Study Abroad

students with elephantGerman CityPhoto of student in Ireland

The College of Charleston has a number of study abroad programs which offer psychology courses and transferable credits. These include semester programs and summer programs, some of which are run by faculty within the Department of Psychology.

Below are study abroad programs currently being offered. Due to ongoing international travel restrictions some programs have been suspended, but are provided below as past examples of our offerings that may return in the future.

For more information on the variety of study abroad programs available check out the Center for International Education where you can search their program listing by geographical area and program types.

Study Abroad Programs 

Florence, Italy

Course Director: Dr. Susan Simonian (Psychology) 

Location & Dates: Florence, Italy during Summer I term June 5th - June 30th, 2023

Students will take one of the following courses: 

CHLI650: Special Topics in Child Life: Cross-cultural Issues in Pediatric Psychosocial Care 

PSYC410: Special Topics in Cross-cultural Influences: Child and Parent Interactions and Behaviors

Students will live in center of Florence for an entire month with an integrated trip to Rome and optional trip to Assisi and other smaller Tuscan towns. Both courses will explore the rich history and current focus on child welfare of the Ospedale Degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents). In the 1400’s, Florence was the center of the civilized world, with tremendous advancements in the arts, science, and architecture. Ruled by the prosperous Medici family, wealth abounded- but only for a select class. Slavery was also a facet of life in Florence, as was severe poverty. Florence faced a crisis of hundreds of abandoned and orphaned babies, referred to as the “foundlings“. Responsibility for caring for these children was given to the “Arte Della Seta“ (Silk Guild), one of the most rich and powerful guilds in Florence. They built the first facility dedicated specifically to the care of abandoned children-the first orphanage. Opened in 1445, the Ospedale Degli Innocenti remains in its original form in the center of Florence. Still evident is the “turnstile” style door where a mother was able to leave her baby without being seen by those inside. Above the door, a statue of Mary points down to indicate the appropriate drop off point. Mothers often split items such as a coin or beads threaded on shreds of material, and left half attached to a necklace on the infant being given up, with the hope that perhaps one day she could be reunited with her child. Ospedale Degli Innocenti cared for over 375,000 children over five centuries and continues to advocate for the caravan and children worldwide today. It is also a headquarters for UNICEF and an educational center dedicated to child welfare in Italy and worldwide.

If interested, please contact the course director Dr. Susan Simonian for more details!

University of Bremen, Germany Summer Research Assistant Positions in Psychology

Course Directors: Dr. Mike Ruscio (Psychology)

Location & Dates: Bremen, Germany  Typically 8-10 weeks; possibly going forward in Summer 2022, but TBD

In partnership with the University of Bremen in Germany, we are offering summer internships in psychology for CofC students. These are designed as 8-10 week experiences, engaging in full time research in dynamic laboratories at the University of Bremen. These research experiences are designed for upper level psychology students who have completed relevant course work in psychology including psych 211 and 220 (or 250), and upper level courses germane to the laboratory of interest. Applicants to this program should have a Psych GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants should contact Dr. Ruscio to inquire about particular lab openings for a given summer.  Students are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Ruscio prior to any application deadlines (by the end of the fall semester or earlier) as statements of interest should be tailored to a specific lab (pending availability in the lab for the coming summer).

For more information please contact Dr. Mike Ruscio.

Neuroscience Study Abroad in Germany

Course Directors: Dr. Chris Korey (Biology) & Dr. Mike Ruscio (Psychology)

Location & Dates: Summer 2023, TBD 

Neuroscience Seminar in Germany is a summer study abroad program for undergraduate students, which emphasizes the international nature of neuroscience research and the collaborative educational opportunities that are possible in today’s scientific community.  Registration for the course will be through the College of Charleston.  The course content will focus on current topics in neuroscience research while taking advantage of the historical lens Germany provides to examine the origins of our knowledge about nervous system function.  We will be hosted by two German universities: Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU) in Munich and Charité Medical University in Berlin. Both universities are members of the German Graduate Schools of Neuroscience (GSN).

For more information please contact Dr. Chris Korey & Dr. Mike Ruscio.

London, England

Course Directors: Dr. Chad Galuska (Psychology) 

Location & Dates: London, England June 12th - July 15th, 2023

Psyched in London! Historical and Current Contributions of British Psychologists (Psychology 499ca, 6 hours)

This course provides advanced coverage in selected domain areas in psychology - including clinical, developmental, industrial-organizational, neuroscience, personality, social, and statistics - with a focus on the contributions of British psychologists, philosophers, neuroscientists, and other great thinkers. Students will read from the primary literature and write a research paper on a selected topic. Planned excursions to accompany course material include the Freud Museum, the University of Oxford, and Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital.

If interested, please contact the course instructor Dr. Chad Galuska for more details!

Previous Study Abroad Programs

Due to ongoing international travel restrictions some programs have been suspended, but are provided below as examples of our previous offerings that may return in the future.

Cambodia and Vietnam

Course Director: Dr. Jen Cole Wright (Psychology) 

Location & Dates: Cambodia & Vietnam + 3 days volunteering at the Elephant Valley Project, typically mid-May - mid-June (5 weeks); will not be offered in 2022, but may return in 2023.

Travel to Southeast Asia for a month-long exploration of different cultures, past and present. This study abroad program includes courses such as PSYC Emerging from Violence: Trauma and Post-Traumatic Growth, and (PSYC or ENVT) The Psychology of Social Change. In addition to regular coursework, you will design and carry out your own research project during the trip. These credit hours will count towards the 12 credit hours of individualized training required for Departmental Honors.

If interested, please contact the course director Dr. Jen Cole Wright for more details!

Rwanda and Uganda

Course Directors: Dr. Jen Cole Wright (Psychology) & Dr. Meg Goettsches  (African Studies/Women's & Gender Studies)

Location & Dates: Rwanda & Uganda, July-August (5 weeks); will not be offered in 2022, but may return in 2023.

This study abroad program includes courses PSYC or AFST Emerging from Violence: The Consequences of Conflict and Trauma, and either PSYC or ENVT: The Psychology of Social Change, or AFST or WGST: Negotiating Resources and Gender in Changing Civic Spaces. In addition to regular coursework, you will work with non-profit organizations in Rwanda and Uganda!

If interested, please contact the course directors Dr. Jen Cole Wright & Dr. Meg Goettsches for more details!


Ireland: Irish Studies Summer Study Abroad

Course Directors: Dr. Joseph Kelly (English), Dr. Mike Ruscio (Psychology), and other faculty TBA

Location & Dates: Ireland, Typically June.

This summer study abroad program features classes in Psychology, English, Irish & Irish American Studies, Humanities, Business Management, and Hospitality and Tourism Management.  Each student can choose 2 courses to complete during the program, and a full list of course descriptions are available on the Irish Study Abroad Blog.

Dr. Mike Ruscio (Psychology) will be offering PSYC 315: Evolution of Human Behavior during this study aborad. For questions about PSYC 315 during this study abroad please contact  Dr. Mike Ruscio, and for questions about the program in general please contact Dr. Joseph Kelly (English)