Psychology Electives

  • Playing in the SKIP park
If you are studying Psychology, you can complete one of your assessed placements in Peru at SKIP under the supervision of a qualified psychologist from the US. If you have not yet decided to study, but are keen to gain experience in psychology, we are able to offer training and support via a range of volunteering positions.

What We Do:

SKIP works with 142 families and 300 children.
SKIP aims to increase the number of children in this district completing primary education and either finishing secondary education or finding training/employment. SKIP intends to achieve these aims by:

  • Fully financing the education (fees, uniforms, materials) for every child in the programme.
  • Providing a complementary educational programme to reinforce learning at school and help with homework
  • Implementing educational workshops with parents and carers covering a diverse range of subjects from parenting skills to breast cancer awareness to healthy eating.
  • Developing projects that involve the parents in service provision (parents currently help in the primary education programme and a parent committee provides feedback on programme satisfaction and requested development).
  • Granting microfinance loans for small business development and home improvements.
  • Providing business workshops, such as in basic accounting. As well as providing handicraft workshops for parents, including help with sales and product development.
  • Making available counselling and psychology services.
  • Providing English classes for 1200 children in local public schools.

Read more about the programmes we are running??or find out about our programme impact in our annual reports

Psychology Elective Programme:

Starting in 2015, SKIP will be collaborating with a new programme, PASEO, in order to provide students and professionals with Spanish language training for the mental health field. The director of PASEO, Dr. Brieanne Kohrt, is a licensed clinical psychologist from the United States and has already worked with SKIP on two previous occasions. She is now returning not only to head up the Psychology Programme within SKIP, but also to run intensive psychology training programmes combining Spanish classes, didactics on cross-cultural and global mental health, and supervised practice experience for students interested in working with Latino populations.??

Due to the holistic nature of the SKIP programme, SKIP works with both children and adults in a range of settings from group work to individual and couples therapy. Students will be actively trained in all areas of the programme and will be able to become directly involved in aspects of service delivery as appropriate depending on length of stay.

For more information, please download this programme guide, or feel free to email Brie directly on

If you wish to apply you can download an application form

Applicants should note that the programme costs to SKIP for this programme are the same as for all of our other volunteer programmes - see here on the website for more information. These costs are included in the overall fee charged by the PASEO programme.


Volunteer blog: psychology elective

Wow! I can???t not believe my time is already up in PASEO program. My name is Ali. I am a rising 3rd year clinical psychology doctoral student who participated in the PASEO program and worked with SKIP for 4 weeks this summer.

I was initially drawn to the program for a number of reasons. Personally and clinically, PASEO provided an opportunity to improve my Spanish to be able to conduct therapy and assessments with Spanish- speaking clients. While this is an ongoing goal of mine, it has been difficult to realize given the limited opportunities for Spanish-speaking training. As an incoming low/intermediate speaker, the opportunity to take Spanish classes increased my confidence in having the language tools to get the most out of an immersion experience. Supplementing such learning with an understanding of cultural competency and adapted evidence-based practice for Latino populations seemed like an integral piece to such training that was offered by PASEO. Further, the ability to learn and train in an immersive environment abroad seemed like a dream come true (cheesy, but true!). Lastly, the program also appealed to my research interests in global mental health providing not only seminars in the topic, but the chance to actually see mental health services abroad. Really only one of these reasons would have attracted me to the program, but having so many just compounded my excitement .

Amazingly, over my time working with SKIP and in the program, all my expectations were met and exceeded. I feel that I have a much stronger foundation in language skills that will be the starting point from which to continue my training and learning. General Spanish classes, those specific to psychology, immersion and exposure to the language all worked together to facilitate such a foundation. (I would write the next sentence in Spanish but don???t want to show off). Classes in cultural competency, global health, working with Latino youth and families, and working in low-resources settings enhanced my appreciation for the immersion experience, the field, the people, and the immense need. I felt that this all culminated to then being able to actually work and interact with youth and families in the area through service-learning. Teaching and working with the families themselves was invaluable. Being able to actually learn from the youth and families in the community with every interaction defined much of my experience in the program. (Also seeing the look on a child???s face when he or she does not understand you in Spanish is a quick way to really begin and try learning the language without embarrassment.) Further being able to observe and participate in groups and workshops for youth and mothers began to teach me how to use the language and clinical techniques specific to working in this community. For example, watching how the psychologist would introduce topics such as discipline strategies or suicide in a safe and effective manner was important to my clinical skill development.

While I think it should be obvious by now my feelings about this experience, there were two more aspects of PASEO and SKIP that shaped my time. That was working and learning in Peru and the people. Being in such a culturally rich, welcoming, and warm country I felt flooded by opportunities to learn from everything around me. The families at SKIP further embodied such openness and welcoming. Lastly, the people involved in the program (and outside the program) were wonderful. I left the program with a network of individuals who are all passionate about contributing to minimizing the need for mental health services for Latino youth and families. I believe that this network, along with continued supervision of my individualized goals through the program, will help me improve as a Spanish speaker, clinician, researcher and student. The amount I learned through the experiences in this program is hard to describe, but I feel very agradecido por it all. I hope to be back soon!!