University Honors ProgramUniversity of Cincinnati

University Honors Program

International Travel

world map

Many UHP students decide to travel abroad during their time at UC; this travel takes a variety of forms and can incorporate various activities. Over 60% of UHP graduates in 2014 traveled abroad as a part of course work, scholarly activities, research, and service activities. Thinking about joining that number? On this page, you will find information for each step of turning international travel into an honors experience:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Turning Travel into an Honors Experience
  3. While You are Abroad
  4. Returning to the USA
  5. General Resources

Getting Started

The first step in international travel is to begin the planning process. You can take this step by attending a First Timer Session hosted by UC International Programs. These sessions are held in 709 Swift (the space across from the honors lounge). During the school year, these sessions are held everyday at 11am and 2pm; throughout the summer they are held at 11am and 2pm every Wednesday.

Turning Travel into an Honors Experience

After attending a First Timer Session, you will have an idea of the opportunities for international travel available to you. Once you determine which option(s) work best for you, then you can begin to think about turning it into an honors experience.

Faculty-led Academic Courses & Experiences

The University Honors Program offers opportunities to travel abroad through its seminars with study tours. These are offered fall and spring semester through courses that span the four thematic areas in their focus. Most courses require an application and interview; review each seminar's individual web page to find out more!

Many students also travel abroad through a study tour or other faculty-led opportunity provided by an academic department outside of honors. Students are welcome to propose these as honors experiences.

In both instances, the course professors will help ensure that participating students meet each of the expectations listed below.

Self-Designed Experiential Learning Projects as International Travel

General Expectations

When proposing international travel as self-designed experience, there are several expectations that you are expected to meet, regardless of the type of experience that you are doing.

  1. Timing
    • You are expected to submit your self-designed experiential learning project proposal no later than two months prior to your expected travel date.
    • If there is any reason why you will not be able to meet this expectation, it is up to you to reach out to your honors advisor as soon as you realize that you are not able to adhere to this planning timeframe.
  2. Pre-Departure Orientation
    • All students traveling internationally on a UC-sanctioned program or experience (this includes private travel that you are turning into an honors experience) are expected to attend a UC International Programs pre-departure orientation at least two months prior to your anticipated travel date.
    • Dates for pre-departure orientations are published on the UC International Programs website.
    • When attending a pre-departure orientation, you will need to come prepared with information about your health insurance (bring your insurance card) as well as contact information for an emergency contact.
  3. International Travel Oversight Committee
    • UC policy restricts UC-sponsored travel to countries with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning. Those who wish to visit a country with a travel warning must seek an exemption to receive permission to travel.
    • Students traveling without a faculty or staff leader must individually request an exemption from the International Travel Oversight Committee. Faculty or staff leading a group must complete a request on behalf of the entire group. More details are available at http://www.uc.edu/international/study-abroad/applying-to-study-abroad/travel-restrictions---exemptions.html. You are expected to appeal to the ITOC at least two months before traveling.
    • The University Honors Program cannot approve any travel to a country with a US Department of State Travel Warning until after a travel exemption is granted by the International Travel Oversight Committee. This means that we cannot allow you to count such travel as an honors experience nor can we give you a grant if the ITOC does not approve travel.
  4. CISI
    • Most American health insurance plans do not cover your medical care in other countries. UC has a partnership with CISI to provide health insurance to students traveling on UC sanctioned experiences.
    • You will need to buy CISI coverage ($10 per week of travel) or demonstrate that you already have coverage equal to its benefits. You will find out more about CISI during pre-departure orientation.

Independent & Student Group International Travel

Many students also design international opportunities for themselves (including international co-op and internships), a group of their friends, or a student organization. Any international travel associated with a recognized student organization and/or being used for an honors experience is subject to the UC Student Travel Policy. It also means that you will need to be diligent in meeting the expectations mentioned above.

Some students struggle with finding an appropriate project advisor for their experience. You are always encouraged to reach out to faculty that have expertise within the subject area you are pursuing to have them serve as a project advisor. For experiences involving travel, you are also encouraged to reach out to faculty and staff that have experience with your destination. The easiest way to find faculty with experience in specific countries is with UCosmic. You can also reach out to faculty within the appropriate language department, as they will be able to give you insight into the culture of your destination.

While You are Abroad

UC International Programs has helpful information to keep in mind while traveling, including travel document information and emergency situations.

You are also encouraged to review the US State Department and Center for Disease Control & Prevention websites before and during your time abroad to stay current on political, safety, and health information.

Be sure to also follow your intended plan for active reflection throughout your time abroad. If you are keeping a blog, be sure to send the URL to your honors advisor so that we can follow along with your travels and learning.

Providing Health Care While Abroad

There is a growing trend for students within the health fields to travel abroad in order to gain international medical experience. While this type of learning is encouraged, it is important to note that students should be considering the ethical issues around their activities while abroad. For context, read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Professional health schools, including medical schools, nursing schools, dental schools, and physician assistant schools, discourage students from performing tasks beyond their level of training. Both, the American Academy of Medical Colleges and the American Dental Education Association, have released guidelines and suggestions for students wishing to seek a health-related international experience.

Students are encouraged to talk with their honors advisor, college advisor, and pre-professional advisor prior to undertaking any international travel in which they anticipate working in a health clinic - especially when traveling through a student organization. The University of Minnesota has a convenient online ethics module that will help you think through many of these concerns.

 

Returning to the USA

While the return home can be exciting, some students report trouble re-adjusting to American culture and their home lives. This phenomenon is called "reverse culture shock" and is quite common among those who have spent time abroad, especially if they were abroad for at least one semester. Below is a sampling of resources to help with this process.

Additionally, students are encouraged to seek support from and volunteer with UC International Programs as well as their honors advisor. For students that are facing significant challenges, it is recommended that they reach out to UC Counseling and Psychological Services for assistance.

General Resources

Within UC

Beyond UC

First Timer Session Flier

UCI Programs holds First Timer sessions every day at 11am and 2pm during the school year

Students explore the world through international travel. Video: Regina Kazanjian in Melbourne, Australia.

Students in the Collesium

Students use travel abroad to help connect course concepts, history and their lived experiences. Pictured: "The Roman Experience" at the Collesium.

student in mountains

Many students opt to do an international co-op in order to go abroad. Pictured: Morgen Schroeder in Germany

student in dessert

Students design their own travel abroad through formal programs and independent planning. Pictured: Yasmine Bauer in Jordan

students in Ghana

Students travel all over the world with faculty from across campus. Pictured: "Women, Population and Development" seminar in Ghana

Kyle Quinn in Brazil

Students have the opportunity to compete for and win prestigious scholarships that promote study abroad. Pictured: Kyle Quinn, winner of a Boren Scholarship, in Brazil.

Students in Japan

Students use time abroad to dive into another world. Pictured: "Japanese Language and Culture Experience" seminar in Japan

Students and community members in Kenya

Students are able to travel across the world for unique service opportunities. Pictured: Engineers Without Borders members in Kenya.

Student in Bulgaria

Students design unique international opportunities to explore their interests and passions. Pictured: Karla Park in Bulgaria

Research team in the Himalayas

Students perform research across the globe with faculty members. Pictured: UHP DAAP students in the Himalayas

Water Justice

Students push themselves to new limits through international experiences. Pictured: "Water Justice" seminar at Sian Ka'an.