For many years, social work students at Mid Sweden University have been able to go to India for field located education. The 15-20 weeks that they spend there open their eyes to what social work is like in an entirely different part of the world.
The trips to India began as early as in the late 80s. Originally, the reason that India was selected was because the students themselves showed a great interest in that country. Nowadays, the field located education may take place in other countries as well.
The stay in India is organized through the Sweden-India project and it is not structured like a traditional, individually supervised work placement. Apart from seminars and report writing, it is filled with a long series of field trips of both a social and a cultural kind. The students also eat, sleep and live collectively in a flat in the city of Pune. It is a very intense experience, which is not always easy to deal with for everyone. The majority of the students are overwhelmed by what they see and experience – but also by how they are received.
– The people that the students meet in India are ready to answer questions, they invite the students into their homes, and they are helpful in every way. Without their generosity and openness, neither the students’ reports nor our field located education would have been possible, says Magnus Ottelid at the Department of Social Work.