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January in Paris & Amsterdam: Youth & Society and Positive Psychology

The Louvre
Amsterdam Canal


Program Overview:

Explore the beautiful cities of Paris & Amsterdam while learning about youth and psychology.  Guided by Professors Darlene Piña (Sociology) and Emily Merryweather (Psychology), students will have first-hand experiences with youth culture as well as opportunities to examine the history and culture of these important locations. 

For students enrolling in Sociology, Youth & Society, you will:

  • Study the social position of youth in Dutch & French society, both past and present
  • Examine the institutions that socialize and control youth, including government, education, and employment
  • Learn about youth subcultures and immigrant experiences
  • Observe Dutch & French customs for youth regarding friendship, dating, and family relationships
  • Discover the roles media, pop culture, and technology play in the lives of Dutch & French youth
  • Analyze European youth social movements and political participation

For students enrolling in Positive Psychology:

This course will emphasize the study of Positive Psychology around four distinct areas as they relate to well-being: resilience, cultural identity, spirituality, and community engagement. In order to emphasize the four pillars of the course, students will participate in activities and tours that connect them to the people of France and the Netherlands through their unique cultures with food tastings, walking tours, and cultural site visits.

Positive Psychology students will:

  • Study Dutch & French culture, traditions, celebrations & customs
  • Learn about the importance of food, fashion and art in daily Parisian life
  • Observe Dutch & French cultures through their charming streets, bookstores and literary cafes in well-preserved historic city centers
  • Discover how artists, writers, actors, musicisans and exiles found Paris and Amsterdam to be a gathering place for creative people

Program Excursions:


  • Attend lectures by local experts on topics related to youth subcultures and immigrant groups in Amsterdam & Paris as well as Dutch & French social, economic, and educational policies affecting youth
  • Meet with organizations such as CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers), a youth governmental organization and other youth leadership councils in Amsterdam and Paris


  • Guest lectures on Dutch Culture & Traditions, Food & Fashion in Paris Life, and the Artist Community

ALL Students:

  • Take guided walks through Amsterdam’s historic city center and the famous Paris neighborhoods of The Left Bank, The Medieval Latin Quarter, and Village Montmartre
  • Explore the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and the important museums of Paris, including the d’Orsay Museum, and L'Orangerie
  • Visit world-famous Amsterdam & Paris sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral and more
  • Enjoy Dutch & French cuisine at charming cafés and brasseries, and sample delicious pastries & chocolate at the most popular boulangeries and patisseries

Academic Calendar:

January 1-14, 2023 (fly out January 1 to arrive by 1 pm January 2)

Academic Focus:

  • Sociology (SOC) 317: Youth & Society; Satisfies Upper-Division General Education requirement in the Social Sciences for students with 60 units or more (3 units of UDGE DD credit)
    OR 3 units of GE credit in Lifelong Learning (E) in which 60 units is not required. 
  • For students who have already taken SOC 317 at CSUSM, 3 units of elective credit is available through SOC 498C.


  • Psychology (PSYC) 344:  Positive Psychology; Satisfies Upper-Division elective in Psychology and Applied Psychology requirement
  • For studets who have already taken PSYC 344, 3 units of elective credit is available through PSYC 498C

Language of Instruction:



  • Class level: Open to all students. Students seeking Upper Division GE credit for SOC 317 must clear 60 units prior to taking this course.
  • Preference is given to students majoring in the given track, i.e. Psychology majors for the Positive Psychology course
  • GPA: 2.75 and above; good academic standing prior to departure
  • Proof of current COVID-19 vaccination (at least the initial vaccination(s) plus at least one booster if eligible) is required to participate in any of CSUSM’s international travel programs.  Due to the increased risk of contracting COVID while travelling, as well as the increased likelihood of having serious complications from COVID if you are not vaccinated, exemptions (religious or medical) are not currently accepted for our travel abroad programs; COVID vaccination is a required pre-requisite.


3 units, SOC 317, Area E credit, or SOC 498C


3 units, PSYC 344 or PSYC 498C


Shared twin rooms at the 3-star Ibis Amsterdam Centre Stopera in Amsterdam and shared twin rooms at the 3-star Hotel Inn Design Place d'Italie in Paris.

Estimated Cost*:

Sociology:  $3,200* + Extended Learning Fees, estimated at $609 for 3 units

Psychology: $3,500* + Extended Learning Fees, estimated at $609 for 3 units

All fees include 4 nights shared accommodation in twin rooms in Amsterdam; 8 nights shared accommodation in twin rooms in Paris; daily breakfast; welcome and farewell dinners; public transportation pass for Amsterdam & Paris; train tickets from Paris to Amsterdam; all excursions and medical insurance. Airfare and personal expenditures NOT included in the program cost, estimated at $2,000+.

*Final program price is contingent upon enrollment and currency fluctuation. Global Education will finalize the final payment with registered participants before the due date to hopefully offer a reduced fee.

Faculty Led Cancellation Policy

Some Useful Airfare Search Engines:

Please be sure to read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, luggage restrictions, etc. before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airlineDo NOT book flights until Global Education has given you the authorization to do so.  Adding trip insurance is highly advisable.


An adult passport book with at least 6 months validity until expiration is necessary for overseas travel.  First-time passport book applicants can expect processing times up to 4 months.  Plan to submit your passport applications early if you enroll in this program as withdrawals due to passport delays will not be refunded.  Non-US travelers are responsible for researching entry requirements and possible visas through their country's consular pages.

To Apply:

  1. Attend a required information session led by the Program Leader running your course: Dr. Darlene Pina ( for Sociology and Professor Emily Merryweather ( for Psychology.
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below.   All application materials must be completed by Friday, September 30 along with your non-refundable $500 deposit.  Online payment preferred through Transact.  Please be advised to choose E-check and enter your checking account details to avoid the 2.65% convenience fees applicable to all non-checking account payments. Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted via the Cashier's Office in Cougar Central, but must include this deposit form to track the payment.
  3. Final payment is due on Monday, October 31, following the payment guidelines outlined above.  Payment of tuition related expenses (estimated at $609) will be billed by Extended Learning and appear on your Student Center, following the payment guidelines set out for Winter Intersession.  Applicants are responsible for completing other digital forms by our program provider, CEPA Europe, at this time as well, details to be provided by your faculty leader and/or Global Education.
  4. Attend a mandatory Health & Safety Meet and Greet with Global Education to discuss travel, practical planning, & health and safety, date TBD.
  5. Submit your flight details to Global Education here:  Flight Information Form
  6. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation with your Program Leader to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming course(s).  Some course requirements/sessions may take place prior to leaving, beginning in December.  

January in Amsterdam & Paris Application:

Please Note:  As of 9/22/22, the Psychology track is now waitlisted.  If you apply after this time, space is not guaranteed and no payments should be made.  The Sociology track has limited space available.  Apply soon if you are interested!

 January in Amsterdam & Paris Application

Predeparture Meetings with Faculty Leaders:


Day Time Location
Tuesday, December 6 12:00-12:50 ACD 205


Day Time Location
Thursday, December 8 12:00-12:50 ZOOM: