Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Social Welfare System of China: Service Learning Practicum

Beijing, China | Tianjin, China

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2022
May 17, 2022
Jun 04, 2022
Mar 01, 2022
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Rising Sophomore
Good Academic Standing
Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Take an in-depth look at the nature and practice of social welfare institutions in China, and the challenges faced due to rapid urban population growth and economic development.

Visit local social welfare organizations throughout Beijing and/or Taiwan, meeting with social work practitioners from across the field and exploring the differences between practices and policy in China and the United States. Drawing on your knowledge from the two-week course, complete an additional service learning practicum in a local social welfare agency, where you will engage in meaningful work with professionals caring for the city’s most vulnerable populations.  The service learning practicum is worth an additional three credits (total: 6), and can be counted toward the required field hours for MSW students.

During Summer 2020 we will be celebrating the 10th year anniversary of this program! 

Summer: Rutgers- Social Welfare System of China: Service Learning Practicum

Program Locations

Summer: Rutgers- Social Welfare System of China: Service Learning Practicum



Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China.  It is the political, educational, and cultural center of China and the nation's most populous city with over 15 million residents and 4.5 million cars. The architecture reflects the city’s ever-changing persona.  Due to rapid industrialization, enormous population (approximately 20 million), and continuous urban sprawl, the city is home to an increasing number of migrants from the Chinese countryside as well as ethnic minorities from other parts of East Asia.  These circumstances make Beijing a fascinating environment to study the expanding demands of Chinese social welfare systems.



This program is designed for graduate-level students in the School of Social Work.  It is open to advanced undergraduate students only by special permission of the faculty director.

To view the program's 2020 syllabus, please click here.  A preliminary syllabus for 2017 will be available before the start of the spring semester.

This program is worth 6 credits, comprised of the following components:

  • Students will be enrolled in Social Welfare Systems of China: Processes and Challenges, an intensive two-week course worth 3 credits.  The course will begin with an online pre-departure orientation and preliminary readings.  The in-country instruction will be based at Renmin University of China in Beijing. Students will take classes in the morning and participate in field visits in the afternoon to national and local social welfare departments and social work agencies. China social work educators, researchers, and practitioners will join the program for both didactic and field experiences.  Students who only wish to apply for this three-credit course should click here for more information and to apply.

  • After the completion of the intensive course, students enrolled in the service learning practicum will stay in China for an additional two weeks of service placements.   Past placements have included an under-resourced school of migrant children, a philanthropic organization, and a mental illness facility. Students who complete the practicum will receive an additional 3 credits (70 hours of field education credit for Social Work students, which can be applied to School of Social Work Fall/Spring Field Education Hours).

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.


The program itinerary includes several group excursions, designed to enhance student learning about Chinese history, culture, and contemporary society.  Cultural highlights of the program will include visits to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, as well as a traditional Beijing Duck dinner.

Housing and Meals

Students will be housed at the Beijing Friendship Hotel.  Two meals each day will be taken as a group at the hotel and at local restaurants.

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
NJ Resident non-NJ Resident
Undergraduate $5,030 $5,600
Graduate $5,390 $5,930
Program Cost includes:

•    Tuition 
•    Housing
•    Most Meals
•    Excursions
•    Administrative Fees
•    International SOS Health Insurance


Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $1,500
Meals $200
Visa (Estimate is for US Citizens) $140
Personal Expenses $250
Total $2,090.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad. 
Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket and visa costs, while some of these expenses, such as meals and local transportation, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

Rutgers Global–China Office Study Abroad Scholarship will be given on a competitive basis to qualified students whose financial needs are not being met by other funding. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the overall strength of the application (especially the cover letter), academic record, and financial need. The award can be used to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, and international airfare.

Faculty Leaders

Chien Chung Huang

Professor and Director of the Huamin Research Center. Dr. Huang's research interests include international social work, nonprofit management and philanthropy, social welfare policy, poverty and welfare reform, and domestic violence.

Jessica is speaking in front of a class of students.

"The program took place in Beijing, China, during which undergraduate and graduate students in the Rutgers School of Social Work were able to listen to presentations, gain knowledge about various social issues in China, and engage in discussions with students and faculty members within local universities. We also met with key members and directors of nonprofit organizations discussing the foci, missions, and aims of their philanthropic work, such as child welfare, providing education assistance to low-income residents, youth philanthropy, and natural disaster relief."

Chuwei Liu

"As a Chinese student affiliated in Rutgers and in this China study abroad program, I volunteered to do translations for all group members, though I was a little nervous that I could not convey students’ meanings precisely. I kept trying to help all the group members to understand discrepant culture and language, even though I made mistakes sometimes. In addition, the schedule of classes was tight, but we still enjoyed every moment when we volunteered at schools."