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January in Strasbourg & Paris: Positive Psychology

The Louvre
Strasbourg Canal

Program Overview:

Guided by Professor Emily Merryweather, explore the beautiful cities of Strasbourg & Paris while viewing the field of positive psychology from a new historical and cultural lens.  

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 through their unique cultures with food tastings, walking tours, and cultural site visits.

Positive Psychology students will:

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

Program Excursions:


  • Tarte flambee welcome dinner; city walking tour and visit to the Council of Europe to learn about the organization's preservation of human rights in Europe; Mindfulness yoga and meditation session at the Chateau de Pourtales


  • Guided walking tour by cognitive psychologist, Claire Robertson, based around the theme of the "good life", focusing on food, culture & fashion with stops at Vivienne shops, Luxembourg or Tuileries Garden and Palais Royal Garden
  • Guided tour of the Petit Palais, a palace and museum known for its paintings & sculptures
  • Audio tour of the Opera Palais Garnier, Paris' ost pretigious opera and ballet house
  • Food tasting and walking tour around the Les Halles district, the site of the Paris food market for centuries.  Tastings of bread, fruit, chocolate and more
  • Guided tours of some important museums of Paris, including the Musee Rodin and L'Orangerie
  • Visit world-famous Paris sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral and more
  • Guided walking tour of village of Montmartre, including the local market street, vineyard, and artist studios os Renoir, Lautrec, Van Gogh & Picasso

Academic Calendar:

January 7-18, 2024 (fly out January 7 to arrive in Stasbourg by early afternoon on January 8)

Academic Focus:

  • Psychology (PSYC) 344:  Positive Psychology; Satisfies Upper-Division elective in Psychology and Applied Psychology requirement
  • For students 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, though 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, PSYC 344 or PSYC 498C


Shared twin rooms at the European Study Center Strasbourg Chateau de Pourtales and shared twin rooms at the 3-star Hotel Inn Design Place d'Italie in Paris.

Estimated Cost*:

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

All fees include 3 nights shared accommodation in twin rooms in Strasbourg; 7 nights shared accommodation in twin rooms in Paris; daily breakfast; welcome and farewell dinners; public transportation pass for Strasbourg & Paris; train ticket from Strasbourg to Paris; all excursions and medical insurance. Airfare, food not listed 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

A Note on Financial Aid & Veteran's Benefits:

Please note that January and Summer programs are not financial aid eligible since they are optional terms at CSUSM, and therefore, all program fees would be considered out-of-pocket.  All program fees maintain strict deadlines and are due to the Office of Global Education the term prior to when studies will take place, following the dates set forward in the How to Apply section below. Tuition will be billed onto your student account according to the timelines of Extended Learning and must be paid through the structure set forth by University Cashiers.  You may begin researching alternative loans, Parent PLUS loan options etc. through the Office of Financial Aid:

If you are using VA benefits (CH33 or CH35), you must verify with Study Abroad that the program meets all of the following criteria:

  • Taught by CSUSM faculty
  • Course is needed as part of your degree plan
  • Tuition charges will appear on you student account

If all of the above criteria are met – you must reach out to Veterans Services for additional eligibility information – prior to signing up for the program

Note: Only the tuition piece of the program – if approved – can be submitted to the VA for payment.  All other costs will be the student’s responsibility.

If you are using CALVET – you will need to contact for further information.

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:  Professor Emily Merryweather (
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below.   All application materials must be completed by Friday, September 29 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 30, 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:  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 Strasbourg & Paris Application:

 January in Strasbourg & Paris Application

Info Sessions

Info Sessions with Professor Merryweather
Day Time Location
Tuesday, September 12 3:00-3:50 PM Zoom
Tuesday, September 19 12:00-12:50 PM Zoom
Thursday, September 21 3:00-3:50 PM Zoom
Tuesday, September 26 12:00-12:50 PM Zoom: