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Learning Abroad in Child Psychology

Learning abroad is an excellent way to expand your horizons, build cultural competencies, conduct cross-cultural comparisons in child development, and help you prepare for a career in a global economy. There are many options for you to complete a learning abroad experience in child psychology including: classes, research opportunities, and internships.

Our students have been involved in all types of international experiences and travelled all across the world. From teaching Portuguese in Brazil, to working in an elementary school in Denmark, to volunteering in communities in Israel, to teaching English as a second language in Brazil, there is a learning abroad experience that will meet your interests.

“[Studying abroad] has been a life changing experience. Being [in Italy] for a semester and being fully immersed in a new culture has taught me a lot about myself. When you are here for a longer time you really get to immerse yourself and not just feel like a tourist.” – Kaitlin Oakley

Explore learning abroad opportunities in child psychology.

Directions

Interested in studying abroad soon or just exploring the possibility? Complete a First Step meeting with the Learning Abroad Office.

Be sure to meet with your child psychology adviser Meghan Allen Eliason (alle0335@umn.edu) to discuss how a learning abroad experience might count towards your child psychology degree.

Honors

Your learning abroad experiences may be used to complete an honors requirement. Please speak with your University Honors Adviser for more information about your University Honors Program requirements.

Hear from current students and alumni

Lauren Hindt on a Study Abroad ExperienceLauren Hindt, Class of 2014
Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen, Denmark

In August of 2012, I jetted off to Copenhagen, Denmark to study at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. On the plane, I hyperventilated as I questioned my sanity for choosing to live in a foreign country barely the size of Florida for four months. I was immediately put at ease as I met my gracious host family and began my adventure with a dip in the Baltic Sea.

I soon learned that I loved Denmark, the Danes, the language, and everything about the country and its culture, especially hygge. Hygge is a sentiment of complete relaxation and contentedness that encompasses one’s entire being. Hygge causes one to feel as if there is nowhere else in the world she or he would rather be. Danes seek hygge in their lives through short workdays to assure that they can spend precious time with their families, in cozy, tiny homes filled with candles and void of materialistic nuisances, and by making delectable cuisine to enjoy at a dinner that lasts for three hours.

One place in which I always felt hygge was working at a forest kindergarten with my Danish youngsters. Forest kindergartens are similar to American preschools, but held in the forest everyday, no matter the weather. The teachers have no lesson plan; they allow learning to flow naturally with the breathtaking Danish forest as the classroom. The kids take risks, climb trees, eat dirt, and dive into mud pools. I noticed that the children of the forest kindergarten demonstrate superior motor skills, never complain of boredom, and maintain minimal stress levels. The adults treat the children as equals and encourage the youth to live in the present moment rather than prepare for the impending future. My experiences with hygge and the forest kindergarten will stay in my heart forever.

I will never forget interacting with the joyful, dirt-smeared children amidst the scenic forest or spending hygge-filled nights with my delightful host family sipping tea in the dim of candlelight. Studying abroad proves a life-changing experience: allowing me to feel what it means to live for hygge; form friendships with Danish children among a forest backdrop; surf the Atlantic Ocean in the Portuguese air; tromp around medieval Estonia; float in the canals of Stockholm, Sweden; gorge myself at a Christmas market in Lübeck, Germany; delve into the history of Auschwitz, Poland; view the breathtaking coast of Ireland; revel in the beauty of Copenhagen, and learn a complex new language. Jeg elsker Danmark!

Kaitlin Oakley on a Study Abroad ExperienceKaitlin Oakley, B.A. in Child Psychology, Minor in Sociology
Spring 2015, Junior Year, Italy

In which program did you participate?

My program was not affiliated through the U, however I really liked the program I chose. It is called "Three cities semester program" through LdM (Lorenzo de Medici) through Austin, Texas. However, I am getting my transcript through Marist College. The three cities program is a semester long program in Italy where you spend 5 weeks in 3 different Italian cities. Tuscania, which is a small village north of Rome, Rome, and Venice. However, if you study in the fall the last city is Florence not Venice.

What was the most memorable experience from your time learning abroad?

So far my favorite thing has been all of the history. I am not a history person but when you are in class learning about Etruscan tombs, the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and Saint Marks Basilica and then the class goes to those places for a field trip the next day, it is pretty remarkable.

How did the program connect to your academic, career and personal interests?

I’m taking history and Italian language while abroad. While it does not count towards my major, it does fulfill Liberal Education requirements. I absolutely love child psychology and the classes I have taken so far, but it is nice to have a break and learn about something completely different than what I'm used to. It has broadened my knowledge and I truly have learned so much while abroad!

If you were to give advice to a student considering studying abroad, what would it be?

Do it!! I recommend a semester vs. a winter or may term just because a few weeks really are not enough. It has been a life changing experience. Being here for a semester and being fully immersed in a new culture has taught me a lot about myself. When you are here for a longer time you really get to immerse yourself and not just feel like a tourist. You also get to travel on the weekends and experience new countries and cultures. It has really just shown me how much of the world I haven't seen and how beautiful our earth is. I will definitely be traveling for the rest of my life and even more just in Minnesota and the United States.

Monica Goodman on a Study Abroad ExperienceMonica Goodman
Spring 2015, Junior Year, University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy

In which program did you participate?

I enrolled in Italian language courses at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy. Students come here from all over the world to learn Italian. I took three semesters of Italian before I came, but many students here come without ever having studied Italian before.

What was the most memorable experience from your time learning abroad?

Every time there was a holiday or special occasion, my host mom would cook a huge dinner and invite me to eat with them. The food was always amazing, and it was a great way for me to practice my Italian. I had two housemates from China and one from Australia, so our conversations were always really interesting, especially when we had to translate something from Chinese to English, and then to Italian!

How did the program connect to your academic, career and personal interests?

I mostly came to Italy because of personal interests, although I am also completing my language proficiency requirement. My mother’s family is from southern Italy, and ever since I met my Italian relatives, I wanted to learn Italian so I could communicate with them. Now, I am considering minoring in Italian!

If you were to give advice to a student considering studying abroad, what would it be?

Studying abroad is a great way to complete your language proficiency requirement. Look into the Language Intensive Programs offered by the U. Or, if you are particularly adventurous, consider an Exchange Program, where you enroll at a university abroad for a semester. Some Exchange Programs have cheaper tuition than the University of Minnesota!

Institute of Child Development Sponsored Program
CPsy 5996: English Language Acquisition Methods in Brazil (Learning Abroad)

Teaching young children in Brazil

Students will gain exposure to the challenges of teaching and learning English in the rapidly developing country of Brazil. In partnership with a model private school in Feira de Santana, a city 1.5 hours north of Salvador, students will co-teach in an early childhood, elementary or junior high classroom. How the country balances its economic growth while providing services like education to its citizens is an ongoing challenge we will consider.

Learn more about this unique experience.

Hear from students:

Want to see more? Check out what students are saying about directed research, field study, learning abroad, and their careers after graduation.

Questions?

Contact Meghan Allen Eliason at alle0335@umn.edu.