Chicago offers endless possibilities for social work field placements in numerous diverse settings. The city’s densely populated environment offers an opportunity for you to work with a variety of different groups, ages and ethnicities – and gain experience that may not be available near your home campus. Field experiences include working with child welfare organizations such as SOS Children’s Villages, refugee resettlement services through Heartland Alliance, homeless shelters, schools, residential treatment centers and services for the aging, to name just a few. You will work in collaboration with Chicago Semester staff to find an agency in your area of interest that is a great fit for you and also meets your home college requirements.
Chicago is home to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, where social work pioneers Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr opened the first social settlement house in 1889. The Hull-House has long been a center of Chicago’s political and cultural life, establishing Chicago’s first public playground and public art gallery, helping to desegregate the Chicago Public Schools and influencing philanthropy and culture.
For more than 35 years, New Moms has been a leading Chicagoland agency dedicated to interrupting the cycle of poverty. The agency offers supports to young mothers in the most important areas of family life – stable housing, job training and family support. Students serving internships here have the opportunity to work with young moms training for the workforce, assisting with employment skills and case management.
Heartland Human Care Services is the human services partner of Heartland Alliance. With roots tracing back to 1888 and the Jane Addams Hull House movement, HHCS currently impacts nearly 500,000 individuals and families with its services annually, offering a continuum of programming that moves individuals from crisis to stability and on to success. BSW students here will serve the Refugee & Immigrant Community Services team who partners with refugees, asylees, immigrants and survivors of trafficking to address their needs by connecting them to their new community, providing education and employment services and the help they need to succeed in their new country.
Internship Placement Process
- Submit your program application, references, resume, transcript and essay responses to Chicago Semester.
- We review your field and population interests, and collaborate with you to find the best match in one of Chicago’s many social service organizations, agencies and non-profits.
- You interview with potential internship sites and prioritize which opportunity is the best fit for you.
Hear from a Social Work Alumnus
"I am currently in another social work internship through my master’s program. Going into it, I felt so much more at ease, comfortable and confident in my abilities to interact with co-workers and patients. I also had a better picture and understanding of my role going in. Chicago Semester supported me in so many ways during my first big-city internship, and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to grow professionally and personally in so many ways."
– Olivia Meiste
‘17, Social Work, Internship at SOS Children’s Villages
Professional Seminars and Courses
Social Work Professional Seminar - Fall and Spring only
Arts in the City - Fall and Spring
Diversity and Inequality: Engaging Chicago Cross Culturally - Fall, Spring and Summer
Social Justice - Fall and Spring
Urban Planning, Development and the Sustainable City - Spring and Summer
Values and Vocation: Reflections on Work and the Common Good - Fall and Spring
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