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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I pack?

While most everyday products are available in Nicaragua for a reasonable price, we suggest participants pack the following:

  • Passport
  • Mosquito and insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Electricity adapter/converter
  • Sunglasses
  • Towel
  • Hot weather clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • Rain gear
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Flashlight
  • Shoes/boots for work and travel

What books do you suggest I read to learn more about Nicaragua?

5 books recommended by our Viva Nicaragua! partner are below:

  1. The Country Under my Skin by Gioconda Belli
  2. My Car in Managua by D. Forrest Colburn
  3. Harvesting Change: Labor and Agrarian Reform in Nicaragua by Laura Enriquez
  4. Life is Hard: Machismo, Danger, and the Intimacy of Power in Nicaragua by Roger Lancaster
  5. The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salmon Rushdie

What books do you suggest I read to learn more about Costa Rica?

2 books recommended by SWAP are below:

  1. Limon Blues by Anacristina Rossi
  2. Calypso by Tatiana Lobo

What international health and safety resources could you recommend? 

SWAP recommends participants review the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) website for up to date health and vaccination information regarding your travels abroad.  The US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) offers participants the opportunity to register their travel plans and receive alerts for medical and security information in case of an emergency abroad.  All participants are required to purchase and maintain insurance while abroad

What professional organizations can I connect with to learn more about international social work?

​You may find exploring the following professional organizations helpful: National Association of Social Workers and Council on Social Work Education..

What principles of professional integrity does SWAP follow?

Social Work Abroad Program respects the International Federation of Social Workers Statement of Ethical Principles and Profession Integrity to ensure integrity in our practices.  These principles are:

  1. Human Right and Human Dignity: The right to self determination, participation, respect for the person and their community, respect for privacy in family and community life, recognizing strengths, interdependency of people
  2. Social Justice: Challenging discrimination and oppression, respecting diversity in societies, access to equitable resources, challenging unjust policies and practices, building solidarity.
  3. Professional Integrity: Adhere to their own national codes of ethics or ethical guidelines to be consistent with the principles of IFSW statement.