Early psychologists established laboratories, opened practices, and began teaching in such diverse countries as Japan, Mexico, India, Argentina, New Zealand, and Russia. Indeed, the First International Congress of Psychology took place in 1887! Today, as the number of psychologists expands around the globe, psychology is more international than ever before. On your journey through the psychology major, follow in the footsteps of innovative psychologists, who study people in the context of their environments. World-wide university partnerships offered by UNC Charlotte’s Office of Education Abroad can introduce you to locations and experiences well beyond the walls of Colvard. Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to engage with a different culture and benefit from the resources of another educational institution. Many institutions abroad offer excellent psychology courses, consider taking some required psychology courses and classes on topics different from those available at UNC Charlotte. Study abroad can easily fit into your academic plan by visiting the Office of Education Abroad to select an international program, meeting with your psychology advisor to decide on the best time to go and the classes to take, and consulting with the Office of Student Financial Aid to make the opportunity affordable. Learn about yourself, learn about psychology, and learn about the world by participating in study abroad!
Career Development Benefits of Study Abroad
Self-Development and Transferable Skills
- Independence / Self-reliance
- Greater self-awareness - ability to articulate strengths and weaknesses
- Creativity in handling problems that arise
- Flexibility in adapting to unfamiliar circumstances
- Tact when discussing issues that may be viewed differently by others
- Networking with people in-country and other internationalists
- Willingness to take risks
International / Cross-Cultural Skills
- Language skills/general intercultural communication skills
- Knowledge of other cultures/customs
- General "world travel" skills - airports, passports, public transportation, etc.
Wider Perspective on Issues
- Ability to look at things more objectively
- Broader understanding of issues - ability to analyze from different perspectives
Plan ahead! While many UNC Charlotte faculty and staff are eager to assist you in realizing your goal to study abroad, ideally you want to give yourself plenty of time to accomplish all the necessary steps.
The Department of Psychological Science strongly encourages study abroad. Each year psychology majors and minors participate in study abroad programs. Recently, UNC Charlotte psychology students have studied in England, Italy, and South Africa.
Psychology students participating in education abroad may complete required courses for their major; second major/minor; language study; or general education. A number of psychology classes in overseas universities have been identified as transferable course requirements for our undergraduate majors/minors (see below). This is not an exhaustive list of opportunities available, but may help in selecting your international destination. Students should plan to take classes in the Research Methods/Critical Thinking Skills and Capstone content areas at UNC Charlotte. Psychology Advisors will work with you to facilitate a smooth transfer of international courses into your degree plan.
Best Times to Study Abroad
- Summer following First, Sophomore, or Junior Year
- Before or After taking subsequent semesters each of Research Methods I and II
- Before taking a Capstone Course, which requires senior standing
Length of Study Abroad Programs
- Spring Break (approximately 10 days / while enrolled in an on-campus spring course)
- Summer Session (typically 4 weeks)
- One Semester
- Full Academic Year (typically two semesters or 9-10 months)
Office of Education Abroad - College of Health & Human Services Building Room 256
Financial aid is typically portable for study abroad. Students who receive financial aid at UNC Charlotte are advised to discuss their study abroad plans with the Office of Student Financial Aid (Reese 122) at least one term before studying abroad. This will help students develop the best possible financial plans for their time abroad.
Before meeting with a financial aid officer, gather information about tuition, fees, and cost of living for your particular study abroad program, as well as information on airfare and any other likely costs.
A variety of scholarships are available for study abroad. Again, it is necessary to start your search early to meet the application deadlines. The Office of Education Abroad provides a list of scholarship opportunities. Some of the scholarships are specifically for UNC Charlotte students; others are nationally available to any U.S. university student. Psychology majors who have previously studied abroad have been awarded The Halton Scholarship Program for International Study and The Odyssean scholarship. Another source of aid includes presenting fundraising or crowdfunding ideas (e.g. GoFundMe).
For more information on Interships Abroad, check out GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, a program affiliated with UNC Charlotte that offers many interships in psychology and other social sciences.