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Short Term | Psychological Perspectives on World War II in Europe
Berlin, Germany; Dresden, Germany; London, United Kingdom; Nuremberg, Germany (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer A
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer A
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Culture, Geography, Government, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Relations, Liberal Arts, Psychology Housing Options: Hotel
Language of Instruction:
English Minimum GPA: 3.0
Minimum Number of Credit Hours: 03 Academic Level: Undergraduate
Program Description:
Psychological Perspectives on World War II in Europe
Multiple locations throughout Europe
Summer A
Official dates: June 7-June 22

This program is currently FULL
Application deadline: February 9
Commitment deadline: February 16

Program Description:

The 70th anniversary of the end of WWII has renewed interest in the time period. This study abroad program will examine the psychology of several aspects of WWII, including psychological responses to the rise of fascism, changes in the family structure, and deprivation. Psychological warfare, including propaganda, and collective memory will also be addressed. 

This program will include three weeks of face-to-face instruction, a week of on-line instruction, and two weeks of travel abroad. In order to gain a balanced perspective, we will visit one Allied country (England) and the main Axis country (Germany). Cities visited will include London, Berlin, Dresden, and Nuremberg. 

This program will be led by a cognitive psychologist (Dr. Valerie Sims). Dr. Sims regularly teaches Cognitive Psychology and Developmental Psychology.

There are four main goals for this program:
  1. First, we will critically examine the rise of Nazism by examining persuasion techniques, social pressures, and the use of imagery and film. Students will visit sites of Nazi rallies and museums and examine the dangers of such techniques. 
  2. A second goal is to understand daily life during war with a specific focus on its consequences on the family and child development. We will examine the developmental outcomes for those orphaned by war, as well as war's effects on attachment and resilience. In doing so we will visit sites examining the Kindertransport program which allowed over 10,000 Jewish children to safely leave Germany and Austria for homes in England. 
  3. The third goal is to examine the roles of memory and language in the modern attempts to understand WWII. We will read survivors' accounts of their wartime memories and discuss the reconstructive nature of memory. We will visit a concentration camp and museum documenting the Holocaust. There will also be visits to sites documenting the memory of the perpetrators and its effects on legal proceedings such as the Nuremberg trails. 
  4. The final goal will be to examine WWII from the point of view of today. We will discuss how the various cultures explain what happened during this time and how how people in teh various countries have worked o prevent many of the events from happening again. In doing so we will visit several placed where there have been attempts to revuild war damaged areas to look as they did prior to the war or to destroy all signs of the war. We also will look at the reconciliation process and current relations between England and Germany. In doing so, we will discuss the psychological constructs of autobiographical memory, collective memory, and personal narrative. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Students will  gain an understanding of group dynamics and the rise of Nazism. Attention will be given to the psychological tactics employed by the Nazis. 
  2. Students will gain an understanding of the psychology of propaganda. We will examine the different types of propaganda put in place by the Axis and the Allies, and the specific persuasion techniques used in large-scale demonstrations. 
  3. Students will gain an understanding of the daily lives of those who experienced WWII, with a focus on a) the reconstructive nature of wartime memories, b) cognitive dissonance as an explanation for civilians' justifications for wartime behavior, and c) the psychological consequences of living in an occupied country. 
  4. Students will gain an understanding of the effects of war on family structure and the development of children born and raised during WWII. They will learn about the psychological constructs of attachment, resilience, and the long-term effects of deprivation. 
  5. Students will gain understanding of the role of context in cognition and memory. They will be able to discuss the idea that memory is affected by information received at encoding, viewpoint, schemas, and place of recall. 
  6. Students will gain understanding of how the fields of crytography and psycholinguistics were impacted by WWII.
  7. Students will gain an understanding of the notion of collective guilt and the long-term psychological effects of war. We will examine post-WWII attempts to regain normalcy through physical reconstruction and the generation of cultural narratives. 

Program Course:
  • Special Topics: Modern Psychology- Lessions Learned from World War Two

Syllabus: To be posted shortly 

Pricing (based upon the minimum number of students):

Program fee: $2,450 (subject to amendment) 

For details on what the program fee includes please see program Budget Sheet

Payment 1: $1,000
Payment 2: $1,450

The following services are included as part of the program fee:
  • Program accommodation
  • Museums and tours
  • Local transportation
  • Airport transportation
  • UCF Abroad administrative fee ($350)
The following are not included:
  • Tuition
  • Flights

Program Leaders: Dr. Valerie Sims 
Program Leader email:


This program is currently not accepting applications.