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Frankfurt, Duisburg, Amsterdam, Paris, Germany, The Netherlands, France

Program Description

This course is designed for upper-undergraduate as well as graduate students who intend to work with children and adolescents in school-based, health-care, therapeutic, or related fields. This course will start with a one-week on-campus classroom experience (the week after graduation in May) where you will learn about mindfulness and the important principles of neuroscience, personal practice, and how to work with children and adolescents using evidence-based mindfulness strategies. Then, we will travel for a little over two weeks through Germany, the Netherlands, and France for advanced training and collaboration with professionals who implement mindfulness into school and community settings. We will receive training from renowned experts as we traverse the beautiful landscape of Western Europe from Frankfurt to Paris.

Mindfulness is about being in the present moment, slowing down to become attuned with ourselves and others, and acknowledging the experiences of ourselves and others with a spirit of curiosity and compassion. Neuroscience supports the health and mental health benefits of mindfulness as well as regulation of the stress response in the body. A wealth of research indicates the benefits of mindfulness for personal and professional well-being.

Mindfulness practices enhance the lives of children, adolescents, and adults around the world and assist in greater levels of happiness, well-being, more positive health outcomes, and less professional burnout.

The group will meet the week of May 6-10 for in-class preparation prior to traveling in June.

Location Description

Come join us as we take part in workshops designed specifically for JMU students through four major experiences and beautiful locations:

1. Workshop and travel to a German University in Frankfurt, a central German city on the river Main, which is home to the European Central Bank. It's the birthplace of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In Frankfurt, we will learn from a professor and local expert and author who trains PK-12 teachers on mindfulness interventions for their classrooms.

2. Workshop and travel to Duisburg, Germany, home to the world's largest inland port, where we meet a mindfulness expert who has brought mindfulness curriculum to an entire school system, and we will visit a Mindful School.

3. Several days in Amsterdam, a beautiful city full of canals, windmills, art, culture and bikes galore. Amsterdam will be a home base from where we will go visit the Donders Institute for the Brain to learn more about the neuroscience behind mindfulness interventions, and from where we will have a one-day retreat on Mindfulness and Self-Care for School-Based and Wellness-Based Practitioners. We will visit the Anne Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum while here.

4. Ending with a stay near Paris at la Maison de L’Insipire, a monastery started by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, where we will engage in more mindfulness practices for ourselves that will enhance our practice that we can therefore bring into our professional lives, as healthier and whole individuals, better equipped to help children and adolescents find their own centers of being. We will visit several sites in Paris to end the trip.


Tammy Gilligan | | Graduate Psychology

Michele L. Kielty | | Graduate Psychology


Accommodations will be provided for students mostly through hotel accommodations in each location. In some locations, accommodations are more apartment-style, university living. Internet access will be available, with the exception of the monastery during the day visit. Students will be in shared double rooms. Housing accommodations are centrally located and public transportation is easily accessible. Laundry is not guaranteed. Cell phone service should be set up in advance with your provider, noting that each plan has its own guidelines and costs which will be your responsibility.

• Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend that will cover approximately 2 meals (breakfast and dinner) for each day of the trip. This stipend is included in the program fee.

• Students should plan to spend their own money each day to cover the cost of lunch and any incidentals (i.e. snacks, drinks, souveneirs).

Additional Items to Consider

A valid Passport is required. Cell phone data plans in Europe can be expensive – remember to check with you cell phone provider about costs of international calling, data and text plans before traveling.

ALL MAJORS, UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS ARE WELCOME. Participants should be interested in the study and practice of mindfulness. Future teachers, healthcare providers, and all school-based professionals (i.e. socials workers, nurses, Kinesiology, OT, SP, school counselors, school psychologists) would gain valuable training and insight for applied practice.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Junior or senior standing recommended, graduate students at any level

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in.

WAITLIST only applications. 

apply now

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


PSYC 400: Cross-Cultural Mindfulness for School-Based Practitioners and Child/Adolescent Wellness Providers (3 credits)

PSYC 501: Cross-Cultural Mindfulness for School-Based Practitioners and Child/Adolescent Wellness Providers (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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