Ethical Guidelines for Study Abroad: Can We Transform Ugly Americans into Engaged Global Citizens?

Karen Smith Rotabi, Denise Gammonley, Dorothy N. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study abroad has become a common experience for American social work students. However, there is little guidance for facilitation of such courses in an international context. As a result, there is a risk that students and facilitators can perpetuate the privileged and ‘Ugly American’ image. Providing guidance for prevention of such mistakes, the authors present a conceptual model for international learning, based on an ethical framework founded on personal values and supported by traditional ethical principles and values. Included are the pillars of social justice and human rights, community capacity, dignity and worth of the person, self-determination, boundaries, competence, facilitated learning in a safe environment and integrity. Finally, consciousness-raising as professionals, respectful engagement in context, and intercultural competence are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • ethics
  • social work values
  • intercultural competence


  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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