Study Abroad course set for Sweden
Mistie Pelastik has given herself an early graduation gift.
When she wraps up her Early Childhood Degree Completion this summer she’ll follow that with a trip to Sweden in July – one of several students going for a Study Abroad course led by Human Services program head Paul Sherman.
“When I heard about this opportunity I thought it would be the best way to celebrate achieving this degree,” she said in an email.
Pelastik has worked in early childhood education since 1999. Currently she’s a Child Care Representative with the Region of Halton.
“I’ve always been intrigued by social policy in Canada and abroad, especially as it relates to my field,” said Pelastik.
Paul Sherman designed the Study Abroad course, Scandinavian Culture and Human Services, with students like Pelastik in mind.
“Sweden has developed some very creative child welfare and education reforms,” said the Program Head, Human Services.
For example, offered Sherman, Sweden has in place one of the generous parental leaves in the world: parents receive 16 months paid leave per child.
And, more than 30 years ago Sweden made spanking a child a criminal offence.
UNICEF ranked the country second in the world for overall child and adolescent wellbeing in its 2007 Report Card.
“It’s a very child and family-focused nation,” said Sherman.
Paul Sherman documented his visit to the Swedish capital, Stockholm, last fall. The city is made up of 14 small islands, or archipelagos. Pictured here: Stockholm's waterfront, a view of the city from Djurgården, the open-air museum, Skansen, the Ericsson Globe, including a vista from the top of the structure, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, a street and square in Gamla Stan (Old Town).
Three Study Abroad classes take place before the trip. There's one after as well.
Students produce a paper and give a presentation, drawing on visits to cultural sites in Stockholm, early childhood and social services centres as well as the World Conference on Social Work and Social Development – a highlight of the itinerary.
“At the conference it’ll be a great chance to meet with other students from around the world,” said Sherman.
The conference is co-hosted by the International Association of Schools of Social Work, International Council on Social Welfare and International Federation of Social Workers – all three founded in Paris in 1928.
Presenters and participants from the world over will explore three themes: Human Rights and Social Equality, Environmental Change and Global Social Transformation.
“I want students to feel connected to this network of social work and social development – that what they’re doing in their work is connected to people around the world,” said Sherman.
Pelastik looks forward to making a global connection by discussing issues, ideas and innovations with international students, scholars, professionals and policymakers.
The Guelph-Humber student is looking for some international inspiration regarding “what direction I wish to take academically and professionally in the future.”
Connection is at the heart of the ECDC experience. Students and faculty work closely in intensive classroom and online learning.
Pelastik started classes in 2010. She's become good friends with classmate Lindsay Lee. “We agreed this was the chance of a lifetime to not only travel together, but also to experience something unique in the conference.”
Preview the World Conference on Social Work and Social Development online.
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