Summer school: Refugee children and families in Europe, social work and counselling.

International Undergraduate Summer School organised by the University College Odisee Brussels in partnership with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Fachhochschule) Dortmund and Grupo de Investigación en Psicología Comunitaria of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). 

With the support of VLUHR.

June 27th – July 8th 2022 in Brussels, Odisee, Campus Schaarbeek. 

Join us this summer for an international Summer School in the heart of Europe. Internationally acknowledged lecturers, experienced guest speakers, off-campus excursions to European institutions, (inter)national NGOs and facilities, and an interesting social programme will make this Summer School informative AND fun.

Classes will take place at our small and pleasant campus in Schaarbeek in the North of Brussels. Using public transport, the city centre and main tourist attractions are only 15 minutes away.

Trauma and resilience

Persecution, conflicts and human rights violations continue to force people to flee their homes and seek safety in Europe. Many families with children or unaccompanied minors risk their lives to find a new life in European countries. These families and children do not only need a safe haven, housing, access to schooling and health services, many of them also need assistance to overcome the separation of their family and the consequences of violence and abuse, which they experienced in their country of origin or during the journey. Parents and especially children show a remarkable resilience in coping with difficult situations and trauma. Social workers and counsellors have the important task to strengthen this resilience and to support the recovery of families and children after forced migration.


We will focus on methods to build up resilience. This two-week summer course introduces key issues in social work and counselling for refugee families and children to students and professionals. Participants will get a thorough theoretical basis in lectures and workshops offered by specialized psychologists and social scientists. During the lectures, migration will be approached from four different stages: (1) the moment people flee from the country, (2) the process of seeking asylum and finding shelter, (3) family reunion and (4) integration in a new community. So to speak, participants will follow the steps a refugee takes. Field visits of organisations working with refugee families and children will confront the participants with relevant methodologies and how to apply them in this context. During the field visits and workshops, there will be a specific focus on three themes: (1) learning, playing and living, (2) supporting positive transnational family dynamics, (3) working / building up a future. An internationally composed team of specialists will provide interesting lectures and workshops on social work with refugee children and families. 

For participants, who doesn't want to receive the ECTS points, it is possible to choose only the lectures or/and workshops and field visits of their interest.


Throughout the programme, we will form small project (student)groups. Each group will work on one of the three themes: (1) learning, playing and living, (2) supporting positive transnational family dynamics and (3) working / building up a future. During this student project, you have to prepare and set up a round table on this theme with experts. At the end of the programme, the different groups will present the output of this project to their fellow students.

Target group

Undergraduate students (2nd, 3rd and 4th grade) of social work, social sciences, applied psychology, family studies, anthropology, counselling, health sciences, education… who want to develop a broader view on social work and counselling work with refugee families and children, both on a theoretical and methodological level.

Professionals can participate in the whole summer school or can choose for some specific lectures or workshops of their interest. We would like to contribute to the professionalization of the sector.

The number of participants for the complete programme will be limited to 50.

  • Language: English
  • ECTS: 3
  • In order to receive the ECTS-points, there is a mandatory presence on all parts of the programme and a written summary to be handed in.

Registration fee 

ERASMUS+ and COST-partners: 250 euros with lodgement (lunches and visits included)

Non ERASMUS+ partners: 350 euros with lodgement (lunches and visits included)

Other participants (professionals, students who want to follow voluntarily - without receiving the ECTS-points): 100 euros without lodgement (lunches and visits included)

What if you have to cancel?

  • If you cancel your subscription before the 15th of May, we will reimburse 100% of the subscription fee and 30% of the lodging fee.
  • If you cancel after the 15th of May, we will reimburse 50% of the subscription fee. At this moment, the lodging fee cannot be reimbursed anymore.

More information or registration

More information:

Registration (for students):

Registration (for professionals):


Merel Van Hove

Telefoon: 02 240 68 40
Locatie: Campus Schaarbeek

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