See the World Global Perspective
At the Schreyer Honors College, we believe that a well-developed and experience-based global perspective is critical to your success, wherever your path might lead after graduation. While the basis of this perspective begins with your academic and extracurricular choices on campus, our goal is for all Scholars to have at least one international study, service, research, or internship experience.Education Abroad Fund Your Travel
Distinctive Honors Experiences Signature Travel Programs
The Schreyer Honors College's signature international programs are even older than the Honors College itself. Our London Study Tour started way back in 1984, under Penn State's University Scholars Program. Today, we offer semester, summer, and short-term programs that have one thing in common — they provide the same level of honors enrichment that Scholars expect from honors courses.
London and Dublin Study Tour Musical Theatre & Drama
The London Study Tour embarks on its 37th year! Professor Raymond Sage of Penn State's School of Theatre will organize and guide the tour, and teach its course component, Theatre 490H.
Theatre-going forms the heart of the LST and of its academic identity. London is the outstanding theatre city of the English-speaking world, offering consistently superb choices in classic plays, contemporary and avant-garde theatre, musical theatre, opera and dance. Students will see a minimum of twelve theatre and dance performances: some will be purchased in advance by the instructor, and others will be selected by participants from a wide range of choices. As a complement to the theatre core, the LST's faculty leaders will provide students with an orientation to London and its history, culture and sights. The extended program will include a one-week program in Dublin, Ireland.
This course is designed for the student who is interested in observing a culture politically, theoretically, ethically, religiously, socially, and philosophically through live musical theatre and drama. Prior to arrival, each student selected for the course will choose a specific area of diversity to explore, such as race, gender, sexuality, politics, religion, ritual or science. The student will research the issue as it "plays out" in the United States and in the United Kingdom/Ireland. Issue choices will be discussed at the first of the mandatory meetings in late spring semester.
Once in London, prior personal research on specific diversity issues will act as a foundation for personal observations of both a culture in practice and the practice of theatre within a culture. The personal observations will be applied to journal work and post-performance discussions. Ongoing observations will be shared in informal settings over the two-week course, and an assessment of individual explorations will be based upon a journal, the post-show discussions, and the seminar paper.
Students accepted for the LST will be enrolled for 3 credits of Theatre 490H in the summer.
Students will be required to attend several preparatory meetings and on-campus theatre performances during the second half of the spring semester (please see syllabus). Information on these meetings and performances will be provided as part of the application process. Arrangements can be made for accepted students at other campuses to meet pre-departure requirements.
Student journals will be read in two stages: the first half will be read by Professor Sage while in London, and the second half will be turned in soon after our return to the United States. Students will be given a participation grade, which evaluates your level of inquisitiveness and positive contributions to discussions and other group activities.
The final project will be a personal exploration of a specific issue of diversity and inclusion/exclusion in the United States and the United Kingdom, and how theatre practices can help make conversations about social issues visible in unique and impactful ways.
Transportation to and from the United Kingdom is handled by the student.
This program is for Scholars in all majors, and at any Penn State campus, who want an intensive academic and cultural experience in the theatre capital of the English-speaking world.
Three credits of summer undergraduate tuition/fees, program fee $1,800, transportation to London (purchased by student), estimated in-country costs of $500-$800. Program fee includes lodgings, shows and select admission fees, transportation between London and Dublin and within both cities, and select meals. Summer tuition is charged at in-state, lower-division rates for all students. Scholars will receive a refund of $1,000 via scholarship for the program fee.
Applications, through the Penn State Education Abroad website, must be submitted by February 1, 2023. Student applications will open on October 14, 2022. Decisions will be released by February 11, 2023, and the commitment deadline is February 24, 2023.
- Maymester (May 8-30, 2023)
- London, England and Dublin, Ireland
- All Scholars
- Raymond Sage
- THEA 490H (3 credits)
South Korea Study Tour World Media Systems
South Korea is one of the fastest developing economies in the world, and the global popularity of its cultural exports of pop culture, entertainment, music, TV dramas, movies, cosmetics, cuisines and lifestyles (also known as the Korean Wave or hallyu) makes it an interesting and important subject-matter in both academic and popular discussion about media and creative industries.
