Studying abroad as a Psychology Major

We are often asked if students can study abroad and still be a psychology major. The answer is YES and we strongly encourage it. We have compiled a shortlist of the most common questions that our majors have asked us. If you have further questions or need more assistance please contact us or the Center of International Programs.

When should I start thinking about study abroad?

It is never too early to start thinking about study abroad! The CIP encourages first year students to begin thinking about their personal academic interests and goals in conjunction with looking at our available programs.

The CIP has Peer Advisors, or seniors who have recently returned from study abroad, in the CIP office every day during the academic year. These peer advisors are available to chat with students about their interests and questions surrounding the study abroad process at K. They can help students determine what programs might be the best fit for their personal goals.

During the summer before their second year, sophomore students interested in participating abroad should begin looking into the details of the programs they are most interested in, especially concerning the application process. Students can discuss application dates and questions with peer advisors, and can get program specific details from program coordinators during Fall quarter before applying. The CIP can assist students at anytime to get a passport! Beginning this process as early as possible is encouraged.

Which programs offer psychology courses that go beyond Gen Psych? *

The programs listed below have all had courses taken by K students that transferred to K as a psychology credit.
• Australia, Curtin
• Chile, Santiago
• Chile, Valparaiso
• Ecuador, Quito
• Germany, Erlangen
• Hong Kong
• Hungary, Budapest: Semester in Cognitive Science
• Hungary, Budapest: Semester in Math
• Japan, Tokyo
• Scotland, Aberdeen
• Spain, Caceres

*Since all courses are determined by student choice and approved by the chair, and there may be more site options to psychology majors for psychology courses. Please see the CIP if you would like more site information.

Are there only certain classes I can take while I’m abroad? If not, How can I ensure that I can get my credit transferred?

We do not have a specific list of classes that you have to choose from. We encourage students to take classes that they will find interesting.

List of recently transfer classes **

Exercise and Sports Psychology (Australia: Perth)
Introduction to Sexual Attitudes and Values (Australia: Perth)
Child Developmental Psychology (Australia: Perth)
The Psychology of Creativity (Chile: Santiago)
Psychology of Children and Adolescents (Chile: Valparaiso)
Adult Psychology (Chile: Valparaiso)
Emotional Regulation (Ecuador: Quito)
Attraction & Sexuality (Ecuador: Quito)
Personality Theories (Ecuador: Quito)
Social Psychology (Ecuador: Quito)
Psychology of Learning (Ecuador: Quito)
Social Psychology (Germany: Erlangen)
Psychology of Personality (China: Hong Kong)
Social Psychology (China: Hong Kong)
Topics in Cognitive Development (Hungary: Budapest Cogsci)
Topics in Cognitive Development (Hungary: BSM)
Cognitive Psychology (Japan: Tokyo)
Psychological Assessment (Scotland: Aberdeen)
Biological Psychology (Scotland: Aberdeen)
Perception (Scotland: Aberdeen)
Managing Organizations (Scotland: Aberdeen)
Adolescent Psychology and Education (Spain: Caceres)
Artistic Expression in Early Childhood (Spain: Caceres)
Language & Cognition in Child Development (Spain: Caceres)
Early Childhood Development (Spain: Caceres)

** Courses are determined by student choice and approved by the chair, and there may be more options available that students have not previously taken

What if I wanted to take a class that is not on this list?

You can bring the syllabus to our department chair. Once the department chair has looked over the syllabus and made sure the class materials are sufficient to count towards an elective credit. If the chair decides that it can be transferred in then you will have to obtain an individual submission form from the registrar’s office.

Do I need to choose a site that offers Psychology courses?

No. We strongly encourage our students to take their time abroad to add more breadth in their education. You can think about how developing your language skills (Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc) may also complement your psych major and potential post K goals. There are also several programs that include ICRP (Intercultural Projects) and Internships. These will significantly contribute to your job and grad school applications, and also are areas where students could explore psychology related opportunities outside the classroom.

Will I miss out on taking Psychology courses at K while I am abroad?

The majority of classes offered in the Psychology department are offered every year (and sometimes multiple times a year). Being away for one or two quarters will not result in you missing any essential Psychology coursework that you cannot take another term.

However, if you plan to be away in Spring term, you will need to think flexibly about how to complete the two required Methods courses (PSYC 301 and PSYC 390). These two methods courses are typically only offered during spring term each year, and typically psychology majors take PSYC 301 in Spring of sophomore year and take PSYC 390 in Spring of Junior year.

If you plan to be abroad during spring of sophomore year, we recommend that you either take both PSYC 301 and PSYC 390 simultaneously spring of junior year OR take PSYC 301 spring of junior year and PSYC 390 spring of senior year.

If you plan to be abroad during spring of junior year, we recommend that you take PSYC 301 spring of sophomore year and take PSYC 390 spring of senior year. (We do not generally recommend that sophomores take both courses simultaneously, although that is also possible for those planning to be abroad spring of junior year).

Finally, note that to complete a Psychology SIP, we strongly recommend that students complete both PSYC 301 and PSYC 390 by the end of junior year. If you have not completed PSYC 390 by the end of junior year, you may be more limited in terms of possibilities for a Psychology SIP. However, it is possible to do a SIP in Psychology with only having taken PSYC 301. Of course, you can also always complete your SIP in another department.

What does the typical study abroad timeline look like? Is there a different one for student-athletes?

The timeline depends on the length and time period of the program. At this point the CIP has 6 different program lengths/timelines: Short-Term Fall (1qtr) Short-Term, Winter (1qtr) Short-Term, Spring (1qtr) Short-Term, Fall-Winter (2qtr) Long-Term, Winter-Spring (2 qtr) Long-Term, and Extended-Term (full academic year).

Short-Term Fall, both Long-Term, and Extended-Term program applications open for Sophomores during 4th week of Fall quarter, and close during 3rd week of Winter quarter so students have all of the winter break to complete their applications. After the CIP makes decisions, they have invite all students who are not accepted to their first choice program to apply to another program if they wish. Once this second round of apps is completed, they spend Winter and Spring quarters meeting with Sophomores for program orientations to prepare them for the experience abroad, and assist with additional application and visa materials as needed. Students can prepare over the summer, and head out to their sites between July and September, depending on the program. Students participating in Winter-Spring programs will be on campus during the fall and will leave during their junior winter.

Winter Short-Term program applications open during the summer before students return to campus, and they close during 4th week of Fall quarter. This is one of the CIP’s shorter application cycles because the students will depart the quarter following when they apply. Students can participate in winter programs as sophomores or juniors, and can apply in the fall of their sophomore or junior years. Accepted students will spend the end of the fall quarter attending orientations to prepare for their time abroad.

Spring short term program applications open during week 2 Fall quarter, and close during week 8. Students will participate in orientations during the winter quarter, and will leave for their programs during spring break. Students can participate in spring programs as sophomores or juniors, and can apply in the fall of their sophomore or junior years.

Does the CIP offer any funding resources to help with the cost of Study Abroad?

The CIP office has significant funding assistance available for students. These can help cover the costs prior to studying abroad, and those associated with travel while abroad. You are encouraged to come by their office to learn about all of the funding opportunities they have available.

One such program involves assisting students in applying for your passport. They provide pictures free of charge, look over your application materials, and can provide transportation for your appointments.

They also have a fund specifically available to assist students who want to return to their study abroad site for continued research, which is great for students who want to do their SIP in an international environment. This is a great opportunity which few students take advantage of.