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The University of Southampton

Psychology student wins a research placement to India

Published: 27 June 2014

Year 2 BSc Psychology student, and incoming Psychology Student President, Charlie Cole, has won a place on the government funded UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

The three week placement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to experience several of the world's most extraordinary megacities, Delhi and Mumbai. Participants will interact with students and peers at Indian schools and universities and will undertake a range of activities including expert-led lectures and discussions, historical and cultural visits and a one week internship with a commercial organisation.

The experience is designed to provide an indepth knowledge of the cultural, economic and academic facets of the country and students will have the chance to make friends with peers from a broad range of UK universities, as well as interacting with local people and those who have settled here from other countries.

Up against over 4,500 applicants, Charlie's application involved describing how he would spend a year in India. He wrote about researching mental health with a view to developing applications in therapy and is delighted with the news:

"I am so grateful to be offered this opportunity. After reading many cross-cultural studies that reported significant differences in attitudes towards mental illness, I realised that as an aspiring clinical psychologist I should experience this variation myself. Going to India will provide me with the understanding of cultural beliefs about mental wellbeing that may one day be essential for me when aiming to provide mental health treatment approaches that are culturally-sensitive. I cannot wait to go!"

Ultimately Charlie intends to work in the field of mental wellbeing and he hopes this opportunity will help him understand clinical psychology from a cross cultural perspective. In the future he plans to conduct research that improves treatment applications back in the UK for immigrants as well as to develop a more general understanding of what  mental health is within a global context. Charlie is due to undertake his placement at the end of August.

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