Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Fall 9-15-2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Lenny Jennings, Bryana French


An increased emphasis on internationalization in counseling psychology requires an increased need for culturally competent clinicians (Lowman, 2013). Research has shown that culturally immersive experiences offer unique opportunities to evaluate one’s personal view within the context of an unfamiliar sociocultural climate (Onuso, 2021). This study explored the critical incidents that impacted cultural awareness for graduate students during a 4-week study abroad trip in Singapore. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 graduate level psychology students (MA= 14, PsyD= 1; M= 3, F= 12) and a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to analyze the interviews. Reflection journals kept by students during the trip were also examined to identify critical incidents. Results identified 12 themes embedded within three overarching domains. Overall, the researcher identified themes that contributed to students’ willingness to engage vulnerably in culturally immersive experiences. The first two domains focused on how students responded to their cultural immersion experience by leaning in, and/or leaning out. The third domain, called “the Sauce of Singapore,” pertained to the perceived impact the experience would have in their professional development. Limitations of this study and future implications are addressed as well.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.