PragueWeek-Long Study Tour | Psychology Program

Required Course(s)
Positive Psychology

The week-long Study Tour to Prague forms an integral part of the Positive Psychology curriculum as it allows you to see how theories learned in the classroom can be applied in various situations and across cultures.

Up until 1989, the Czech Republic was still a part of the communist ‘Eastern Block.’ The country is unique, in that it underwent the non-violent ‘Velvet Revolution,’ which resulted in political change.  Today, it is recognized as the first former member of the ‘Eastern Block’ to achieve the status of a ‘developed country’ based on its economic growth and democratic change and is considered one of the most peaceful countries in Europe.

Research based on political changes in Europe has shown that evidence of strong democracy and political transparency are associated with increased psychological well-being.  In spite of that research, however, the Czech population has rated their life satisfaction and subjective well-being as lower than average, whereas Denmark has ranked as number one. You will use the Czech Republic as a comparative study to explore the historical and current reasons for this discrepancy. Through lectures, interviews, and meeting with researchers and practitioners, you will investigate how topics within positive psychology are examined in a country whose citizens have experienced both communism and being part of the modern day EU.

To help you contextualize your studies and further understand Czech culture, you will visit museums, historic sites, and cultural landmarks.

Tour Objectives

  • Explore the differences in well-being between the Czech Republic and Denmark, and investigate why these differences exist
  • Understand how varying socio-political structures may impact the experience of well-being
  • Gain insight into aspects of Czech history and culture, and explore the foundations and important traits of the Czech nation

Possible Activities

  • Conduct a 'Random Acts of Kindness' exercise on the streets of Prague with local Czech students
  • Visit the Czech National Institute of Public Health to gain insight into how the Czech Republic stands on various parameters of well-being
  • Visit the Bohnice Mental Hospital to study the varied and alternative ways of facilitating well-being of hospital residents