College of Social Work hosts German and Polish students
The Graduate College of Social Work hosted a meeting with a study tour of German and Polish students from the University of Leipzig, Germany, who were researching immigration, religion and citizenship in the U.S.
“Our GCSW students might learn from the German and Polish students on how to prepare a study abroad course when they travel abroad in the future, our students had more understanding about the German and Polish cultures and our students might gain insight from the German and Polish students about social welfare policies and practices from these two countries through discussions,” said social work professor Patrick Leung.
The GCSW and the study tour students partnered up, one GCSW student with two of the study group students, and took them to attend their classes. Afterwards, all students attended a luncheon where the study group students introduced themselves and their professor answered any questions the GCSW had.
“We are looking into issues of immigration and how religion affects immigrants’ lives and the general diversity, and how newcomers from abroad will be integrated in American society and what it means for them,” said University of Leipzig American history and American studies professor Hartmut Kiel, who is leading the study tour.
The study tour students also went to a meeting with graduate social work students and doctoral students hosted by the Student Advancement of International Social Work and Doctoral Students. About four to five GCSW students spoke in-depth with the study tour students about the social work field.
“We were able to introduce ourselves, tell them why we’re in social work and where our interests lie, then we discussed diversity in Houston,” said GCSW student and President of the SAISW Jenna Cooper. “We informed them that this is actually the second-most-diverse school in the country. As what we learned from them, we got into a discussion about their educational system … which is basically a heated topic in Germany.”
Kiel came to Houston seven years ago to study its diverse cultures. Graduate School of Social Work Dean Ira Colby is a friend and colleague of his and has visited the GCSW once before, according to Leung.