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Your International Social Work degree

The International Social Work bachelor at HAN is the key to unlocking your social work career. You get hands-on experience from the very start. Do social research. Learn project management. Gain creative problem solving skills. And so much more.

Social Work Bachelor Subjects and Program at HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands

International Social Work: program in brief

The heart of this program is fieldwork. Experienced lecturers teach you about the tools, developments and latest research in social work. Then you start doing research for yourself. You work on complex problems within a community.

Each year you delve into actual situations in practice. In the 1st year you intern at an internationally oriented company in the Netherlands. In the 2nd year you undertake project work in practice. This gives you insight into possible contexts for your future career as a social work professional. In the 3rd and 4th years you deepen your workplace learning experience. Throughout the program you are challenged to operate in an international context, while being guided through hybrid or online learning.

International Social Worker University in English in the Netherlands | HAN University of Applied Sciences
Get an inside view of International Social Work

Meet lecturers & students

Get an inside view of the International Social Work program at HAN. Become a student for a day, join a sample lecture or meet 1:1 with a lecturer or student online. We are currently offering the following activities:

fbaff680-0cfe-11ee-857d-02565807075b International Social Work, docent, college, uitleg
Social Work Internationale Klas

Solid foundation

In your 1st year you learn about all the fundamental theories and techniques needed for international social work.

1st-year - building a solid foundation

In the 1st year you intern for 1 day a week. Choose from organizations in the Netherlands where you work with a diversity of people, in multicultural settings and, where possible, in international contexts. You start to think on your feet. And apply what you’ve learned in the classroom.

Subjects in 1st year

  • Introduction to Social Work Theory
  • Psychology & Pedagogy
  • Theories on Communities
  • Critical and Ethical Considerations
  • Target-Group Analysis
  • Development of Social Participation
  • Community Development
  • Contacting Target Groups
  • Individual and Group Counselling
  • Creative Skills
  • Professional Writing Skills
  • Profiling and Presenting
  • Internship


Support needs are getting ever more complex. So having a creative and innovative approach is essential. At International Social Work you take creative skills classes where you learn to use your own personal characteristics and interests for professional purposes. Adding a personal touch and extra meaning to how you support people in vulnerable situations.

Academic Calendar

The academic year runs from September to August. In that time you have 42 weeks of education. The rest of the time you have holidays.


Are you missing home? Are your classes too challenging? Want advice about your internship? Your study coach is there to help you with such issues. They help you find effective ways to study. Support you in making choices about your future career. And guide you in your personal development.


HAN uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This system is part of the bachelor-master structure. ECTS credits are a measure of the workload of a degree program.  


At the end of 1st year, you receive study advice. The credits you’ve earned are an important factor in this. Positive advice means you can move on to the 2nd year. Negative advice means you have to stop. That way you don’t waste time on a program that doesn't really suit you. 


Broadening and deepening

In the 2nd year you build on your broad foundation.

The 2nd year - coming into your own

In the 2nd year of your International Social Work bachelor degree, you start to take charge. You undertake project work in practice. This gives you insight into a possible context for your future career as a social work professional. You always get the support of experienced professionals while you work on solutions in real situations. 

Subjects in 2nd year

  • Empowerment in Social Work
  • Voluntary and Involuntary Contexts
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Guiding Groups
  • Network Development
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Social Research
  • Social Technology
  • Creative Skills
  • Internship

Professional experience

In your 3rd year you pick up a Specialization Program: Community Development & Inclusive Society. Which you undertake next to your internship. Here you lay the groundwork for your own research project. And carry out your own social and participatory action research. On location.


Your International Social Work internship prepares you for a global job market. Dive into societies and help them move forward. Maybe you set up a sports program in Brazil. Or use music to improve health and social skills in Uganda. You can work independently. In collaboration with local professionals and inhabitants. Or with a student from another discipline.

Experience it for yourself!

Want to discover whether International Social Work at HAN is the right choice for you? Experience it for yourself at anOpen Day. Our students and staff look forward to meeting you there!

HAN Open Day

Final year

This is the 4th and final year of your International Social Work bachelor degree. You also choose a subject for your minor. This is a semester where you broaden your knowledge. Or gain more in-depth knowledge in a specific area of social work. This is also the year you work on your research project. Here you’re in charge. From idea to research. And from execution to reporting.


Choose a minor in your 3rd or 4th year. You have complete control from here on out. Go for an in-depth minor. A broadening minor. Or a transfer minor. Dive into themes like domestic violence. Intercultural work. Or group dynamics. Or strengthen your knowledge in areas like social psychiatry. Creativity development. Or leadership in care and welfare. Want to study abroad in this year? Go for it! Choose a minor at one of our partner universities.

Research Project

Together with all relevant stakeholders you design and conduct your very own participatory action research project. Based on a community aspiration you identified in your 3rd year internship. You make recommendations on your subject. But you also set up and carry out the project. So impacting the lives of real people.

Bachelor of Social Work

After 4 years of study you’ve earned your Bachelor of Social Work. Congratulations! The program you've completed is accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). That means you now have an internationally recognized degree. Ready to join an international company? Or perhaps to start working in a multicultural neighborhood in the Netherlands? Or what about continuing your studies with a master degree? It’s all up to you.

Bachelor of Social Work

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Find out about career paths and job opportunities in International Social Work.