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California State University Fullerton
Department of Child and Adolescent Studies

Short-term Study Abroad Opportunities

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) requires completion of two practicum seminar/practicum courses. Seminar themes include developmentally appropriate practice, understanding of ethical and legal principles, application of theory and research to practice, and demonstrated professionalism in practicum settings. CHAD majors participate in field-based experiences aligned with their personal, academic, and career goals.

The Department of Child and Adolescent Studies (CAS) initiated opportunities for undergraduate-level students to complete CHAD major practicum requirements through international fieldwork experiences in 2005. Several cohorts have since travelled to China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, and Thailand to learn about local cultures and to facilitate enrichment activities for children and/or families in school and community-based programs.

Who is eligible?
Participation is open to Child and Adolescent Development majors and minors who have successfully completed CAS 101 and CAS 201, which are the prerequisites for any of the CAS practicum courses.

What do students do while abroad?
Interns interact with children and/or families in community-based settings and engage in a variety of professional development experiences. Interns also facilitate enrichment activities for children in these settings. Additionally, students participate in cultural activities designed to get them a deeper knowledge of the international setting.  In some cases, students stay with host families to enhance their cultural experience.

Is there Coursework involved with this experience?
Students who participate in the CAS International programs will enroll in sections of 394/L (Introductory Practicum), 474/L (Advanced Practicum in Elementary School Settings), or 494/L (Advanced Practicum in Community Based Settings) that have been designated as International Practicum special sections for a given semester. All three of these courses include a seminar component and an internship/practicum experience. 

Seminar themes include developmentally appropriate practice, understanding of ethical and legal principles, application of theory and research to practice, consideration of cultural context, and demonstrated professionalism in internship settings.

Internship requirements include 60 hours of fieldwork.  Depending on the program, fieldwork can be completed entirely in an international setting (e.g., 60 hours in Costa Rica) or in combination with an internship in a CICE approved site (e.g., 30 hours in Costa Rica + 30 hours in USA). If the international practicum is not completed then the student must complete the 60 practicum hours in a CICE approved site.

Check with your CAS academic advisor to make sure the international short-study abroad program fits within your study plan.

How do I apply?
Interested students will complete an online application on the due date announced next to the program. Acceptance will be announced a few weeks later to allow ample time for students to register in the appropriate practicum class.

Are there demonstrated benefits of participating in this international program?
Initial and longitudinal study of CAS International Internship outcomes indicates positive impact on participants’ understandings of and abilities to apply course content; development of professional skills and strategies; development of multicultural competencies; and enhanced confidence, flexibility, and stress and coping skills. Participants also demonstrate enhanced understanding of how learning and development are influenced by language, culture, family and community values as well as interpersonal and professional skills that show sensitivity to cultural norms and differences in the international internship setting. In addition, participants develop extensive personal and professional networks through the international internship experience.

For additional information contact:
Dr. Claudia G. Pineda
cgpineda@fullerton.edu

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