Psychology department to offer study abroad program

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    For the first time, the university's psychology department will implement a study abroad program.

    Vanessa Miller, psychology instructor, and Naomi Ekas, assistant professor, together recently started the study abroad program that is set to launch in the summer of 2013. They will both be involved in instructional and grading sequences of the study abroad courses.

    This program is aimed at students who are interested in exploring human behavior in Europe. The two courses that will be offered are “Child Development in a Cultural Context” and “Psychological Disorders and Creativity.”  

    “Child Development in a Cultural Context” explores human development from a cross-cultural perspective, incorporating observational research gathered along Amsterdam’s canal in Netherlands and beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Students will visit these places as a class to observe and report the psychological studies related with these sites. 

    “Psychological Disorders and Creativity” examines the characteristics of artists, writers, and other creative geniuses who had major mental disorders.

    The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will be one of the many museums that students visit as part of their work for the course. The museum was chosen because students will be required to study Van Gogh’s depressive and manic periods, Dr. Miller said.

    “[Studying abroad] changes your life and your travel experience," Miller said. “When students return from studying abroad, it has been proven that they report more self-confidence, because they realize they could be away from home and get lost in a way where they begin to meet people from different cultures.”

    Ekas said there are several students who are nervous about traveling abroad, but they will carry pieces of home with them overseas — they will be surrounded by fellow students and faculty.  

    Although Miller and Ekas agree that many students may be hesitant to travel abroad, Shannon Lucas, a senior majoring in psychology, is not.

    “The French culture is absolutely amazing, and Paris is the prime place to see that," Lucas said. "As far as Amsterdam goes, the education backing that city along with its unique culture makes me ecstatic.” 

    The program fee for students to attend is $3,785, with tuition costs of $3,600 per course. The program fee consists of housing, ground transportation, entrance to museums and health insurance. Financial aid is available for those who apply.

    Both courses are only offered through this summer study abroad program, Miller said. They will both focus on the creative and artistic aspects of learning.

    The program lasts for three weeks, from May 16 – June 1, 2013.

     The application will open on Nov. 1, 2013. You can visit here for more information.