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Study Away

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santa monica pier

Social Welfare in Metropolitan Los Angeles

This Study Away class will focus on the unique history and culture of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and the innovative social services provided to its residents.  Students will gain a more comprehensive and complex view of Los Angeles as a diverse, vibrant, and culturally rich region.  They will also discover how the social, economic, and environmental context shapes the hopes and dreams of the population who live there.

An experiential learning experience, students will explore unique historical and cultural sites as well as tour state-of-the-art social service organizations in both Los Angeles and Long Beach that focus on social, economic, and environmental justice issues in these areas.  They will have the opportunity to interact with consumers and providers from a variety of social services including those that focus on child welfare, mental health, services to the homeless, formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, older adults, veterans, the LGBT community, and other vulnerable, at-risk populations.  Some agencies will provide trainings and students will have the opportunity to engage in service learning projects with the objective that students will develop insight, knowledge, and skills applicable to their eventual social services practice in their home communities.


  • Current WKU student eligible to enroll in WKU courses OR students from outside WKU may participate as non-degree seeking student.
  • Student must be in good academic standing.
  • A minimum of 16 years of age at time of departure (parental/legal guardian expressed, written consent required for those under 18 at time of departure).
  • Students must be free of active disciplinary sanctions as verified by the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Students who become ineligible to attend the program after applying due to disciplinary sanctions will be subject to standard program cost penalty rates. Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Study Away when they become aware of this ineligibility. For eligibility questions pertaining to disciplinary sanctions, students should contact the WKU Office of Student Conduct.
  • Complete Study Away application and pay deposit.
  • Complete pre-departure program.
  • Full payment prior to departure.
  • Permission of instructor.


  • If a student completes a program without full payment prior to the departure, the student should receive an incomplete until the obligation is paid.  The Office of Study Away will inform faculty leaders if a student is in this situation prior to the Study Away term grade deadline

Logistical Considerations

  • Physical requirements include walking/standing approximately 4-5 hours/day. Students will be expected to participate in activities which may include: boating, hiking, climbing, swimming, and other similar physical activities.
  • This program includes working closely in a professional and sensitive environment.  The highest levels or professionalism and maturity are required

Program Package

Program Package

Included in Base Package

  • Undergraduate tuition for 3 credit hours.
  • Round trip airfare to/from Nashville (BNA) Airport
  • All lodging accommodations during program.
  • Entrance fees for all program related activities and tips.
  • Designated group meals and/or groceries.
  • Course-related ground transportation.

Excluded from Base Package

  • Items not explicitly listed in base package.
  • Transportation between your departure airport and your home.
  • Independent travel (non-program travel).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone service, and Internet access.
  • Tips for guides and drivers not included in program-related activity.
  • Travel cancellation/interruption insurance.  Highly recommended.
  • Baggage fees and costs associated with flight changes.
  • Meals & Services and beverages not mentioned in the program

Study Away courses are not eligible for employee tuition waivers or discounts.
Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.


See Program Details for specific terms and conditions.

link to program details


  • SWRK 490: Topics in Social Work

Faculty Leader


  • Los Angeles


  • Summer 2018
    May 13 - 27 , 2018


  • $2,998 (est)

Funding Options





Western Kentucky University and its associates are not responsible for any loss due to theft, personal injury, flight or weather delays, negligence, or default of suppliers, or suppliers changing of itineraries. They and their associates are not responsible for any loss due to travel/flight delays or changes in travel plans due to Acts of Nature or other unforeseen circumstances, nor are we responsible for accidents and medical care. Tour services are furnished by independent contractors who are not agents or servants of Western Kentucky University. Refunds are not available for unused portions of the package.


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 Last Modified 9/11/17