MSW Students Take International Elective Course in Guatemala

Students from the Master of Social Work program participated in a two-week winter immersion program in Guatemala with professor Michele Eggers. Students received five hours of Spanish language instruction every day and resided with Guatemalan host families.

Fruit market in a street in GuatemalaProfessor Michele Eggers noted that the purpose of the immersion program was to learn about forced migration into the United States and what happens when people are deported back to their home countries. Students attended seminars and took field trips to hear testimonies from people who migrated to the US as children and heard about what their lives were like when they were deported back to Guatemala.

For MSW student Kelsey Sacane, “The most meaningful part of my trip to Guatemala was having the opportunity to meet and have conversations with members of the local community.”

Kelsey also expressed how valuable this experience was when she said, “we were able to talk with people who have experience immigration and deportation first hand. In doing so, I believe that we are now better equipped to provide services to our clients who are experiencing the same situation, or have family members who are experiencing the same situation.”

“These experiences allowed students to better understand the underlying conditions that force migration and how this is connected to global and local policies,” said Professor Michele Eggers.

Other students, Kendra Pennington and Josi Madrid who attended the trip to Guatemala said the most meaningful part for them was the opportunity to stay with a host family and learn about Guatemalan culture from them.

Mar. 16, 2018