Exploring Positive Psychology in Scotland

When studying abroad with DIS, the options for academic growth are endless. The classes offered are not only interesting but extremely inclusive and hands-on. These aren’t your typical “filler” classes but have no fear, the DIS professors are some of the most incredibly interesting people and the way they teach makes challenging classes fly by.

My first course in Copenhagen is Positive Psychology. For three weeks, my class will explore wellbeing, health, what makes Denmark one of the happiest countries in the world, and so much more. After about a week of interactive classes, videos, games, guest speakers and a ton of reading, we took off for Edinburgh, Scotland.

Our first night in Edinburgh was incredible. We took a walking food tour around the city and explored the gorgeous gothic architecture. After the tour, a few of us decided to sit in a local pub and get to know some of the locals. It felt like a dream. Even after less than a full week of class, my classmates were acting like a family.


We took off the next morning by bus to meet with the board of a community development group called Healthy n Happy about 2 hours from Edinburgh. During this meeting, we learned how this group is working toward making their town the happiest town in Scotland and hopefully one day, Europe. Following the meeting, we took a guided canoe tour through Loch Lomond. The scenery from the water looked like something out of a movie.


Our third day in Scotland included a trip to Glasgow, a meeting with a Buddhist monk, a class on meditation, and high tea overlooking the Edinburgh castle. My classmates and I have had a blast meeting new people, developing new perspectives, and having a constant conversation about the differences between the US, Denmark, and Scotland especially when it comes to happiness.

Some of the activities over the following two days included an incredible and challenging hike to the top of Arthurs Seat, a meeting with a local positive psychologist, and a wrap-up session which provided a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about our experiences and expand on how each social, cultural, and academic experience has related to the topic of Positive Psychology.


Class will continue the Monday after our tour and we will spend one more week diving deeper into Positive Psychology with a group project in which we will examine the work environment of a company we are interested in. Through this research, we will create a plan on how to make that company a more positive and productive environment.

My time in Scotland was amazing. There were so many things we did that I never thought I could do. The relationships I created in those short days will be long-lasting friendships and I look forward to our final week of class.


It feels like time is flying and I look forward to the next few weeks. I never thought I would have the chance to kayak in a loch or climb an extinct volcano. I guess you don’t know until you try.

Until later,


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