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  • Locations: La Plata, Argentina
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Drexel Winter Break in Argentina: Forensic Psychology


Program Overview

This intensive course abroad is designed to offer students an enriching cultural, linguistic, and academic experience in a specialized area of study within their psychology major. Students will gain an in depth look at mental health issues in Argentina’s criminal justice system. The course offers students the opportunity to develop or build on previous forensic psychology experience (classroom and/or research) by learning about mental health issues in forensic psychology in Argentina.

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Be able to identify common mental health needs in Argentina’s criminal justice system
  • Understand the process of identifying and treating mental health needs in Argentina’s criminal justice system.
  • Understand the role of forensic psychologists, forensic psychiatrists, lawyers, and judges in addressing mental health issues in Argentina’s criminal justice system.
  • Be familiar with mental health issues in Argentina’s state mental hospitals and prisons
  • Be familiar with juvenile and adult court proceedings in Argentina.
  • Appreciate Argentina’s rich culture.


The course will involve a combination of classroom learning; facilitated discussions with attorneys, judges, and forensic psychologists and psychiatrists; and visits to a state mental hospital, prison, juvenile court, and/or adult court. Argentinean forensic psychology students and young professionals will attend the first day of the course with Drexel students, with the goal of broadening students’ cultural experiences and enriching classroom discussions. All classes involving institutional tours and observations will be taught solely for Drexel students. Students will tour Buenos Aires, viewing historic sites and key landmarks and learning about Argentina’s national and provincial governments and legal systems. In addition to course time, Dr. Goldstein and her Argentine colleagues will organize tours and social events to enrich students’ travel experiences.

Basic Spanish language is not required but will enhance students' experience in Argentina. Students will also benefit from having completed a forensic psychology course or forensic research/lab/applied experience, though it is not required. 

Students will be registered for PSY 480: Forensic Mental Health, 4 credits as part of their winter term course load. Students must leave space for this 4 credits in their winter term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. The 4 credits for this program are not optional.  Review the Syllabus for PSY 480 Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System in Argentina.

Faculty Leader
Naomi E. Goldstein, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of Drexel’s JD-PhD Program in Law and Psychology.

Program CalendarLa Plata

Arrival Date: December 8, 2018
Departure Date: December 14, 2018
*Students may choose to extend their travel independently before or after program dates but are fully responsible for all logistics on those days.

Tentative Program Itinerary

Saturday, December 8: Flight arrival in Buenos Aires + Group ground transport to La Plata
Guided walking tour of La Plata Visit La Plata’s famous cathedral, Plaza Moreno, and the business district. Group lunch. Group errands (e.g., cash machine, supermarket, drug store).
Dinner and night out as a group
Sunday, December 9: Visit to La Republica de Los Niños or other tourist activity (TBD and pending weather).
Monday, December 10
Tour and Overview of Argentina’s Juvenile Court System: Tour of Argentina’s penal court and system overview provided by a Supreme Court Judge from Buenos Aires Province.
Overview of Argentina’s Provincial Government and Tour of Provincial Senate Building
A guided tour of the Buenos Aires Provincial Parliament: A focus on government processes and implications for forensic issues. (Madela Pedeflous)
Class at the School of Medicine: Lecture provided at the National University of La Plata on the school-to-prison pipeline. This is a joint academic activity with students enrolled in the Master’s Course in Forensic Psychology.
Cultural Exchange: Joint reception for Drexel students and students from the National University of La Plata’s Master’s Course in Forensic Psychology
Tuesday, December 11
Clinical Application and Tour of a Psychiatric Hospital
Guided tour of a psychiatric hospital. Overview of Argentina’s approach to inpatient mental health care provided by the hospital’s lead psychologist. Additional information provided by nurses, physicians, and social workers, as well as by patients.
Introduction to Forensic Mental Health Treatment of Children
System overview and discussions with a child psychologist from the Children’s Hospital of La Plata.
Tour and Overview of Argentina’s Adult Penal Court System
Tour of Argentina’s penal court and system overview provided by a federal prosecutor.
Wednesday, December 12: Tour of Buenos Aires: A full day, guided tour of the City of Buenos Aires.
Thursday, December 13
Tour of a Psychiatric Prison
Guided tour of a psychiatric prison. Overview of the mental health care and justice system approach to mental illness provided by the prison’s superintendent, mental health director, and consulting psychologist and psychiatrist. Additional information provided by medical and social work teams, as well as by corrections officers and patients.
Forensic Psychology in Argentina and Chile – Class and Lunch Held in the Home of our Argentine Hosts, Drs. Jorge Folino and Ely Leon Mayer
Lecture and discussions about forensic mental health assessments in Argentina and Chile. Ethics of the evaluation process and the intersection between legal and mental health priorities will be emphasized. Issues of psychopathy and risk assessments will be discussed.
Meeting with a Federal Prosecutor from the Federal Appellate Court
Meeting with a federal prosecutor to discuss differences between U.S. and Argentina’s legal systems. She will also provide information about prosecution of alleged human rights violators from the time of the country’s military dictatorship.
Recommended evening group excursion to the nearby town of City Bell
Friday, December 14: National Holiday to Promote Domestic Tourism
Class at the School of Medicine
A leading forensic mental health expert will discuss the role of mood disorders in Argentina legal issues.
Group Lunch, Wrap Up, and Future Research
Final group discussion. Generate ideas for research questions based on the week’s experiences. Finalize individual research papers for final course assignment.
Departure and return to US

*Schedule subject to change.

Program Fee - $1,000

Due September 30th, 2018 - $500 Advanced Payment
Due November 15th, 2018 - $500 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Housing
  • Round trip airport transfer from Buenos Aires to La Plata (only on official program dates)
  • Transfer for field trips to and from the psychiatric prison and state mental hospital
  • Group tour of Buenos Aires (including transportation to and from La Plata and lunch)
  • Two additional group meals
  • Course-related materials and special speakers
  • Coffee and snacks while in class at the National University of La Plata
  • On Call Emergency Evacuation Insurance

Not Included in Program Fee (estimated $2000):

  • Airfare approx $1,800
  • Transportation within La Plata: approx $100 for taxis
  • Most meals $200
  • Spending money $100
  • US Passport $140

More Information

  • Housing: Drexel students will be staying in furnished, long-term stay apartments that include fully equipped kitchens with oven, microwave, refrigerator, coffee pots, plates, silverware, pots, pans, etc. The apartment is located in the City Center and within walking distance of restaurants, cafes, and shopping.
  • Travel Details: Students will be provided with the recommended flight itinerary and responsible to book this flight independently. Airport pick up and drop off in Argentina will be provided for students on the recommended flight. Should a student travel on a different flight(s), it will be his/her responsibility to arrange ground transportation to La Plata. Ground transportation to the airport will not be provided for students who wish to travel in Argentina after the program has ended, and supervision will only be provided during the program dates.
  • Visa: US citizens are not required to apply for a visa. Students of other nationalities should check on the Argentina Embassy website for requirements. 

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.