Ramapo College of New Jersey
“Global Clinical Social Work in Iceland: Social Programs to Reduce Youth Substance Use”
2 credit (undergraduate) / 3 credit (graduate), Spring Program
The program is designed to provide students of many disciplines the opportunity to participate in this program. Undergraduate students will enroll in INTL 130: Global Field Experience, Youth in Iceland: Impact of Culture & Context on Substance Use Prevention (2 credits). Graduate students will enroll in a 3-credit graduate independent study course.
Substance use rates among Iceland youth were the highest in Europe until a comprehensive, research-informed behavioral addiction prevention program was enacted, which resulted in their rates of youth substance use to be the lowest in Europe. This faculty-led study abroad course will engage with the professionals engaged in the Youth in Iceland program that these successes have been attributed to affording a thorough understanding of the meaningful risk and protective factors. Strong predictive factors in Icelandic youth include: participating in organized activities at least three to four times per week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about in school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings. This course will review the research-based model adopted, how all parties including the youth and their families were engaged, and outcome data to support the program’s success. Students will meet with researchers, clinicians, and policy makers engaged in preventing behavioral addiction in Icelandic youth through visits to community-based programming, governmental agencies, and Reykjavik University. Unique aspects of the program that contribute to its success are $500 stipends given to families to pay for extracurricular activities for their children, strong support from Icelandic government, built-in mechanisms to collect data on program effectiveness, and a foundation in science and theory. Also, while in Iceland, students will embark on a tour of the Golden Circle and the Northern Lights.
Scholarships are available