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Ramapo in Portugal

Ramapo College in PORTUGAL

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Why Portugal?

Learn about the policies and prevention strategies to address substance use disorders in Portugal.

Nothing looks better on your resume than the unique experience of living and learning in other global contexts.

Affordable. This program provides an incredible experience at a very affordable price, and there are scholarships available.

Ramapo College has been offering educational experiences to Portugal  since 2017. Currently, we are offering the following program opportunities:

Academic Program

Global Clinical Social Work in Portugal: From Policy to Practice to Address Substance Use Disorders 

3 (graduate) Credits, 8 days

The program is designed for students with a background or interest in substance use and policy, the opportunity to participate in this program. All students will enroll in MSWK 590: Addressing Substance Use Disorders – Policies & Prevention.

Course Description:

This course will examine policies relevant to those with substance use disorders from an international perspective. This course will require students to think critically and question everything they may know about substance use. This course will take place in Lisbon, Portugal engaging in multiple presentation and site visits to learn about the Portuguese system of decriminalization. Students will meet with a parliament member active in passing decriminalization legislation, neurobiologist who shares state of the art research on addictive disorders, researchers from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), treatment providers, and law enforcement officials. The experience includes trips to the Portuguese parliament, a treatment facility, and the EMCDDA as well as cultural excursions to Cascais and Porto.

This experience offers students a trans-disciplinary approach to Substance Use Disorders in the context of the Portuguese policy of decriminalization of all drugs.  Through lectures and field visits, students gain a view of substance use as a multifaceted, intertwined dynamic process that spans the expertise of social work, public health, law enforcement, medical, and political systems.  Lectures by those engaged in the decriminalized system include a social worker, Member of Parliament, and a police officer.  Trips include a substance use disorder treatment facility and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction as well as cultural excursions.

During the program, students will have to keep a journal, which will inform their reflections for the final course assignment. Below is a summary of the course final assignment.  A detailed description of the assignment will be distributed in class.

Field Excursions

The program will include the following field excursions, to both complement the academic course, as well as provide insights into the culture and context of Portugal, and the region:

  • Visit to Libson Police Force
  • Libson City Tour & Castle
  • Beach trip to Casais
  • CDT
  • Methadone Vans
  • Portugese Parliament
  • Casal Ventoso
  • CDT
  • Cooking Class
  • Overnight trip to Porto


Students will reside in hotels throughout the program.

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