What is your lecturer doing this summer? Combining travel and teaching

For students, travelling is usually something to look forward to in the uni break. It’s often simply too hard in Session 1 and 2, when so much time and organisation is needed and missing class is tricky (not to mention the cost). But what if there was a way you could travel and study at the same time?

This will soon become reality for students enrolled in CSU Psychology International Experience, as they jet off to the cities of Macau and Hong Kong in January next year.

Associate Professor, Graham Tyson from CSU’s School of Psychology is coordinating the trip, which is one of CSU Global’s many programs of international travel and study experiences.

Professor Tyson said, “The trip to Macau and Hong Kong is part of a subject called Psychology International Experience, and the purpose is to make psychology students aware of the importance of socio-cultural context on human behaviour.

“In other words, how culture and the environment in which we grow up influences human behaviour.” Students will attend lectures at the University of Macau, and visit a psychiatric hospital and juvenile detention centre. This will allow students to understand what it’s like to grow up in a different culture.

“Macau is a special administrative region of China, so it has a strong Chinese cultural influence. It’s also unique as it used to be a Portuguese colony, so it has an overlay of Portuguese history, making a mould of the two cultures” Graham said.

“The students will get to experience a completely different situation. Actually being there to witness the culture is extremely different to simply reading about it or watching a movie.

“They’ll spend a lot of time interacting with local students and even students from mainland China. So they’ll learn a lot about their lifestyle and views of the world.

“It’s hard to measure the outcomes of these overseas experiences as the benefits are subtle and intangible. But based on past visits and student feedback, it’s been extremely beneficial.

“For psychology students, this trip is particularly important. If they go on to become a psychologist, they’ll have a better of understanding of the people they’re dealing with if they understand the environment in which they grew up” Graham said.