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Many UHP students 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. On this page, you will find information for each step of turning international travel into an honors experience:
- Getting Started
- Turning Travel into an Honors Experience
- While You are Abroad
- Returning to the USA
- General Resources
The first step is considering opportunities for international travel. You should attend a First Timer Information Session hosted by UC International Programs. These sessions are held in 709 Swift (the space across from the honors lounge). During fall and spring semester, these sessions are held Monday though Friday at 11am and 2pm; throughout the summer they are held at 11am and 2pm every Wednesday.
After attending a First Timer Information Session, you will have many ideas about international travel. Once you determine which option(s) work best for you, you should consider how to turn 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. 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.
Self-Designed Experiential Learning Projects as International Travel
When proposing international travel as a self-designed experience, there are several expectations that you are expected to meet, regardless of the type of experience that you are doing.
You are expected to submit your self-designed experiential learning project proposal at least two months prior to your expected travel date.
- UC International Application for international travel
All students must complete a UC International online application and additional forms regardless of the type of international experience. This should be completed at the same time that you submit your honors proposal. Direct access to this process can be found here: http://studyabroad.uc.edu/?go=HonorsExp. You can also follow the steps below to navigate to the appropriate area from the UC International Programs homepage.
- Go to the UC International Study Abroad page and select "View List of Available Study Abroad Programs."
- Scroll down to "Worldwide: Honors Experience Application." It can be found between the faculty-led programs and the USAC programs.
- Completely fill out all requested information and register for a pre-departure orientation
- Please note: you will not be able to count your travel as an honors experience unless you complete this process and attend a pre-departure orientation.
- 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. 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 your travel.
- Project Advisor
Some students struggle with finding an appropriate project advisor for their experience. You are encouraged to reach out to faculty that have expertise within the subject area you are pursuing to have them serve as a project advisor. 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 and possibly identify potential advisors.
Independent & Student Group International Travel
Students may also design international opportunities for themselves (including international co-op and internships) 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, this includes completing a UC International application to travel. This is true even if your travel is not a part of an honors experience; you will need to select the appropriate application (applications exist for independent study abroad, international co-op, student group travel, etc.) from the list of Study Abroad Programs. For more information, please contact UC International Programs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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. Below is a sampling of resources to help with this process.
- IES Abroad: http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/alumni/re-entry
- Pacific University: http://www2.pacific.edu/sis/culture/
- Middlebury College: http://www.middlebury.edu/international/sa/returning/reentry_resources
- Trinity College: http://www.trincoll.edu/UrbanGlobal/StudyAway/Documents/SITStudyAbroadReentryToolkit.pdf
Additionally, students are encouraged to seek support from and volunteer with UC International Programs as well as their honors advisor.
- UC International Programs - UC's study abroad office
- Office of Nationally Competitive Awards - resource for learning more about and applying to prestigious awards that provide funding for international study and travel, including the prestigious Boren Scholarship
- US State Department Country-specific Information
- US State Department Travel Warnings & Advisories List
- Center for Disease Control & Prevention Traveler's Health
- Learning Abroad Ethically (University of Minnesota's website includes a free online workshop series for Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety as well as other important considerations)
- #InstagrammingAfrica: The Narcissism of Global Voluntourism (an article about undertaking service activity abroad)