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College of Saint Mary Offers Study Abroad Opportunities


Betsy Foltz ’19 M’20 loves to travel and explore what other countries have to offer. So, when the College of Saint Mary psychology department offered a chance to study abroad, she took it.

In 2018, Foltz traveled with classmates and professors Drs. Becky Hoss and Molly Mahoney to Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic to study the origin and history of psychology. Foltz said she gained a more worldly understanding during the trip.

“I also think I gained more of an appreciation for my bilingual and multilingual peers as being overseas in a foreign country where you do not understand the language is very anxiety driving,” she said. “I can greatly see the value of learning another language and how largely that opens your views and opportunities.”

CSM offers students two forms of study abroad: faculty-led trips or semester-long or summer trips using a provider.

Faculty-led trips typically take 10-14 days during spring, fall or winter breaks. Previous trips include Spain, Peru, Germany, Austria, England, Scotland, India, China and the Dominican Republic.

Trips are attached to a class, allowing the students to apply what they’ve learned. Costs include airfare and accommodations. Some scholarships may be available. Faculty pair with a study abroad provider who tends to the logistics of the trip and provides a guide.

“It’s very safe,” said Dr. Pamela Humphrey, associate dean for arts, sciences and professional studies and coordinator of the study abroad program.

Foltz’s trip was tied to the History and Applications of Psychology class. “We focus on psychology’s application to World War II and the Holocaust,” Dr. Mahoney said. “So, we also take students to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. We spend a day there and various historical sites related to World War II and the Nazis. A lot of social psychology theory and research looks at why people do what they do and what leads to that evil.”

Madaline Angel ’21 was moved by the trip. “I had the ability to experience and learn about different cultures, and it made me appreciate different areas of the world,” she said. “It was also very humbling. We visited many sites and areas that experienced a lot of conflict in the past, so it was a humbling experience to be in those places and learn more about what happened.”

Students can also choose to spend a semester abroad or several weeks during the summer using a provider. Providers affiliated with CSM include Academic Studies Abroad, American Institute for Foreign Study, API, Best Semester, CAPA, Central College Abroad, CISabroad, International Studies Abroad, and Worldstrides.

The semester abroad costs more. However, a $2,500 scholarship is available through CSM.

Foltz encouraged current CSM students to take the opportunity to travel and study abroad. “This trip will forever be something that I look back on fondly. It was such a great opportunity to see the sites, homes of the philosophers, and origins of thought in person -- something that truly does not correlate the same through the text,” she said. “It was also a great experience to be able to explore outside The United States in a controlled and safe environment with professors who truly cared about our well-being but also wanted us to experience being abroad fully.” 

Upcoming planned trips include the Dominican Republic and Ireland for nursing students, India with Dr. Ganesh Naik, Austria and Germany with the psychology department.

For students who are not able or don’t want to travel abroad, CSM also offers study-away opportunities that involve exploring different cultures within the U.S. Upcoming courses with trips include Old Man River, which explores cultures along the Mississippi River, and a study-away trip sponsored by the Spanish program to explore Hispanic cultures within the U.S.


By Leeanna Ellis