I’m still attempting to wrap my mind around the fact that in just six days, I am heading to Melbourne, Australia. As a part of my Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Michigan, I’ll be interning at a hospital there–through a partnership with the University of Melbourne–for the next three and a half months. Most MSW students in the program are required to complete two “field placements,” internships that give us on-the-ground experience with practicing social work, before graduating. This will be my second and final placement. However, because I am super extra and obnoxious as a person, I actually began to look into doing a placement abroad last year, right after getting admitted to the program.
I knew it was important to #doyourGoogles, as Desus and Mero tell us, so I was basically reading the School of Social Work (SSW) website in its entirety. After stumbling across the opportunity to do a field placement abroad, I set up appointments to get more information, and advice on creating a strong application. Mind you, all of this is occurring in early May. Literal days after I had been accepted, and four months before I would even begin the program. But I saw that the app would be due in October, and I wanted to stay ahead of the game. My obnoxious persistence paid off, though, because I got accepted to do a global field placement.
That may not seem like a big deal to folks who have done more traveling, but it is to me. Part of my pride is rooted in the fact that global field placements are technically only guaranteed to students who are in a scholarship program for folks interested in global social work. Outside of that program, the SSW only allows up to five non-global scholars to go on a global placement. I am one of those five. Furthermore, I am the first person from my scholarship community (the Geriatric Scholars Program) to go on a global field placement. Like ever. Breh.
The second part of my pride comes from the fact that I am incredibly far from being anything that remotely resembles well-traveled. As a Michigander, I’ve made copious trips to Canada, but beyond that, I have only left the country once. During my junior year of high school, I went to Spain for ten days with my Spanish class. I learned a lot from the experience, and cherish it deeply, but it did not prepare me for the task I’m about to undertake. The trip was not immersive/long-term; I lived with a homestay family; the high school set every single detail up on our behalf; and I didn’t have to come out of pocket at all.
Despite pretty much not having a single clue about living and working abroad, I haven’t allowed myself to be intimidated to the point of backing out. This is an incredible opportunity, and one which I know will change my life forever. And since I will embark on this life-altering journey in just six days, I should probably get off of the internet and pack.
Until Next Time,