This two-week study abroad course offers a deep dive into clinical psychology with a unique perspective that incorporates the latest research from positive psychology. We will explore the traditional deficit-based approaches to mental illness as well as the modern, strength-based approaches. We will also explore Mental Health Care across different cultures specifically in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague including trips to different health care facilities in each city.
While exploring the beautiful and historical city of Budapest, we first review core concepts in the study of psychopathology, including what distinguishes adaptive functioning from a mental disorder. We take a deep dive into the most common mental health disorders: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders such as PTSD, and schizophrenia.
We then travel to Vienna, a place some refer to as the birthplace of modern psychology and psychotherapy. Vienna is rich with psychological history, a place once home to the greats of early psychology -- Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Otto Rank. After students learn foundational concepts of mental illness, we shift our focus to a strengths-based approach to mental health and review research on the positive emotions, meaning and purpose in life, and social relationships. We review works of yet another Austrian native, Victor Frankl, to take a deep dive into human suffering and how people develop a profound sense of meaning through adversity.
We end our trip in the city of Prague, where we tie in research on each areas of well-being among people diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, and trauma-related disorders. We highlight often overlooked findings that not all people with mental illness are devoid of well-being
- Integration of classroom and experiential learning will facilitate open communication around varying historical approaches to mental health, foster reflections about their personal beliefs, biases, and stigmas about mental illness, and encourage the pursuit of novel experiences that increase their own levels of flourishing.
- Educational field trips including Budapest's Parliaments buildings, Buda Castle, House of Terror Museum, cruise on the Danube, Vienna's State Opera House, Sigmund Freud's childhood home and the Sigmund Freud Museum, Viktor Frankl Museum, Schonbrunn Palace, Prague's Museum of Communism, Prague Castle, Charles bridge, the Jewish Museum and various health care facilities in each city.
All undergraduate students are welcome to apply including students who do not attend George Mason University. Minimum 2.25 GPA.
Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.
- PSYC 325: Abnormal Psychology
- PSYC 461: Special Topics: Abnormal Psych & Well-being
- INTS 399: Study Abroad
Late May - Early June
||Arrival in Budapest. City tour and welcome dinner.
||Morning Field Trip: Budapest center walking tour
Afternoon Field Trip: Visit Buda Castle and District walking tour
Evening - Welcome Dinner
||Morning - Meet with local practitioner to discuss mental health in Budapest
Afternoon - Visit Parliament Buildings
Evening - Free
||Morning - (GMU Led) Lecture
Afternoon - Terror House Museum - Hero Square & City Park
Evening - Waterpolo Game* Subject to league schedule
||Morning - Free
Afternoon - Centre Hot Springs
Evening - Cruise on Danube
||Morning - Mental Health Care Provision in Hungary & Visit to Community Clubhouse
Afternoon - Free
Evening - Free
||Morning - Early Transfer to Vienna and Check-in
Afternoon - City Bus tour in Vienna
Evening - Free
||Morning - Lecture (GMU Led)
Afternoon - Visit the Vienna State Opera House
Evening - Free
||Morning - Visit Sigmund Freud's childhood home and the Sigmund Freud Museum
Afternoon - Visit the Viktor Frankl Museum
Evening - Workshop & Social evening with local University Psychology students**
||Morning - Visit Schönbrunn Palace
||Morning - Transfer to Prague (Early Train departure) & Check-in
Afternoon - Museum of Communism Visit City Bus Tour & Intro to the History, Culture & Language of the Czech Republic & City Centre
Evening - Free
||Morning - Visit Prague Castle and Charles Bridge
Afternoon - Charity shop and workshop centre for disabled community in Prague Visit Reflection Workshop (GMU Led)
Evening - Free
||Morning - Jewish Ghetto walk, Jewish Museum
Afternoon - Free
Evening - Farewell Dinner
||Morning - Check-out & Airport Transfer
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Summer 2019: $3,850
Summer 2020: TBD
Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations, entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary, some breakfasts, some group meals, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.
*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.
Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 22, 2020. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.
Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 19, 2020. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."
Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.
For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
March 8, 2020
Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.