PSYC 417A: Psychology and Developing Societies

Program Overview

Applications are now closed.

Eligibility Criteria

This program is open to all Faculty of Arts Psychology majors and minors who have completed 2nd year (54 credits) by May 2018 as well as have completed 6 credits of 300-level psychology course work.

PSYC 417A has multiple components

  • Pre-departure learning program from January – April 2018
  • Seminars run on campus in May 2018
  • 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement from late May – August 2018
  • Return seminar and final coursework on campus in September 2018
  • Re-entry debrief and International Development Symposium on campus in September – October 2018

Course Description

Psychology 417A – Psychology and Developing Societies is a 3 credit course that will introduce students to the application of psychology to global development initiatives.  Students will explore the diverse contributions that psychologists may make to global development and examine topics that foster cultural sensitivity and respectful collaboration in diverse cultural contexts.  Students will relate their classroom learning to the “real- world” through an international service learning placement in Uganda or Kenya.  Students’ field placements will be organized and facilitated by staff at UBC’s Office of Regional and International Community Engagement.

Placement Descriptions

As a part of PSYC 417A, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. Specific placements will be announced in February-March 2018. Placements go from late May – August 2018. Below are examples of placements previously offered to students in the course:


Community Development through HIV/AIDS Programs and Services

Our community partner, The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), was founded in 1987 to contribute to the process of HIV prevention, education, support, and eradication.  Students will work in a TASO regional office on a project that emphasizes partnerships needed for the development and mobilization of programs related to HIV/AIDS. Interns will work closely with TASO staff to develop tools and communication strategies that can be implemented to reduce the behavioural risks related to substance abuse, HIV, STIs, and unwanted pregnancies in Uganda’s youth. They will also be involved in developing youth-accessible social support models.


Community Health & Wellbeing – Evaluation and Implementation

Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is based in the neighborhood of Kibera in Nairobi and exists to develop local leaders, catalyse positive social change and alleviate poverty in Kibera.  Driven by local needs, CFK programming advance health, education, ethnic cooperation, gender equality and economic empowerment and equip leaders with tools to strengthen the community. Interns will evaluate Binti Pamoja’s (Daughters United) programs in the form of Safe Spaces and Core Program.  Following from a previous survey conducted in 2009, which comprehensively investigated Binti’s level of functioning at the time, the current project is intended to bring up-to-date monitoring and evaluating procedures for the program.  The current research, adapted from that conducted in 2009, highlights key areas of Binti’s programming, such as sexual and reproductive health, financial literacy, relationships, self-esteem, and gender norms.  Interns will work with CFK staff on the design, implementation and analysis of the study.

Living Environment

In Uganda and Kenya you will live with host families in modest conditions. In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement.

Program Dates

Date Activity
Now – January 21st, 2018 Program application is open and will close when full. Applications will be considered in the order they are received.
Jan – Apr 2018 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
May 2018 PSYC 417A course
May – Aug 2018 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBA)
Sep 2018 PSYC 417A course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact dates TBA)
Sep – Oct 2018 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and International Development Symposium.

**Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Program Costs

The cost* of this program may be funded by the ARA award. Please see the Awards & Eligibility section below for more information. The costs below are per student and are yet to be fully determined, but will be within the following ranges.

Location Full Program Fee Fee with 70% ARA funding
Uganda $3,900 – $4,400 $1,170 – $1,320
Kenya $3,900 – $4,400 $1,170 – $1,320

Students applying for the ARA award through PSYC 417A must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those listed under the Arts Research Abroad section.

  • Be enrolled as a Psychology major in the Faculty of Arts.
  • Have completed 6 credits of 300 or 400 level PSYC courses.