PSYCH 417A: Psychology and Developing Societies

When applying please note your preference for the PSYCH 417A program.

Want to hear from past participants? Read the Psych 417A Blog!

Last Year’s PSYC 417A Syllabus

Program overview

PSYCH 417A has multiple components.

*Students must be physically present for the on campus portions of PSCH 417A program

Pre-departure overview

The pre-departure learning program is designed to prepare you for an international service learning placement. This will include:

  1. Pre-departure learning sessions taking place over the academic term leading up to departure
  2. Creation of a learning and development plan
  3. Participant-led events/ presentations
  4. Facilitated meetings with your placement team to explore learning topics

Course overview

Psychology and Developing Societies is a three-credit undergraduate course designed to 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 learning in the classroom to the ‘real world’ through an International Service Learning placement in with a community partner organization; organizations may be located in Kenya, Uganda or other countries where ISL community partners are located.

This course will be taught by Dr. Sunaina Assanand.

Click here to read from the Psych 417A Blog!

Placement overview

As a part of the PSYCH 417A course, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement.   Specific placements will be announced in Spring 2016.

Below are past examples of PSYCH417A placements that have been located in Uganda:

Uganda – Disability Education Support (Program assessment): Students have worked with a school for the deaf which is focused on a positive learning environment and the healthy development of students.  The school is based in Kitengesa in western Uganda.  Students were involved in assessing the impact of student education on stigma towards the deaf and the relationship to healthy child development.  Students worked alongside staff to collect and analyze findings in addition to performing other duties to contribute to the strengthening of school activities.

Uganda – Adolescent Youth Programming (Program evaluation): Students have worked alongside staff at a national HIV/AIDS NGO. This placement will took place in Soroti in eastern Uganda and included working collaboratively with staff to conduct a mid-point assessment of programming for adolescent youth. This was done to understand if interventions are reaching desired outcomes. This evaluation of the programming assisted in further informing upcoming programing developments. Students also worked closely with staff to evaluate group support programming in order to further strengthen this area of programming.

Read about a past student’s experience of participating in Psychology 417A in 2015

Living environment

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

Post-placement overview

You will participate in post-placement activities in September – October 2016, including:

  • Full day re-entry debrief in September 2016
  • Return Seminar and final course work in September 2016
  • Presentation at a public engagement event in October 2016

Program cost

The cost* of this program may be offset by the ARA award. Please see details below for eligibility information. The costs below are per student and yet to be fully determined, but will be within the following ranges:

Full program fee Fee with 70% ARA funding
Uganda $3,860- $4,000 $1,158 – $1,200
Kenya $4,025 $1,207.50

Placements may be in other countries where ISL community partners are located and fees will be confirmed in this case.

The program cost includes:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions at UBC
  • Room and board
  • Transportation from the airport to your placement site.
  • Orientation in host country
  • In-session debrief and workshop
  • Reflection materials
  • Community partner management fee
  • Project management fee

*Fees may be adjusted before offer. Program costs vary primarily due to cost of living expenses per country and region. 

Additional Information:

  • All expenses not covered in program costs are the responsibility of the student. Costs not included are course tuition, airfare*, visas, vaccinations, local transportation while in country, transportation from project site back to the airport at the end of the placement, personal items and daily incidentals.* Students who successfully obtain the ARA award will receive an approved flight award up to a predetermined maximum depending on the location.  (For example ISL students travelling to Kenya have received $1400 CAD towards the flight in the past).

Program dates

Date Activity
April 24, 2016 Program application is open and will close when full.  Few remaining spaces.  Applications will be considered in the order they are received until a final deadline of April 24, 2016.
April – May 2016 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions  (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
Note: The first session is in the evening on April 29, 2016.  All accepted applicants are required to attend.
Late April* – May 2016 Psychology 417A course seminar (*note that seminars may begin as early as mid-March and will extend through the month of May 2016)
June – August 2016 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBC)
September 2016 PSYCH 417A Course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact dates tbc)
September – October 2016 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and public engagement conference

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

The following dates have been identified for pre-departure learning sessions.  Please note that all accepted applicants will need to attend these mandatory sessions: Friday April 29, Monday May 2, and Monday May 16 in addition to other meetings to be scheduled.

Selection process and dates

Once you submit your application, the application will be reviewed. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview on one of the scheduled dates. After interviews, you will be notified of a decision; successful candidates will be sent an offer letter with further details on the program and detailed instructions on how to accept. You will have approximately one week after receiving the offer letter to accept and pay a program deposit. Your selection into the ISL program includes meeting eligibility requirements, as well as your initial application and your performance in the interview.

Don’t wait to apply, limited spaces exist!

Arts Research Abroad (ARA) Award Eligibility

Students in this course are eligible to be assessed for the ARA award. This award is granted to the top academic performers in the program, who meet all eligibility criteria. Decisions of who will be awarded the ARA funding will be made after selection for the program has been completed. Limited numbers of ARA awards are available.  All students will be assessed automatically for the award. No separate application is necessary.

The ARA award will offset up to 70% of the cost (including flight). In cases of demonstrated financial need (determined by Enrolment Services), ARA may fund up to 100% of the program costs and flight.

To meet the minimum requirements for ARA funding for PSYC417a, you must:

  • Be a third- or fourth-year Faculty of Arts student
  • Be based at the Vancouver campus
  • Be enrolled in a qualifying major for the course (Arts Psychology Major)
  • Have a minimum of 70% in the top 24 credits of the previous academic year (2014-2015)*
    • Priority will be given to students that have 75% in the top 27 credits of the previous academic year (2014-2015)
  • Be enrolled in 24 credits in the Winter Session (2015-2016) prior to the program