International Days in Social Work in Austria - Denise Ouellette's Story
I had been patiently waiting to attend the Two-Week International Social Work Summer School in Linz, Upper Austria, since 2020, when Covid put a wrench in all travelling opportunities. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait!
I was able to bring seven students from all over Nova Scotia on this trip with me. Due to Covid restrictions, we only met face-to-face for the first time at the airport. I am so impressed by the level of maturity and professionalism they displayed throughout the trip.
The first week was an International Social Work Conference entitled “Crossroads in Social Work.” This conference brought together students and faculty from Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Armenia, UK, USA, and Canada. The World Café was a collection of rich cultural learning and trans-national opportunities to network with people worldwide. I delivered my first international workshop, which focused on rebuilding self-care and coping practices post-global pandemic.
While in Austria, we visited the Hallein Salt Mine in Salzburg and had a guided tour of Linz and the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. We also took a boat ride on the Danube River in Linz. During the second week, some of the site visits I participated in were at Neustart (social work with offenders), LENA (social work with sex workers), Garsten Prison, Caritas Wamestube (a shelter for homeless people), and lectures on policing in Austria and SOS Human Rights (Asylum Seekers). It was so eye-opening to compare models of service delivery in Austria with those in Canada and the United States.
I am so thankful to NSCC International for supporting my students and me and allowing us to experience many rich learning opportunities that will be cherished and remembered forever. I hope I can experience more adventures with NSCC International in the future.
Faculty, School of Health & Human Services
NSCC. Burridge Campus