The trip to South Korea during the Spring Break 2023 is an intensive travel and learning experience about the media history, microeconomy, creative industries, and popular cultures of South Korea. You will visit historical and cultural sites, walk around Seoul and learn about local microeconomy, visit media and startup companies and interact with media professionals, have guest lectures on popular culture and interact with local students.
The travel component is integrated into the three-credit course COMM419 World Media Systems. This course is designed to train you to think critically using analytical tools to compare and assess media systems in different countries, focusing on how political, economic, and socio-cultural environments influence media ownership, news industry, and digital transformation. We use an interdisciplinary analytic framework that intermixes media studies, history, politics, and sociology in this course.Information Session
About South Korea
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is an East Asian country located in the southern part of the Korean peninsula. The capital city Seoul is the world’s 5th largest metropolis with a population of 26 million. South Korea has a robust democracy with elections and power rotations. The rise of the Korean Wave as a global phenomenon has significantly contributed to the development of its media and creative industries, tourism, and other cultural exports. South Korea has convenient, safe, and English-friendly transportation systems and public spaces.
This program is open to all Penn State students. Priority will be given to Schreyer Honors Scholars and Bellisario students. Schreyer Scholars who have not taken the prerequisite COMM 410, but are interested in the course, are encouraged to apply, and will be interviewed.
The program fee is $2,200 which includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy) in downtown Seoul, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinner, airport transfer upon arrival and departure, bus transfer for select site visits, select cultural site visits, and public transportation cards. Schreyer Scholars will receive a refund of $1,000 via scholarship toward this fee upon completion of the trip. Additional need-based funding may be available for Scholars; for more information, contact Sarah Lyall-Combs.
Out of pocket expenses include roundtrip airfare to Seoul ($1,200-$1,500), site visits not covered by the program fees, meals, cost of COVID testing, passport, optional travel insurance, and personal expenses.
Students who have completed the prerequisite course can start to register for COMM419H.
For those who are interested in the program without completing the prerequisite, please fill out the application form and return it by e-mail attachment to both Dr. Sara Liao and Ms. Sarah Lyall-Combs. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis after application submission; the academic department will facilitate course registration.
Accepted students will have through the end of drop/add for the spring 2023 semester to finalize their participation.
- March 3
- Departure from the U.S.
- March 4
- Arrive in Seoul, South Korea. Welcome dinner and program orientation.
- March 5
- Walking tour of Bukchon Hanok Village; Gyeongbokgung Palace visit (history)
- March 6
- DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) tour (buffer zone between North and South Korea)
- March 7
- Gwangiang market visit (local microeconomy) and Korean cooking class
- March 8
- Arirang TV visit and startup media company visit (media and creative industry)
- March 9
- Digital Media City visit and Samsung Innovation Museum visit (media and creative industry)
- March 10
- Korean Wave guest talk; interaction with local students. K-pop dancing workshop.
- March 11
- Self-exploration day and farewell dinner
- March 12
- Leave Seoul, South Korea for the U.S.
- Spring Break (March 3-12, 2023)
- Seoul, South Korea
- All Penn State students (priority for Schreyer Scholars and Bellisario students)
- Sara Liao
- COMM 419H (3 credits)
Thailand Study Tour Natural Disasters in a Developing Country
With the 2nd largest economy in southeast Asia (behind Indonesia), Thailand plays a leading role in driving development and forging regional policy. Its capital, Bangkok, is a global megacity with an estimated 10 million inhabitants in the metropolitan region and a current growth rate of over 2%/year. This generally positive economic outlook may obscure a more fraught future. Thailand has major vulnerabilities related to natural hazards. Although it is generally a tectonically quiescent region, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (with almost 10,000 confirmed dead or missing in Thailand) demonstrated a substantial (and under-appreciated) risk associated with its location surrounded by major plate boundary fault zones. It has also experienced moderate (but damaging) earthquakes within its borders; has evolving problems of groundwater degradation by saline incursion from both natural (sea level rise) and man-made (agricultural) causes; suffers from severe flooding in Bangkok and other major cities, and is seeing detrimental effects from climate change and sea level rise in coastal regions. In this course students will develop a background in the underlying causes and impacts of these natural hazards, with a focus on implications for the Thai society and its future.
