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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Immersion Program

Buenos Aires Pepperdine Campus

The immersion program offers Aliento students a chance to gain unique perspectives on psychology through an international and cultural lens. The inaugural immersion trip took place in June of 2015, when a group of 10 students had the opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina for two weeks. Dr. Castañeda-Sound was the host faculty member for this trip. We have included highlights from the trip below. For more information about this trip or upcoming trips, please email Aliento@pepperdine.edu.


While the city may be known for its tango, delicious cuisine, and enthusiastic love for soccer, it is also one of the largest hubs for psychology in the world. During the trip, students attended different workshops and lectures where they learned how psychologists from Argentina work with clients, translate and implement U.S. psychological principles within the unique cultural context in Argentina. Our students also had the unique opportunity to hear directly from clients who receive services in Argentina.

Some of the locations and psychologists they visited included:

  • Centro Privado de Psicoterapias (CPP) – Students learned interviewing and strength-based techniques for engaging with clients and participated in mock-therapy sessions.
  • Asociación Ayuda – Students heard from psychologists who shared extensive knowledge about different anxiety disorders and also had the opportunity to hear directly from some of the clinic's clients.
  • Fundación Aigle – Students gained new perspectives on OCD from a cultural lens.
  • Fundación Foro – Students learned about the healthcare system in Argentina and the LGTBQIA communities in Argentina.
  • Casa Holden – Students heard many lectures about Argentine culture, history, and religion at the Pepperdine campus.

With the help of these psychologists and mental health professionals, the students returned to the U.S. with a profound new understanding about the influence of culture, context and the role culture plays in the manifestation of mental health issues in Argentina.

Service and Giving Back

In line with the mission of Pepperdine, and perhaps the most memorable experience for many of the students, was their time spent serving the community of single mothers and their children at Granjas Comunitarias Adulam, a village of refuge on the outskirts of the city and an integrated community with both our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Spanish Language development

Students had the opportunity to enhance their Spanish skills in the Spanish language courses offered on the trip and taught by professors from Argentina.

Cultural Excursions

Beyond education in a workshop setting, the students were also able to venture out and explore Argentina, including:

  • El Cementerio de La Recoleta – A scenic cemetery with many historic mausoleums of famous Argentines including Eva Perón and many others.
  • A visit to a Catholic Church, Iglesia del Pilar.
  • Market at San Telmo – Miles of artisan crafts and antiques line the streets.
  • La Boca – a historic neighborhood with many shops and cultural roots
  • A milonga tango club – Students enjoyed watching the local Argentines swirl across the floor with mesmerizing tango steps.

Between the workshops, community service, and exploring a new culture, the immersion program is an incredible opportunity for students to learn about psychology, culture, and the self.

Immersion Trip 2016

See more from the Immersion Trip 2016

Immersion Trip 2015

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Immersion Trip 2014

See more from the Immersion Trip 2014