It was at the end of March 2015 that a group of students studying Social Educational Care Work (SPH in Dutch) flew out to Ireland together with a lecturer, to stay at Kinlay House, Cork City Centre Hostel for a 5 day study trip, covering field visits, an academic exchange, some cultural outings, and last but not least, a convivial and memorable pub crawl to round it off. This short-term international experience is an integral part of the year 2 curriculum for all SPH full time students. Here's a visual report of the study visit to Cork, one of the options for the students.
The visit to University College Cork and its picturesque college campus (very much like Harry Potter !) amazed many of the students, especially the Quad and the stone corridor. There was opportunity to talk to students of social work and attend a lecture, before transferring to the first field visit.
This snapshot was taken on a visit to a youth community project in Cobh, near Cork.
Cultural visits were paid to Cork City Gaol (right) and Spike Island, including the Titanic Experience Museum (left).
Another visit on the programme was to the Cork Simon community, a community that responds to the changing needs of those who experience homelessness and those at risk of doing so by providing a range of empowering and supportive care for as long as people need it. It offers care, accommodation and support for 127 people every day – 44 people in emergency accommodation, 56 people in five high-support houses and 27 people in Cork Simon flats throughout Cork, according to the website.
This slide provides an overview of the services that they offer.
Another interesting experience was the visit to MyMind, a centre for mental wellbeing. The guided tour provided an excellent opportunity for the students to compare and contrast it with mental health services in their home country. Walking around, these posters caught the eye of some of the students.
All in all, study visits such as these are a stimulating strategy to enable the large majority of students, the 80-90% who are not internationally mobile, to acquire the international skills considered essential for social work professionals in an ever-growing global Europe.
Credits for the photos go to the students, thanks for sharing them.