International Practicum Experience

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CFCS 3040
International Practicum Experience
Child, Family & Community Studies
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery 10-15 week
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Seminar: 50 hours Supervised Practicum: 250 hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Field experience
  • Supervision
  • Seminar discussion
Course Description
This course is designed for students who are engaging in an international practicum experience. It has three components - the preparatory seminars, the practicum experience and reintegration. Students are responsible for creating their own learning plan. Time will be spent learning about the language/history/culture/religious beliefs and practices of the country in which the students intend to work and the effects of colonization and oppression. Attention will be given to the risks and realities of an international experience such as: culture shock; health and safety issues; visa requirements; money; personal values and beliefs, and the power of privilege.
The principle of first do no harm is fundamental to the practicum experience.
Students will undertake customized practicum experiences consistent with their field of study.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Presenting ourselves as learners to the host country prevents imposing our values and solutions to problems and/or issues
  • The principle of “do no harm” to clients, host country, agencies the college and future students insures that we consider the present and future impact of our professional and private behaviour
  • A global education enhances our capacity to understand and respond to the world views of the multicultural Canadian mosaic
  • Physical, emotional and intellectual preparation are essential for recognizing and dealing with the risks and realities of an international practicum experience
  • International work requires the understanding and the ability to work with a broad range of philosophical, cultural, religious,  and political ideas and practices that may be significantly different than one's own worldview
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas the student will be able to:

  1. Create a learning plan that is consistent with their field of study
    • Understand the components of a learning plan
    • Describe their own learning goals for  the international experience
    • Develop a set of criteria by which to measure the success of the goals
    • Understand the need to moderate the goals based on the learning environments
  2. Deconstruct their own personal values and beliefs as they apply to the international experience
  3. Understand the importance of language training prior to and during the practicum experience
  4. Develop an informed position from which to understand and engage in day-to-day cultural practices
  5. Articulate the risks and realities of participating in an international experience including but not limited to:
    • Culture shock
    • Visa requirements
    • Health and safety issues
    • Effects of the practicum experience on their families
    • The role of fund raising
    • Coming home
    • Trauma and Vicarious Trauma
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Written research assignments
  • Completion of a learning plan
  • Self evaluation
  • Field assessment

This is a Mastery/Non-Mastery graded course

Textbook Materials



Permission of the faculty. Students must be registered within the Faculty of Child, Family and Community studies to engage in this experience.