Contextualized in the project and mission of the Catholic University of Portugal, the Undergraduate and Master Courses in Psychology envisage teaching and research as promoters not only of professional but also human dignity.
In this sense, it is foreseen that students may participate in a volunteer program, called Community Service, responding to real needs of the surrounding community and contributing to the development of their skills of social intervention and relational nature, fundamental in the exercise of Psychology.
Community Service is a program of the curricular plan of the Psychology Degree, and an opportunity extended to the first year of Psychology Master's Degrees, which allows the student to develop a volunteer project in several community institutions, and whose action is complementary to the activities of professionals, without replacing them.
Integration in this program is optional and should correspond to a free and voluntary decision by the student, based on personal motivations (e.g., individual autonomy, active citizenship, support to others) and values such as empathy, solidarity, gratuity, responsibility and commitment.
Community Service can be developed throughout the school year or intensively (e.g., school breaks, vacations), in institutions covering different areas of intervention, such as: schools, retirement homes, children's homes, community intervention projects, health institutions, among others.
The integration and monitoring of the student during his or her work are carried out in articulation between the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences and the host institution where the project is implemented.
The practice of different voluntary activities by students during their academic career may be seen not only as an added value as an experience that facilitates their personal and social development, but also their professional orientation, since it is an excellent opportunity to get to know and explore contexts and realities that may be useful in the future when deciding on the area(s) of specialization or professionalization they wish to pursue.