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Education without borders: The power of internalization

Thanks to a J-1 Exchange Visitor grant, an international faculty exchange results in a paper getting world-wide attention.

For more than 35 years, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has produced innovative, engaged, purposeful agents of change who serve our global community.

We’ve created study abroad and field experience opportunities globally for students and faculty, and our National Center for International Studies (NCIS) also offers a series of grants to encourage international scholars to collaborate with our community on our campuses. This allows The Chicago School to offer an international experience to every student, without ever stepping out of the country.

Recently, one of our NCIS internationalization grants resulted in an international faculty exchange and subsequent academic paper that is catching the attention of the psychology community from Berlin to Los Angeles.

Thanks to a J-1 Exchange Visitor grant, Dr. Philipp Sterzer, a psychology professor and scholar from Berlin, was able to visit The Chicago School’s L.A. Campus last year to conduct research with our own Dr. Aaron Mishara. We were so pleased when Dr. Mishara shared that not only has their joint paper been published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Journal, but The Chicago School was also given credit for funding the project.

This is a true testament to the value of these programs and the myriad ways they benefit our institution.

 

What Is the J-1 Exchange Visitor Grant?

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor grant is to bring international professors, research scholars, and other individuals with similar education or accomplishments to the U.S. on a short-term visit to lecture, observe, consult, train or demonstrate special skills. TCSPP has scholarships (up to $5,000) available to sponsor exchange visitors for a J-1 Short-Term (up to six months) visa.

Dr. Mishara—whose professional background includes extensive studies and research in Germany on phenomenological approaches to psychopathy and schizophrenia—used this scholarship to invite Dr. Sterzer to come work with him and his student on the L.A. Campus. Their research in 2015 led to this fall’s publication of “Thought Insertion as a Self-Disturbance: An Integration of Predictive Coding and Phenomenological Approaches” in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience—an open-access journal devoted to understanding the brain mechanisms supporting cognitive and social behavior in humans, and how these mechanisms might be altered in disease states.

Not only was The Chicago School’s grant support credited (in print and online) for making this research possible, but our own students on the L.A. Campus were able to interact with Dr. Sterzer, attend workshops, and “preview” the research of these international thought leaders.

And now that the findings have been published, this work has been reviewed by some of the top scholars in the field and is already leaving a lasting impact.

 

How are these exchanges impacting The Chicago School?

I have been working for four years at The Chicago School and join our management’s effort to achieve our goals related to global engagement—with students, faculty, and with our global community.

Giving these grants not only broadens the reach of our faculty’s work, but provides TCSPP students access to the best thought leaders in our fields. And ultimately, they help more psychology professionals across the globe know about our institution and the work we do to educate the next generation of psychology and behavioral science professionals.

Dr. Mishara is already investigating the possibility for study abroad opportunities for TCSPP students in Germany. The recognition also means that more international students will be attracted to the degree programs we offer.

In reflecting on our recent International Education Week (IEW) festivities, I could not be more pleased with the results of this program and the impact The Chicago School continues to make around the globe.

Cindie Zhou

A native of China, Cindie Zhou is coordinator of International Programs & Services for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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