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MSASS Poland: Invisible Groups in a New Poland (SASS 375C/575)
Berlin, Germany; Poznan, Poland (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring Break
Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2016 12/01/2015 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
CWRU Short-Term Language of Instruction: English
Language Prerequisite: No Housing Options: Hotel, On-Campus Dormitory
Minimum GPA: 2.0 Credit Type: Graduate, Professional, Undergraduate
Number of Credits: 3 Program Advisor: Mark Chupp, MSASS
Courses Offered: Applied Social Sciences Case Credit Type: Engineering Social Sciences Credit, Global and Diversity Credit, Social Work Minor
Deposit: $200
Total Program Cost:
Included in Program Cost: breakfasts, Flights, Housing, lunch Not Included in Program Costs: Dinner, Passport Fees, Tuition, Vaccinations, Visa fees
Program Purpose: Study
Program Description:
SASS 375/575 Poland: Invisible Groups in a New Poland

In-Country Dates: March 7-15, 2015
Pre and post trip seminars:  Saturday January 31, February 21, & April 25

This course introduces students to Polish culture and Polish social policies and practices concerning disenfranchised, stigmatized and disempowered social groups. The course will encourage students to understand how Poland's recent political and economic transformations affect society, in general, and some groups, in particular. The course will focus on how Polish society addresses problems of poverty, homelessness, aging, domestic violence and mental health disorders. In cooperation with the Institute of Sociology at the University of Poznan, students and faculty will use frameworks such as multiculturalism, social integration, feminism and determinants of social exclusion to understand Polish policy responses to various social phenomena. Students will have opportunities to engage government officials, practicing social workers, and some of Poland's most prominent scholars in conversation. In addition to lectures and workshops, the trip includes guided tours of neighborhoods and social institutions. Cultural events and outings will provide additional insights into Polish society and the Polish people.Kathleen Farkas, PhD and Richard Romaniuk, PhD

Approved for:

  • Global and Cultural Diversity Credit
  • Social Science credit for engineering students
  • Social Work Minor
  • Elective course
Visit MSASS 3 credit study abroad courses and contact Dr. Mark Chupp (

Contact Nancy Issa for Financial Aid Eligibility for travel costs.



Poland, once a major European power from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, was invaded in the eighteenth century by the Russian, Prussian, and Austrian empires. The country disappeared from the map of Europe.  Poznan, often called the first capital of Poland, became part of Prussia and later Germany. A center of Polish culture and national identity, Poznan is a dynamic city with a rich multicultural past.  Arriving in Berlin, we will travel to Poznan by train. Here are a few snapshots of the city we will be visiting:

Goal: Introduce students to Polish culture and social policies and practices concerning disenfranchised, stigmatized, and disempowered social groups. The course will encourage students to understand how Poland's recent political and economic transformation has affected society in general and, especially, marginalized groups. The course will focus on how Polish society addresses problems of poverty, homelessness, aging, domestic violence and mental health disorders.

Travel Considerations: The weather will be similar to late winter/early spring in Cleveland. Poznan is a typical Polish city: the streets are filled with pedestrians making their way to work, shops, restaurants, cafes, and clubs. Public transportation is excellent, but you will be able to walk to many destinations. Choose comfortable, warm, water resistant shoes.

Hotel: Students are housed in double rooms in the "Jowita" student dormitory near the Adam Mickiewicz University.

You need a power converter 220V to 110V for all your electric equipment that you will bring from home:

Food: Breakfasts and lunches are in "Jowita". Dinners will depend on our evening plans.  

Money:  A dinner at a nice restaurant on your own will cost anywhere from $15 to $50, but you will find many cheaper casual cafes and restaurants with very good food. $1 = about 3 Polish zloty (read: zwoty).

Program Schedule: Our program was designed with cooperation from the Institute of Sociology at the University of Poznan. See the following websites for more information:


Planned schedule – subject to change

Saturday  or Sunday-  Arrival in Berlin and train to Poznan in the evening

Sunday -  Poznan sightseeing and class orientation

Monday-Thursday -  Lectures and workshops in Department of Sociology.  

Institutions visits and presentation listed below.

Friday-Saturday - Sightseeing in Poznan and vicinity.

Lectures and Workshops

· Mobility: Social and Spatial Aspects of Mobility

· Family and socio-cultural conditions of mental disorders – analysis from gender perspective

· Research on homelessness as an example of social marginalization

· Lecture and discussion on Poles and homosexuality, the evolution of attitudes

· Cultural differences in communication

· The main social problems in Poland

· Social conditions of marginalization and exclusion in Poland

· There will also be special workshops concerning substance abuse and mental health problems

 prepared by MSASS faculty and students especially for Polish students

Meetings and Visits in Social Work Institutions

· Catholic Center of Education and Dependency Treatment

· Center for the Development of Children and Youth

· Social Emergency Service

· Social Action Center

· Psychiatric Hospital

· Monar [NGO aiding the socially excluded, homeless, addicted]

Other Meetings and Visits

· Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz, member of the Sejm (Parliament) Commission on Social Affairs;

 member of Commission on Youth Affairs; and member of Commission on Health

· Elzbieta Dybowska, coordinator of city program for substance abuse prevention

· Vice-President of the City of Poznan

· Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University

· Director of the Institute of Sociology

· Meeting with fellows of Lane Kirkland scholarship


In addition to a rich academic program, students will be able to attend different cultural events and will be meeting with many international students from the Lane Kirkland Foundation. Translators will also assist us during our time in Poland.