I began my graduate career at University of Baltimore in the counseling program in spring 2016. I transferred into the Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Psychology program the following semester and was informed of the study abroad program after speaking with the department chair, Prof. Thomas Mitchell. Prof. Sharon Glazer, who heads the study abroad programs, holds an information session for all interested students in August every year. During this session, you learn all about the programs offered, hear from students who have previously attended, and learn about the application process.
There is just too much to even try to create one take-away from the trips. Professionally, it helped me to understand the intricacies of globalization and the differences between cultures. Personally, I grew so much. It really opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, and, as all travel does, made me feel very small (in a good way). It was truly an eye-opening experience. I got to network globally and created life-long bonds with the students in my cohort.
We arrived in Barcelona, Spain on a Friday and had the weekend to explore the city, with a dinner for the Baltimore students planned by Prof. Glazer. During the week, we attended several site visits to companies in the area to learn about their structure and functioning, to guest lecturers from Barcelona and elsewhere, and had class Monday through Friday with the Barcelona students.
The students were part of the European Work, Organizational, and Personnel Psychology (WOP-P) program. This is very similar to what the industrial and organizational psychology field of study is in the U.S. This experience was cross-cultural. Most students were from Spain, but many were from other parts of the world as well, including Italy, Venezuela, etc.
Bayonne began virtually; we were introduced to the Bayonne students via email and began getting to know them through prompt scenarios provided by Prof. Glazer. We were put into groups that consisted of two to three Baltimore students and two to three Bayonne students. We all kept in touch via social media and text before arriving in Bayonne. During this time, the Baltimore students were tasked with writing up a contextualization of the leisure industry through an I-O lens, and the Bayonne students did the same through a business lens.
For both trips, we studied the textbook Images of Organization, which helped me to get the internship that I have now and has set me up for a career in organization development. Without these trips and that book, I would not be where I am today. This is such an amazing experience that you just don't get at other schools. It is affordable, you can do it while working full-time (I did!), and you truly immerse yourself in not only the studies, but also the culture. It is a whirlwind and absolutely worth every second!
Reichardt is a third-year Industrial and Organizational Psychology major in the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.