Social Work Abroad Program (SWAP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing international learning opportunities for US-based social work students.
In 2016, three MSW students from California State University Los Angeles and California State University Long Beach participated in SWAP's Costa Rica program. Each participant resided with a local host family.
Participants attended three mandatory pre-departure orientation in preparation for their six-week internship experience in Costa Rica. The orientations took place on April 24, May 15, and June 26, 2016 and covered the following topics: SWAP background, team building, risk and safety, intercultural dimensions, engaging with hosts, Tico culture, developing academic goals, coping strategies, and logistics. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with previous SWAP participants as well as learn from guest speakers who had previously lived in Costa Rica and spoke on Tico culture and daily life.
Internship Placement Sites
SWAP Costa Rica 2016 participants were placed at PANI (Patronato Nacional de la Infancia), the Costa Rican equivalent to Los Angeles' Department of Children and Family Services. Intern responsibilities included supporting the implementation and evaluation of PANI programs at a school site in the Heredia neighborhood of Guarari.
Accommodations and Meals