Study Psychology in Switzerland
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Psychology Studies in SwitzerlandAs a field of study, psychology education is a noble pursuit, one that can lead to a promising and rewarding career helping others. Educational programs that lead to degrees in this field are offered around the world, including in Switzerland, a country renowned for its higher education system and the various program offerings in the social, behavioral and medical sciences.
Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal government. Located in the west-central portion of Europe, the country is bordered to the north by Germany, to the west by France, to the south by Italy, and to the east by Lichtenstein and Austria. This centralized location makes it easy to visit the surrounding countries using the various forms of public transportation. Switzerland is completely landlocked, divided geographically between the Alps Mountain Range, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, in total covering of area of nearly 16,000 square miles (41,285 square kilometers). Though the Alps occupy the largest portion of Switzerland’s territory, the Swiss population of roughly 8 million permanent residents is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are located, most notably Zurich and Geneva—global cities and major economic centers.
Psychology Education in Switzerland
As a major education hub in Europe, Switzerland is home to scores of public and private universities, including 9 institutions that focus solely on the Applied Sciences. As a field of study, Psychology is offered at most of the universities in Switzerland, where students can pursue degrees at the undergraduate (Bachelor of Science), graduate (Master of Science) and postgraduate (Doctorate or PhD) levels. Those looking to practice Psychology after graduation must earn at least a Master of Science degree in the field, although many students continue their studies at the postgraduate level.
In the simplest terms, Psychology is the study of the human mind and human behavior. Students who opt to pursue a Psychology degree in Switzerland are introduced to the various schools of thought associated with the discipline, including:
- Structuralism. The belief that there is a connection between sensation, emotion and behavior.
- Functionalism. The idea that the human brain is much like a computer, designed to carry out specific functions.
- Psychoanalysis. Developed and created by the renowned psychologist Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is defined as the rigorous probing of an individual’s personal problems, motives, goals and attitudes as a way to heal the mind.
- Behaviorism. The belief that all human behavior is learned from one’s surrounding context and environment.
- Humanism. A recent school of thought, Humanism emphasizes the importance of values, intentions and meaning in the individual.
- Cognitivism. This school of thought emphasizes that the study of psychology should be concerned with an individual’s internal representations of the world and with the internal or functional organization of the mind.
- Abnormal Psychology. The study of abnormal behavior, this specialty area of psychology is focused on the research and treatment of a variety of mental and emotional disorders and is linked to psychotherapy and clinical psychology.
- Biological Psychology. This specialty area focuses on how biological processes influence the mind and behavior.
- Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive Psychology is the study of human thought processes and cognition. Cognitive Psychologists study areas such as attention, perception, memory, problem-solving, decision-making, and language acquisition.
- Forensic Psychology. This specialty is an applied field of psychology that stresses the use of psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system.
- School Psychology. Those who want to work with children within the educational system, typically focus their studies in this area of psychology.
Why Study Abroad in Switzerland
Studying in the beautiful country of Switzerland offers students plenty of opportunities for personal and academic growth. Like many highly developed countries, Switzerland displays a strong sense of regionalism, but its culture is highly influenced by that of its closest neighbors, including France, Germany and Italy, a circumstance that can greatly benefit students in the sense that they are being exposed to many different cultures through a singular experience.
The various landscapes of Switzerland are picturesque to say the least, and the country is home to a number of incredible sites and attractions, some of which have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When not busy with their classroom studies, students will have many opportunities to take in all that Switzerland has to offer, including:
- The Alps. The beautiful and world-famous Alps are not only gorgeous to look at, they offer many opportunities for exercise and fun, including skiing in the winter and hiking in the warmer months.
- The Language. Unlike most countries, which typically have one official language, Switzerland has four official languages: German French, Italian and Rumantsch. This variety of language gives students the opportunity to pick up and even master a number of new language skills.
- The Chocolate. The Swiss are famous for their delectable chocolate—a treat that all students should take advantage of during their stay.
- The Penguin Parades. Should you find yourself in Switzerland in the winter, take the opportunity to view this unique spectacle at the Zurich Zoo. When temperatures are cold enough, zoo staff takes the zoo’s resident King Penguins for a walk around the grounds!
- The Food. The cuisine in Switzerland draws on many local and other European influences. Students studying in this beautiful country will have ample opportunities to sample the very best in international cuisine.
- The Museums. Switzerland, despite its rather small size, is home to many great museums, including the International Red Cross Museum, with exhibits tracing the history of this fantastic and often life-saving organization.
As you can see, by studying in Switzerland, students will not only have access to one of the finest educational systems in the world, they’ll also have more than enough things to keep them busy and entertained as they explore the various sites and attractions the country has to offer.