During Maymester, the class will travel to Thailand and see first-hand the intersection between natural hazards and societal well-being. Specific topics for this field excursion may include analysis of the tsunami hazard along the Andaman Sea coast, earthquake potential in northwestern Thailand and Bangkok, the causes and consequences of brine degradation of the groundwater resource, the causes and impacts of significant flooding, and effects of climate change on coastal regions. All of these vulnerabilities will be placed in the context of a rapidly growing, mixed industrial/agricultural economy, in a largely Buddhist country and society.
Integrated into the Thailand trip will be visits to a range of historic and cultural sites including multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites.
This course will collaborate with faculty and students at Kasetsart University (KU) in Bangkok. KU is the #2 ranked university in Thailand (with ~70,000 students), and has a “land-grant” style history somewhat similar to PSU. Furlong has a strong research and educational collaboration with Prof. Passakorn Pananont at KU, including joint research projects, and educational/outreach activities (several short courses taught to both professionals and teachers in Thailand and the southeast Asia region). Most recently we collaborated on a short-course for Thai high school science teachers on earthquake and tsunami science, which was financially sponsored by Thai research and educational funding agencies. Results of our joint science research have been published in major international geoscience journals.
While in Bangkok, we will be based at KU Home, a university-run Hotel (Guest House) on the KU campus, nearby to the Earth Sciences department. During overnight travel outside Bangkok, we will stay at hotels or other guest-house facilities. Students will share rooms, but each will have their own bed. During the duration of the Maymester travel, classroom/writing days will be interspersed with site visits and travel. While on campus at KU, students can access their PSU accounts via their eduroam login. This will allow students to incorporate their experiences and observations into their analysis of interactions between hazards and society. The intent is for the course to be academically self-contained - most work will be accomplished during the trip.
While in Thailand, we will meet with and where possible travel with a peer group of Thai students. This will allow the PSU and KU students to develop longer-term links, and help the PSU students to better understand Thailand, its culture, and its people. Additionally we will arrange opportunities for our students to meet with policy makers and other leaders in the areas we are studying.
There will be a recommended flight to and from Thailand, but participants can make their own arrangements as long as they arrive within a time window to be specified.
For Scholars at University Park in all majors and semester standings. The selection process will emphasize a mix of students from across majors and colleges. Interested Scholars at other campuses should contact Ms. Sarah Lyall-Combs for more information about the spring course and whether it might be possible to complete outside of University Park.
For travel in Summer 2023, students be charged a “flat rate” for the associated 0.25 credit course rather than paying regular tuition. The flat rate will be $200 for both in-state and out-of-state students. There will also be a program fee of $1,500. Scholars will receive a refund of $1,000 via scholarship toward this fee upon completion of the trip. Additional need-based funding may be available for Schreyer Scholars; for more information, contact Sarah Lyall-Combs.
The program fee will cover lodging at all locations, select meals, intra-country travel, and select site visits. Additional costs include transportation to and from Thailand, site visits and meals not covered by the program fees, cost of COVID testing, passport, optional travel insurance, and personal expenses.
Please complete the application form and return by e-mail attachment to both Professor Kevin Furlong and Ms. Sarah Lyall-Combs by 5:00 PM on Friday, January 27, 2023. After decisions are made in early December, accepted students will have through the end of drop/add for the spring 2023 semester to finalize their participation.
