"I Need to Learn from You": Reflections on Cultural Humility through Study Abroad

  • Michele Belliveau West Chester University
Keywords: cultural humility, study abroad, social work education

Abstract

As cultural competency standards in social work education increasingly emphasize the importance of humility, social work programs must create opportunities for students to practice it. Study abroad has been an effective way for social work students to develop global awareness and an implied cultural humility. This article provides the author’s own reflection, which is interspersed with the reflections of five social work graduates who she interviewed about their experiences living, studying, and working in a “Majority World” context (Alam, 2007, p. 1). Study abroad provides unique opportunities for prolonged discomfort and disorientation, which helped each of the participants to solidify their place as learners in relation to those they help, to interrogate power imbalances in systems and relationships, and to develop greater empathy and respect for practices other than their own.

Published
2019-10-15
Section
Cultural Humility in Practice