Erasmus International Exchange Programme

Visiting a community centre in NurembergDawn River and Surinder Guru are developing the Erasmus project to support the Department of Social Policy and Social Work' commitment to internationalising the social work programmes.


In March 2015 Dawn River and Maureen Smojkis led a successful Erasmus exchange trip for social work students on the BA and MA qualifying programmes, to the Institute of Prevention and Resocialisation at the University of Warsaw in Poland. Sixteen students, together with an alumna/foster carer contributor, took part in the visit which was facilitated in Warsaw by Dr Jadwiga Krolikowska.

During their time in Warsaw, the Birmingham students participated alongside Polish students in workshops and seminars on a variety of topics related to social work in Poland. Dawn River, Jane Williams (alumna/foster carer) and MA student, Stuart Bray, led a session on social work and fostering and adoption in the UK. Maureen Smojkis presented an oral history of Polish migrants in Birmingham.

This is the latest of a number of exchange visits building on the international relationships in social work.


Social Work students on the BA and MA qualifying programmes at Birmingham (UoB), together with academics and service user contributors, have the opportunity to take part in international exchanges to Nuremberg.

During their time in Nuremberg, the Birmingham students are able to join together with German social work students to take part in professional interdisciplinary discussions and visit community-based projects and statutory social work agencies. In their most recent visit, students also visited a refugee centre and the Nazi rally ground and Documentation Centre, which informed their discussions on persecution, migration and asylum. Alongside this, the UoB teaching team also ran workshops on 'Coping with Counter-Terrorism', Recovery through the Arts and Service User and Carer Involvement in Social Work Education.


In addition to its links with Nuremberg, the Institute have also been developing links with Rotterdam and a group of Dutch social work students will be visiting the University of Birmingham to participate in an Erasmus programme. The programme will include presentations on Juvenile Justice and the UK Riots; Challenging Assumptions when Working with Vulnerable People and Islamophobia.  

More information

If you would like to know more about the Erasmus International Exchange Programme, please contact:

Dawn River
Lecturer in Social Work and MA Programme Director
Tel: +44(0)121 414 2936

Surinder Guru
Lecturer in Social Work
Tel: +44(0)121 415 8481