- Maymester (May 9-28, 2023)
- Bangkok & Other Locations, Thailand
- All Scholars
- Kevin Furlong
- GEOSC 397 (3 credits) / GEOSC 397 (0.25 credits)
Portugal Study Tour The Governance of Illicit Drugs and Health Policy in Portugal
Portugal was facing an opioid crisis in the late 1990s similar to what the United States is currently experiencing. Their response to the crisis was an innovative approach never before seen in Europe: in 2000, they decriminalized all illicit drugs and vastly expanded drug treatment. As a result of this public health approach, illicit drug use and related crime decreased, more people accessed treatment, and the “crisis” essentially ended. The proposed interdisciplinary course will have students examine Portugal’s policies toward illicit drugs, both historical and contemporary, and the interconnections of law, criminal justice, and health policy. Students will critically analyze Portugal’s approach to handling illicit drug use and compare their strategy with the United States’ drug control policies.
Students will interact with Portuguese individuals and institutions that deal with drug issues, allowing them to analyze many Portuguese drug strategies that do not exist in the United States. Students will learn about the history of the United States’ drug control strategies before arriving in Portugal, giving them the tools they need to critically examine Portugal’s policies in a comparative perspective.
Students will earn 3.25 credits for this experience by registering for CRIMJ 497 in the spring semester for 3 credits and CRIMJ 499 for .25 credit in the summer session. There will be four Zoom sessions (each 1 hour) during the spring semester where students will learn about the history of drug policies in the United States and contemporary drug issues. Once we have selected the students for the course, we will coordinate the Zoom meeting time based on everyone's availability.
The travel component to Lisbon, Portugal will occur in May 2023, where students will meet Portuguese experts in drug policy and visit sites related to these topics. Students will also participate in cultural experiences, including a guided tour of Lisbon and a Fado concert. There will be several days where students will be able to explore Lisbon attractions on their own or travel to nearby cities or beaches.
Portugal is a European country located on the Iberian Peninsula. It is a relatively small country (smaller than Pennsylvania) with a population of about 10 million people. Portugal is famous for its 16th-19th century architecture, beautiful beaches, and world-renowned food and wine. It is also considered one of the least expensive destinations in Western Europe.
There will be a recommended flight to/from Lisbon, but participants are responsible for making their own arrangements and for arriving within the time window specified.
This program is open to all Penn State students, at any campus and in any major. Priority will be given to Schreyer Honors Scholars and Paterno Fellows.
For travel in Summer 2023, students be charged a “flat rate” for the associated 0.25 credit course rather than paying regular tuition. The flat rate will be $200 (tentative) for both in-state and out-of-state students. There is also a program fee of $2,500 which includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy) in downtown Lisbon, daily breakfast, airport transfer upon arrival and departure, welcome and farewell dinner, and select cultural site visits. Schreyer Scholars will receive a refund of $1,500 via scholarship toward this fee upon completion of the trip. Additional need-based funding may be available for Schreyer Scholars; for more information, contact Sarah Lyall-Combs.
Out of pocket expenses include roundtrip airfare to Lisbon, site visits not covered by the program fees, meals, cost of COVID testing, passport, optional travel insurance, and personal expenses.
Complete the application form and return by e-mail attachment to both Dr. Jennifer Murphy and Ms. Sarah Lyall-Combs by 5:00 PM on Friday, December 2, 2022. After decisions are made in early December, accepted students will have through the end of drop/add for the spring 2022 semester to finalize their participation.
- May 9
- Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal. Welcome lunch. Hotel check-in.
- May 10
- Program orientation and city tour
- May 11
- Lecture of the historical context of Portuguese drug policy. Site visit to see implementation of Portuguese drug policy.
- May 12
- Field class on "Drugs and the City." Visit to CRESCER, an NGO that focuses on outreach and health services for people who use drugs.
- May 13-14
- Free time
- May 15
- Lecture on addiction and health. Community engagement project with Banco Alimentar, an NGO in Lisbon that collects food donations and distrubutes them through social solidarity institutions.
- May 16
- Visit to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
- May 17
- Lecture on the police and drug policies. Visit to the Commission for Dissuasion of Drug Abuse (CDT).
- May 18
- Guided tour of the National Parliment. Meeting with NGO that facilitates harm reduction strategies in Lisbon.
- May 19
- Group debate on drug policies. Farewell dinner with Fado show.
