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Flourishing. The Science and practice of well-being (summer school)


Course cancelled.

Please note: For this class there will be additional costs (about €50,-) for the excursion.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Please note: Are you a third-year student and will you graduate this summer? Please check with the education information centre of your bachelor ’s programme what the deadline is for registering your bachelor and honours grades in uSis? If this does not conflict with the schedule of the summer school, you can apply for the summer school.

Topics: Personal reflection, self insight, personal leadership, storytelling, awareness, authenticity, positive psychology, connection, positive impact, fun.
Skills: Personal reflection, self insight, personal leadership, storytelling, awareness, connection.
Disciplines: Positive Psychology.


The course description is subject to change.
Many people aspire happiness and a positive impact on the world. But what is happiness? And what can we do to experience it more often, both within ourselves as in our interaction with others? Academic research in the field of human well-being has provided a great number of insights and practical interventions which can be used to increase our well-being on an individual, organisational and social level.

In this intensive summercourse, you will learn how to increase your resilience, how to experience more optimism and meaning in your life and how to have a positive impact on your environment. So, would you like to bring out the best in yourself and others, not only as a student but also as a human being? Would you like to get to know yourself even more? This summercourse provides you with plenty scientifically based techniques that will help you to achieve these goals concretely.

This summercourse consists of a 40 hour online course on positive psychology which provides you with the theoretical background and a 2-week intensive course facilitated by Pieternel Boer and different guests.

The course covers three levels:

I – Personal insight: What do I love? What am I good at? What is meaningful to me?

WE – Interpersonal insight: How do I relate to others?

ALL – What is my contribution to the greater good?

The meetings are largely devoted to mental, emotional and physical exercises, both individually and in groups, such as reflection and insight exercises, sharing experiences, visualization, meditation, martial arts and storytelling.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • be able to reflect on his/her personal development;

  • have knowledge of scientific theory in positive psychology;

  • have experience with and knowledge of practical interventions to increase their wellbeing;

  • have experience with and knowledge of ways to deal with stress and adversity

  • share and present their own personal story authentically;

  • formulate their own values and mission in life;

  • be able to work constructively and respectfully as a team.

Programme and timetable:

The summer school will take place from August 16 until and including August 30, 2024.


Reading list:

Happier – Tal ben-Shahar
Scientific articles, videos and lectures available in online course: separate syllabus is available.

Teaching method:

  • Blended learning: the course is a combination of online lectures and real time workshops;

  • Experiential learning: all exercises are experiential-based, so learning takes place through experiencing and sharing. Theoretical background is supplied in the online course.

  • Applied approach: the course is practical and hands-on with a group assignment focusing on societal issues;

  • Integral approach: we look at human flourishing from a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual perspective.

Course load:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Online lectures and assignments: 40 hours;

  • Workshops: 40 hours (attendance is mandatory);

  • Individual written reflection: 10 hours;

  • Personal presentation: 10 hours;

  • Group assignment: 40 hours.

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods will look as follows:

  • 10% Participation assessed continually through participation in seminars

  • 30 % Examination MOOC Science of happiness

  • 20% (10% each) Two individual written reflections on your personal process (pass / fail)

  • 10% Personal presentation during retreat (pass/fail)

  • 30% Positive impact group assignment (grade)

Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.
The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Due to the nature of this summer school this course is not graded. It does contain different assignments that will be assessed with pass/fail. The goal of the different assignments are to help you reflect and grow as a person as well as try out new behaviour and skills.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Application process:

Please note: For this class there will be additional costs (about €50,-) for the excursion.
Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 30 October up to and including Sunday 19 November 2023 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.


Pieternel Boer: