Poverty Amidst Plenty in Florida

Key Information


Application Deadline: 31/10/22 at 9:00 am

Opportunity type: Academic-led trips

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

Ref: 10007120


Departure Date: 25/02/23

Return Date: 05/03/23


£1200: the estimated cost for travel and accommodation (excluding any support). Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers (£200-250), visits, food and drink, visa (if applicable))


DMU Global Bursary: £400


Accommodation: Shared rooms will be provided in a hotel

Travel: Flights booked by DMU (students travel as a group)


General Enquiries: Global Mobility Office - dmuglobal@dmu.ac.uk

Trip Lead: Jagdish Chouhan - JChouhan@dmu.ac.uk


Year 2 Youth Work & Community Development (Modules: ASCS2801 – Politics, Policy & Practice; ASCS2802 – Developing the Professional Practitioner 2; ASCS2802 – Black Perspectives), Year 3 Youth Work & Community Development (Modules: ASCS3801 – Developing the Professional Practitioner 3; ASCS3409 – Contemporary Issues in Society; SCWK5006 – Values & Social Justice – Anti-Oppressive Practice in Social Work) and PG Youth Work/Health & Community Development students are eligible to participate on this opportunity. Priority will be give to YCD, but applicants from Social Work will be considered if places remain. There is a maximum of 14 places available, with a minimum of 14 participants required for this opportunity to take place. Students are recommended to check the eligibility criteria before applying.


Trip description

This intensive and exciting study visit will take students into areas of Orlando not usually seen by tourists. At the University of Central Florida (UCF), students will participate in interactive classroom teaching and learning about youth work and social policy in the USA. There will be a tour of the UCF campus, including a visit to the “food pantry” provided by the local students’ union. Participants will see some of the impacts of poverty first hand with visits and volunteering opportunities at the largest foodbank in Florida, a homeless shelter, a visit to a secure mental health unit and a halfway house for recovering alcoholics and addicts.

Visiting a trailer park and the Winter Park mansions will reveal the extent of wealth disparity and the staggering difference in the living conditions of the poor compared to the affluent extravagance of the wealthy. Evans High Community School will provide valuable evidence of the academic capabilities of black youth from the disadvantaged community of Pine Hills and challenge the assertions of Charles Murray’s adherents that the poor are to blame for their own plight.

Meeting union reps for Disney employees will shake notions of Disney as “the happiest place on earth” and reveal the true nature of this global employer, whilst providing hope and inspiration that change is not only possible but underway.

Finally, there will be the inspirational visit to the “Sin Fronteras” project for Latino/Latina youth, run by a Marxist Nun. This is true youth and community work, empowering participants and challenging oppression. The study visit concludes with students presenting their findings to the original UCF class.

The estimated total cost for flights and accommodation for this trip to Florida is £1200. Students will be expected to pay £800, as the £400 DMU Global bursary will be deducted from the total. Participants will also be required to contribute towards the cost of the mini-bus (hire, fuel and tolls) during the trip and this is estimated to be an additional cost of £200-250.

Learning objectives

Participating in a DMU Global opportunity can help you develop knowledge, skills and competencies that enhance your studies. The objectives of this trip to Florida are:

  • Explore and have an awareness of EDI issues, social policy and globalisation & youth work internationally, and will be able to study, compare and critically evaluate practice and policy in the UK and Florida
  • Explore and participate in a (radical) youth work session with around 90 undocumented LatinX young people led by a liberation theologist (Freirian approach) nun and her professionally-qualified youth work staff, contrasted with a community school visit to observe education support practices in a marginalised and disadvantaged, ethnic (black) community in the deep south (Pine Hills)
  • Engage and volunteer at a homeless shelter and at a foodbank, learning about different community development approaches to poverty-related issues
  • Gain awareness and discuss with recovering alcoholics/addicts at a halfway house and with residents and staff at a mental health unit to consider and compare approaches to health issues generated or worsened by poverty

Prior to the trip, students will be exploring some of the issues of the above learning objectives and exploring US politics and policy. They will be able to analyse, engage with the theory, understand and implement practice this whilst in Florida.

Cultural activities

As part of the itinerary, there will be free time to engage in cultural activities. Organised excursions may include a visit to Cocoa beach (including a canoe safari through mangrove tunnels and with possible close encounters with manatee and dolphins), an airboat ride on Lake Kissimmee to see alligators in the wild and Universal Studios or Disneyworld. In addition to the potential excursions, there will be opportunities to socialise with peers from the University of Central Florida.

COVID-19 information

Travel to USA is permitted according to the travel rules for England as listed on UK Government website. Students are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to travel as per the guidance on the FCDO webpage for USA.

All students that are offered a place on this DMU Global opportunity will receive further COVID-19 advice and guidance by email and in pre-departure briefing sessions. More details and COVID-19 Travel Information can be found here.