- May 20
- Departure to airport
- Maymester (May 9-20, 2023)
- All Penn State students with priority given to Schreyer Scholars and Paterno Fellows
- Jennifer Murphy
- CRIMJ 497 (3 credits) and CRIMJ 499 (0.25 credits)
Contemporary Colombia Program
Colombia has experienced profound economic, social and political change over the last two generations, and is now in a "post-conflict" stage having concluded a peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group. The Schreyer Honors College Contemporary Colombia Program examines these changes in different regional settings, and in large cities through small towns and the countryside. We interact with universities, local government offices, and a range of non-governmental organizations to gain an understanding of various aspects of Colombian, and by extension South American, economics, culture, politics, and society.
The program is structured as a three-credit honors course (LATAM 499) with some pre-departure reading and get-acquainted meetings in person or by Skype (for non-UP participants), with classes and assignments due periodically over the course of the trip, and with a final paper due later in the summer.
Participants are responsible for their own round-trip ticket from the United States to Colombia. Approximate cost is $600 to $1,000.
This program is open to all Penn State students, with priority given to Scholars and Paterno Fellows aspirants.
In addition to the travel costs mentioned above, there is a required three credits of summer tuition and fees at the University Park lower-division in-state level and an additional program fee of $800. Scholars will receive a refund of $500 via scholarship for the program fee.
The Official Budget Sheet can be viewed on the Global Penn State website.
Applications, through the Penn State Education Abroad website, must be submitted by February 1, 2022. Decisions will be released by February 11, and the commitment deadline is February 24.
- May-June 2022
- Bogotá, Cartagena, Tolima & More, Colombia
- All Penn State students (priority for Scholars and Paterno Fellows)
- Richard Stoller
- LATAM 499 (3 credits)
University College Freiburg Semester Exchange
The University of Freiburg (Germany) is one of Penn State’s key partner universities and as part of that collaboration the Honors College and University College Freiburg offer a special exchange opportunity. UCF is Freiburg’s new English-language, interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences program, drawing students from across the European Union and beyond. This is a German spring semester program (March-July) beginning with an intensive German language program to help you navigate life outside of UCF.
Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements from the United States to Freiburg, Germany.
The UCF exchange is intended for second-year students in any major, but it may work for some Liberal Arts third-year students. UCF’s interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences courses typically don’t align with standard courses at Penn State, so for most students these would be general education credits (via substitution in consultation with your honors adviser), mostly in the GS category but possibly in GH, GA, GN and GQ. This program is ideal for students who can finish their entrance to major requirements in three semesters rather than the usual four (in Business or Engineering) or who can otherwise make a typical four semesters’ worth of progress towards their major in only three semesters (in Science, for instance), or whose majors are not rigidly sequenced. This program is limited to four to five students per year.
If you have at least fourth semester German proficiency and you want to attend the “regular” University of Freiburg through Penn State, Penn State Education Abroad has a spring semester program.
This program follows the budget sheet produced by Education Abroad for the regular Freiburg semester. The College will pay the additional tuition for intensive language instruction for Scholars. The usual Schreyer travel grant for a semester in Germany will apply.
Applications are due on May 15 for the following year. Decisions will be released by late June, and accepted students will have until late October to confirm their participation with the Education Abroad office. Applications may be taken through September 15 if space permits.
There will be an informational meeting, including a Skype session with students at UCF, in late February.
- Spring Semester (German calendar, March-July)
- Freiburg, Germany
- Second-year Scholars in any major, may work for third-year Scholars in Liberal Arts.
Volunteer Abroad International Service Learning
After formal study programs, one of the most popular international educational experiences is known as service learning. Service learning is an opportunity for you to go abroad to help an international community or organization, or even the natural environment. These rewarding and challenging experiences are sometimes sponsored by Penn State academic units or student organizations and sometimes self-designed, but most often they are offered by specialized service-learning providers not affiliated with Penn State.
Fund Your International Experience Travel Grants
In addition to the significant subsidies the Honors College offers for its own signature international programs, our travel grant program provides funding for Scholars pursuing experiences abroad whether through Penn State or other providers. Each year, we spend well over $250,000 supporting Scholars in their international pursuits.Apply for a Grant