Navigating Trauma Tourism in Social Work Study Abroad

Natalie D. Pope, Allison Gibson, Kalea Benner, Lindsay Littrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While education abroad can facilitate experiential learning, when travel is focused around collective trauma, academic tours may exacerbate harm. In this article, we describe our process of seeking to be accountable for the role of our course, which focuses on the 30-year conflict, known as the Troubles that took place in Northern Ireland, in communities that have been affected by traumatic structural violence and interpersonal conflict. We discuss the risks of perpetuating objectification and exploitation, and of mediating strategies for building reciprocity and solidarity. Special attention must be given to these issues to facilitate just and ethical learning experiences that model appropriate professional development for social work students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Work Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Council on Social Work Education.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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