Through the Psychology Abroad program, I got the opportunity to visit London, England; Munich, Nuremberg, and Würzburg, Germany; and Vienna, Austria. Although English is spoken in London, I experienced culture shock. From what I experienced through my time in London, their way of living is quite different, and it took me about 3 days to get comfortable and get the hang of the use of their public transportation. I really enjoyed and appreciated the free time our professors gave us to explore the city on our own because this gave me the opportunity to put myself in London’s lifestyle. I especially did this when we toured Birmingham University, which was one of the tours I was most excited about. It was interesting to learn about the graduate school’s application process and how it differs from U.S. graduate school’s application process. We listened to three graduate students from the university. They spoke to us about their experience at Birmingham University which gave me a better understanding of what graduate school is like in the UK. This day trip to the university was very insightful because it helped me envision what my graduate school experience could be like in the UK.
I also enjoyed and learned a lot from the museum trips. More specifically, the Sigmund Freud museums and the Viktor Frankl Museum. I was most excited about the Sigmund Freud Museum because of the significant impact his work has had in the psychology field. I feel very grateful to have visited both of his homes, one in London and the other in Vienna. It was thrilling to see his iconic couch which he would use during his sessions with his patients. I also enjoyed learning more about his personal life and about his daughter, Anna Freud, and her impact on the psychology field. The Viktor Frankl Museum in Austria was a very interactive and hands-on experience which I appreciated. It made the learning experience much more enjoyable and engaging.
In all three countries, I experienced culture shock. I found Germany and Austria to be more similar to each other than London. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed all three countries. London was my favorite city to visit and explore. This may be because we simply had more days to venture out in London. I loved that there was always something to do. Although we would spend all day walking to new places and trying new foods, I still feel like there is so much I have yet to see. This only excites me for my future travel plans to Europe. Germany was very different than London, but I also enjoyed it, especially Nuremberg. We visited the famous imperial castle there which was where we spent most of our first morning in that city. We also walked up the tower which led us to the beautiful view of many houses in Nuremberg. This is what I feel made Nuremberg so special. Although it is still in Germany, it is different from Munich and Würzburg. We had two days in Austria, and although there was little time to explore on our own, all the places we did see were beautiful. The architecture in Austria is magnificent and truly breathtaking. I enjoyed that as we walked around Vienna, our tour guide would give us the history of the buildings. It was amazing to learn that many buildings were built during different times with different architectural styles, but they now complement each other.
I chose this Psychology Abroad course because I had high expectations that I would not only learn material pertaining to psychology, but that I would have a life-changing experience that would open my eyes to a new perspective of different cultures. This trip did exactly that for me. Additionally, I knew the professors that were leading the trip which motivated me more to pursue this program. I learned so much about widely known psychologists, the amazing campus at Birmingham University, and various educational and exciting tours, all while submerging myself into new cultures and experiences. As this was the last course I will have taken at UTC, I am so grateful to end my undergraduate experience with an unforgettable memory.
Amy Hernandez (BS Psychology) spent Summer 2022 in England, Germany, and Austria as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Amy had the following to say about study abroad, “Studying abroad at UTC is an opportunity to see another part of the world, experience new adventures, and meet amazing people, all while taking a course that interests you. Future study abroad students should prepare for their experience saving up early and packing wisely!”