On Sunday, 4th March 2018 a group of year 12 A level Psychology students made the epic journey to Paris to attend the ‘Psychology Live 2018 Conference’. Departing from Manchester in the early evening, it was a short flight across the English Channel, before the small group of students and staff arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport and made the 10 minute transfer to the Disney Resort.

The group checked in to the Western themed Disneyland ‘Hotel Cheyenne’ before spending the rest of the evening in the Disney Village, having a meal and exploring the shops, before getting an early night. Staff and students were then up bright and early the next morning to go into the theme parks, and conduct some of the psychological challenges that had been set in advance of the conference.

The conference, which started early Monday afternoon, took place in the cinema in the Disney Village. Students listened to talks given by Dr Juliet Wakefield, a lecturer in Social Psychology from Nottingham Trent University and Michelle Fletcher a practising Clinical Psychologist who works for HM Prison Service.

Dr Wakefield outlined her recent work on Adolescent Mental Health and the importance of affiliation to social groups, and Ms Fletcher gave students an insight into working life of a clinical psychologist. The students particularly enjoyed the talk given by Ms Fletcher, as she gave them scenarios and they had to decide the extent to which the offender still posed a risk to the public and whether they would be likely to re-offend. She also outlined real life case studies of offenders that she had dealt with. Students now know not to accept sweets from men on trains….

After the conference, the group went back into the Disney park to watch the parade and the fireworks display before getting a bite to eat – some students decided to treat themselves to a meal at the steakhouse, whilst others settled for a more affordable pizza and chips!

Tuesday was spent in the two theme parks, and allowed students time to pick up souvenirs of their trip, before boarding the train and the start of the journey home. It was nearly 10pm on Tuesday night before the group cleared customs and were reunited with their families. All students agreed it was a really worthwhile trip and would definitely recommend it to other Psychology students!

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