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CUNY Internship in Moldova

If you are interested in traveling to the first and only Moldova Study Abroad program in CUNY, then you came to the right place.

Project Description

The Third York College Interdisciplinary Summer Semester Expedition in the Republic of Moldova

July 7 - August 21, 2017

Program Coordinators:

Vadim Moldovan

Shirell Roeback

Campus Study-Abroad Director:

Hamid Bahri

York College Executive Officer:

Paniotis Meleties


Moldova is a country rich in talent and history that is suffering under the dual burden of poverty and mass emigration. Local population, especially those that are more energetic and motivated, cannot find local jobs befitting their knowledge, skills, and talents and are compelled to emigrate to Russia, Western Europe, and the United States. Those that remain, have little investment in their communities as they struggle for everyday survival of their families.

This project connects the problems of poverty and talent-drain through a social entrepreneurship methodology that was developed by the Project Casa Mare International Academic Consortium consisting of scholars from the United States, Moldova, and other post-communist countries. The methodology, entitled the Systemic Wellness Community Improvement Model was founded on an interdisciplinary social work-oriented epistemological platform and is designed to affect a profound structural community readjustment toward wellness.

Developmental stages of community improvement toward wellness:

Global partnering (e.g. through international academic connections)

External (from abroad) fascination with local culture (history, folklore, art, crafts, etc.)

Global systemic connection (e.g. practical partnering through conceptualizing on-site study-abroad projects)

Operationalization of the systemic connection as a project with the requisite planning and organizing activities

Implementing the project with actual (not virtual) on-site participation of the foreign partner

Assessment for effectiveness and sustainability.

This project sustains and expands the success of two prior York College study-abroad projects in Moldova in 2012 and 2013, the 12-year long relationship between York College faculty and universities in Moldova, as well as several unfolding York College-led projects in Moldova - graduate school of social work at the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM), NGO Project Casa Mare (PCM), and Vocational Rehabilitation Center (VRC) at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Chisinau.

Project participants

The student body will include 12 York College students: 9 - social work (seniors) and 3 history majors to form a multidisciplinary team. The team will be led by three York College faculty members: Prof. V. Moldovan (social work) will accompany students to Moldova and teach the capstone SCWK 480 (3-credits) course at the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM). Prof. S. Roeback (social work) will teach the Field Seminar SCWK 492 (6-credits) via Skype at the same location. Prof. N. Githuku (history) will coordinate the work of history majors who will take part in the expedition. Prof. P. Brown (social work) will provide field supervision via skype.

The student body will also include 12 social work students from ULIM who will be taking York College courses as electives. Most of them are English-speaking. Some translation will be provided. The field supervisor for the Moldovan students will be provided by ULIM. ULIM faculty will be co-teaching SCWK 480.

Program itinerary

  • Departure from New York: Friday, July 7
  • Arrival to Chisinau: Saturday, July 8
  • Temporal adjustment: Sunday, July 9
  • Program starts: Monday, July 10
  • Urban Costujeni SWR field placement: 7/10 - 7/27
  • Rural Old Orhei SWR field placement: 7/24 - 8/03
  • Final presentations in Moldova: 8/04 and 8/05
  • Departure for New York: 8/06
  • Follow-up in New York: 8/07-8/21
  • College-wide presentation, national or international presentation and a scholarly journal article submission: Fall/2017

Measurable Outcomes

  1. Create study-abroad program at York College
  2. Comprehensive assessment of community strengths and needs
  3. Articulation of agreements with project partners, including the ministries
  4. Articulate the protocol of responsibilities, procedures, and timetables
  5. Complete two weeks of basic craft training with patients at the Costujeni Systemic Wellness Region - produce prototypes
  6. Complete two weeks of community organizing and archaeological activities in the Old Orhei Systemic Wellness Region
  7. Conduct two archaeology/history/culture/crafts seminars
  8. In collaboration with local partners prepare preliminary plans for building a pottery kiln in Butuceni, fabric-making workshop in Trebujeni, and jewelry- making workshop in Morovaia; organizing the manufacture of archaeological artifacts' replicas; marketing, and sale of the products in all three genres.
  9. Comprehensive assessment of outcomes for effectiveness, efficiency, plans for sustainability, and feasibility of replication in other locations.
  10. Submit the required course assignments - papers and logs.
  11. Scholarship production in the form of conference presentations and scholarly articles.

Project Partners:

Project Casa Mare - coordinator of this project, development and assessment as well as project management and monitoring

York College of the City University of New York - students' exchange from different faculties of CUNY, for the SWR focused Summer Schools in Moldova

Free International University of Moldova - education and training of social workers in Moldova, university site for the study-abroad program

Council on Social Work Education, the Global Commission - USA

International Federation of Social Workers

International Council on Social Welfare

European Association of Schools of Social Work

The Moldova State Medical and Pharmaceutical University "Nicolae Testemitanu",

Moldova Ministry of Culture (in the person of Vice-Minister Gh. Postica) - promotion of Moldovan culture at home and abroad.

Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family RM - introduction and promotion of the Social Expert profession in Moldova

Ministry of Education of the RM - as a foundation of a academic consortium for the development of the educational component

IMSPF Codru - pilot implementation of the methodology of traditional crafts skills as a method of community involvement.

Local Partners (Local Public Administration, Private Sector, Middle School from Trebujeni, Local Museums) - active participation in project implementation

Science Academy of Moldova "Institute of Cultural Heritage" - archeological digs and scientific researches/work

National History Museum of Moldova - classification of exhibits, organization and promotion of the exhibitions

American consortium of anthropologists and archaeologists and York College of the City University of New York - as a liaison to International academic partnership

National Association of Social Workers in Moldova - provide social expertise in the field of social work.