with personal safety tips and travel risk ratings for locations abroad
  • Get advice on how to travel with your medication
  • Sign up to receive email alerts for medical and security information, customizable to various locations abroad

WSU faculty, students and staff traveling abroad should register their travel abroad through the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)   in case of an emergency abroad.

If you are participating in a WSU Ambassador Program, you are automatically covered with UHP International Insurance through University Health Plans.  
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Contacts and More Information:

University Center for International Education (UCIE)

Program Coordinator:

Megan Trickler
Education Abroad Coordinator

Faculty Program Advisor:

Dr. Sarah Twill

Mr. Doug Keown
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