Psychology and Culture in Europe
Study Abroad Experience for Psychology Students
The Psychology and Culture in Europe program offers an opportunity for psychology students to gain a unique perspective on the cities of Rome, Venice and London. The spring semester pre-departure course will introduce students to the importance of these significant cities regarding contributions to the field of psychology. Travel for this program will occur in May session, and will be led by Dr. Alisa Paulsen, Director of Undergraduate Studies. Throughout the three weeks of travel, students will tour numerous sites of historical and cultural interest. For example, students will visit Cambridge, Bethlem Royal Hospital, and the homes and museums of Freud and Darwin in (or near) London, and the Roman Coliseum, Vatican City, San Servolo Madness Museum, and Museo Laboratorio della Mente in Rome and Venice.
Learn more about this amazing trip on the OIA website.
Please note that you will receive 3 credits of Psychology 5797 credit and 1 credit of Psychology 3193.01 for participating in this program. The Psychology 5797 credits DO NOT count toward your major program in psychology. The Psychology 3193.01 credit can count as one out of three credit hours that you would need to count as an elective course on your major. Please check with your psychology advisor for questions about how these courses will count toward your degree.
To learn more about this experience, please plan to attend an information session on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 5:15 - 6:30pm in PS 35. If you missed the information session, please contact Dr. Alisa Paulsen with any questions you have about the seminar or the experience in Europe and contact our OIA representative, Rebecca McMunn, with questions about the application process.
My Adventures Abroad - by Divya Ramoo
This past May I was granted the opportunity to travel across Europe with OSU’s Psychology Department. This was truly one of the most amazing, enriching, and memorable experiences of my life. From the incredible sites we saw, to the fascinating cultures we were immersed in, this trip was the total package.
One of the best parts of this experience took place before we even left the country. The seven-week course we took before leaving for Europe was fantastic preparation for our trip. We learned a few key phrases in Italian (which proved to be very helpful) and discussed the history of psychology for each destination that put a new global perspective on a topic very dear to our hearts. We also read Merchant of Venice, which we later saw at the Globe theatre in London! However, getting to bond with the other students on the trip was the most enjoyable part. It was great to get to know everyone I was about to travel abroad with as well as make plans for our free time in each city. Getting to interact with other students who also share my passion for travel and psychology immediately made me feel at home. Our advisors, Lisa and Jackie, only added to the fun and excitement. Their positivity and high energy made for an incredibly comfortable and open environment that carried throughout the entire trip.
Finally landing in Rome and getting to reunite with everyone was incredible. We were all so excited to be back together in such a beautiful place. The city was absolutely breathtaking. Everywhere I looked, gorgeous buildings that gave off this air of importance surrounded me. Even the hotel we stayed at was historical! We were in an old basilica that had a gorgeous rooftop terrace with an incredible view. Having breakfast up there every morning made me excited for the day, no matter how exhausted I was. Our days were filled with exploring new sites, learning fascinating history, and eating lots of Italian food--my favorite part! On the note of eating, I came to the conclusion that it’s a MUST to have gelato at least two times a day while in Italy if you want to get the full cultural experience. Honestly, the same could be said for all of the food Italy had to offer, and I could write a whole essay on that alone, but I will spare your stomachs and move on. I do have to admit we were quite spoiled on this trip because we had some of the most knowledgeable tour guides. In Rome, a man named Giuseppe took us around the city and truly made the history of this ancient city come alive. For example, standing in the Coliseum (or as we called it, “The Original Shoe”) and hearing about the history behind the infamous gladiator fights was an experience I will never forget.
Traveling to Venice after Rome was like going to a completely different country. It was incredible how those two cities had vastly different feels to them. Venice offered a new, more modern era of historical significance that was a great juxtaposition to Rome’s ancient style. From gondola rides and touring grand palaces, to traveling to surrounding islands famous for glass and lace, Venice was quite the experience. One of my favorite parts of our time in Venice was getting to see San Servolo, a former insane asylum. The institution has now been turned into a museum and we were able to tour it. It was fascinating to see the history of mental health treatment from an international perspective. I had been familiar with psychology’s infamous past in regards to the United States, but getting to learn about what was going on in another part of the world was eye opening and truly made me realize just how far psychology as a profession has come.
Saying goodbye to Italy was difficult, but London proved to be just as wonderful. We spent the majority of our trip in London, and I felt like we really got to have a taste of British culture. Aside from eating a ridiculous amount of fish and chips and developing a minor obsession with the underground subway system better known as ‘The Tube’, London was fascinating from a historical and psychological perspective. The vibrancy of the city was electric and captivating, but some of my favorite memories were during our excursions out of the city. We took a trip to a town called Bath and got to see some of the breathtaking English countryside. In Bath itself, we toured the Roman baths (from which the town got its namesake) and got to experience a new side of English and Italian history.
I have always been fascinated with European culture and history and had dreamed of traveling there since I was a little girl. This trip was honestly a dream come true. Not only did I get to experience new cultures, I also got to go on these adventures with some incredible people. A few of us were lucky enough to extend our trip to Paris and Spain, which was the perfect ending to an incredible month abroad. To anyone considering going on this trip, I highly recommend it. It was everything I could have asked for in a study abroad trip and much more!