Social Work is one of the most rewarding fields that you can step into. The resulting job from a Social Work degree may, at times, be difficult, but it will be one of the most rewarding careers that you can have. Your career will directly impact and help the lives of others, which is extremely rewarding.

Here are the best countries to study Social Work, and the unique benefits of living and studying in each.

Is Social Work in Demand Abroad?

Yes, social workers are among the most in-demand jobs abroad. Some of the countries with high demand for social workers are Sierra Leone and Liberia. Other countries, such as the United States and Australia, offer high salaries to attract more social workers. So, whether you’re looking to pursue social work as a career for humanitarian reasons or financial gains, you’ll never have to worry about where to go, as many countries abroad have a high demand for social workers.

What Type of Social Worker is Highest Paid?

Social workers in government, particularly in the local government, are often the highest paid compared to those in other industries. In the United States, social workers make an average of $51,000 annually, with those working in hospitals earning up to $71,500 yearly. Besides the local government, social workers can also work in Ambulatory Healthcare Services, Individual and Family Services, and the State Government. These sectors compensate social workers between $43,000 to $57,000 annually.

See Also: Best Social Work Schools in the World

Best Countries to Study Social Work

1. Germany

Germany is a fantastic place to study Social Work, with several opportunities for hands-on training. There are many counseling opportunities and community programs that always need the extra help of students to support the community. It is recommendable to study Social Work in a country like Germany because their social welfare policies are generally successful, and it will bring a different perspective on how to handle social problems.

In Germany, Social Work is a field that helps people with drug addiction and mental illness, as well as those who are impoverished. This hands-on experience will help your future career significantly, as you will be focused on the same problems that happen in all countries around the world.

Germany is also a safe place to live. You will find good housing options and accessible supermarkets. It is also easy to take public transport to wherever you need to go. Germany is a great country for studying social work, as you will be comfortable and gain real-world experience.

One of the best perks of studying social work in Germany? Many German universities are free for international students! If you attend public universities in Germany, you will most likely study in Germany for free, and with the help of scholarships, you can even cover some of your living costs.

Top Universities:

  • Alice Salomon University
  • Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences
  • Esslingen University of Applied Sciences

2. United Kingdom

The UK is in constant need of Social Workers, so it might be easier to gain admission to a Social Work program here. Since there are so many job openings, as well, you will be more likely to get a job within this field in the UK than in other countries, so long as you have strong networking skills. Social Work jobs in the UK are not required to be filled by British citizens, so there is a high chance that you can get hired here.

Social Work jobs have great starting salaries in the UK, and if you live in a smaller city, the cost of living can be quite affordable. Due to the many job opportunities in the UK, as well, companies need extra workers, meaning that you can gain experience working in the field whilst you study.

The UK can be a really good country for studying social work, as you will truly have a positive impact on people’s lives in this country.

Top Universities:

See Also: How to Study in the United Kingdom for Free

3. Norway

Norway offers educational programs that are beyond compare, as they encourage innovation and creativity in the classroom. When studying Social Work, you will be encouraged to think outside of the box to solve certain situations, and your opinion will be highly valued. In Norway, Social Work tends to focus on the youth and the homeless, as well as minority populations.

The great news is that if you are an English speaker, as well, there are options for you here in these universities that teach in English! Even better, you will most likely be able to study in Norway for free if you attend these free universities!

There are also programs in Norway that allow you to move around to different cities in Europe and learn from different universities and cultures. This is an opportunity that you simply cannot pass up. By moving to different cities, you will be able to see how different countries deal with social issues, which is the knowledge that you cannot obtain in the classroom. This will help make you a well-rounded social worker in the future.

Top Universities:

  • University of Stavanger
  • Finmark University College
  • Bergen University College

4. USA

The United States is the best country to study social work because it has some of the top programs in the world. If you cannot get admitted to any of these, however, there is also an abundance of programs at several universities, so you are sure to get a placement within the country.

Social Work in the United States focuses on training patients to either develop or improve their skills to help them change their situation. It is highly rewarding in the US because you are empowering people, rather than ordering them around. Social workers are also in high demand in the United States, so there will not be a lack of career options after completing a university degree.

The USA boasts of one of the most successful and internationally recognized educational systems, meaning that if you would like to take your degree to another country, you will likely be able to find a job that accepts your qualifications. Social Work degrees here are also quite affordable, and give you the option to work as you study.

Top Universities:

5. India

India may seem like an unlikely addition to this list of the top countries to study social work, but there are some world-renowned programs here that are highly competitive. One of the greatest benefits of studying here would be the experience gained from learning and doing internships, as your worldview and perspective of how social issues are dealt with in a different country will be completely opened.

There are many vulnerable groups in India, such as children and the homeless, and society is riddled with inequality. If you choose to study in India, your work outside of the classroom could be really impactful, and you will have Social Work experiences like you wouldn’t have in any other country.

Tuition in India is very affordable as well, and the experience you will gain is priceless. This country also boasts some of the most ancient cultures in the world. India’s architecture and landscapes are both beautiful and incredible, and the experience that you will have during your time studying will be like nothing else that you have experienced in your life.

Indian people are also welcoming and friendly, and there are student discounts available, meaning that you will have a very cheap cost of living here.

Top Universities:

  • University of Delhi
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Rajagiri College of Social Sciences

See Also: Best Scholarships in India for International Students

Social work is an enriching field, allowing you to directly impact and help people’s lives. With the high demand for social workers in many countries, you have that unique chance to pursue a career for both humanitarian and financial reasons. These best countries to study social work can give you different perspectives on handling social problems and make you a well-rounded social worker. And to ensure your success in this field, consider starting your education in one of these best social work schools for international students.


Hopefully, this article on the best countries to study social work was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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