Download the University Honors brochure to learn more.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students explore the world through international travel. Video: Regina Kazanjian in Melbourne, Australia.