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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
Schreyer Scholar Markea Dickinson looking over a cliff during study abroad in Argentina

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 Study Tour Musical Theatre & Drama

Program Summary

The London Study Tour embarks on its thirty-sixth 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 new and extended program will include more extensive travel beyond London.

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. 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 spring semester. 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.

Travel

Transportation to and from the United Kingdom is handled by the student.

Eligibility

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.

Estimated Costs

Three credits of summer undergraduate tuition/fees, program fee TBD, transportation to UK (purchased by student), estimated in-country costs of $500-$800. Program fee includes lodgings, shows and other admission fees, transportation between London and Edinburgh and within both cities, and selected meals. Summer tuition is charged at in-state, lower-division rates for all students.

Application Process

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.

Big Ben in London
Overview
  • Maymester
  • London & Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • All Scholars
  • Raymond Sage
  • THEA 490H (3 credits)

Thailand Study Tour Natural Disasters in a Developing Country

Program Summary

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.

Travel

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.

Eligibility

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.

Estimated Costs

Required one credit of summer tuition and fees. For Scholars, the Honors College will provide a grant to cover tuition differential for out-of-state students. There will also be a program fee of $1500. Scholars will receive a refund (TBD) via scholarship toward this fee upon completion of the trip.

Application Process

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, December 3, 2021. 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.

Flooding in Thailand
Overview
  • Maymester
  • Bangkok & Other Locations, Thailand
  • All Scholars
  • Kevin Furlong
  • GEOSC 397 (2 credits) / GEOSC 499 (1 credit)

Contemporary Colombia Program

Program Summary

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.

You can view a preliminary syllabus, with itinerary and travel information, here.

You can also review a PowerPoint presentation for the 2019 program, including photos and links to videos.

Travel

Participants are responsible for their own round-trip ticket from the United States to Colombia. Approximate cost is $600 to $1,000.

Eligibility

This program is open to all Penn State students, with priority given to Scholars and Paterno Fellows aspirants.

Estimated Costs

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.

Application Process

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.

Government building in Bogota, Colombia
Overview
  • 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

Program Summary

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.

Travel

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements from the United States to Freiburg, Germany.

Eligibility

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.

Estimated Costs

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.

Application Process

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.

Wide view of Freiburg, Germany
Overview
  • Spring Semester (German calendar, March-July)
  • Freiburg, Germany
  • Second-year Scholars in any major, may work for third-year Scholars in Liberal Arts.

Spain Study Program Innovation in Intergenerational Living and Learning

Program Summary

This new course is designed to introduce students to how people across the globe live, learn, value, and care for one another while embracing treasured cultural traditions. Intensive travel and learning experiences occur in Spain during Maymester 2022. Students will work with faculty, senior volunteers, and professionals engaged in innovative intergenerational (IG) programs and practices at the local, national, and international levels.

Through an intergenerational lens, students will learn about lifestyles, family life, community support systems, and cultural identity of people living in Southern and Eastern Spain. They will also learn about innovative IG programs taking root in the country to enrich the lives of individuals and communities and strengthen families. Finally, students will learn about culturally significant places, foods, values, and arts in the country.

On Campus Learning

Global Perspectives for Intergenerational Living & Learning: Spain will be offered as AEE499 (2.5 credits) in Spring 2022. The travel course, AEE499 (0.5 credit) will follow in Maymester (Summer) 2022 with travel dates May 9-18, 2022.

Travel

Transportation to and from Spain is handled by the student. This includes flights and ground transportation to the airport.

In-country, students will engage in a full-day seminar with local undergraduate students in the host country led by intergenerational specialists in program design and evaluation and policy development.

In addition, students will visit programs in three locations across Spain, including specific collaborative learning labs. Learning challenges will be set up for each visit, linking to the previous full-day seminar. These challenges include:

Albolote, Granada

An evidence-informed intergenerational shared site within the framework of a translational research project.

Jarandilla de la Vera, Cáceres

Intergenerational work in rural environments.

Alicante

Developments in intergenerational public housing.

The trip will wrap up with an event showcasing some students' learning outputs in the way of public presentations in a mini-conference at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology at the University of Granada.

Estimated Costs

Required 0.5 credit of summer tuition. For Schreyer Scholars, the Honors College will provide a grant to cover tuition differential for out-of-state students.

The program fee is currently estimated at $1500 to include lodging, most meals, on-ground transportation. Schreyer Scholars will receive a refund (TBD) via scholarship toward this fee upon completion of the trip.

Additional costs may include proof of COVID vaccination, passport, optional travel insurance, and personal expenses.

Application Process

Apply for this program by Friday, December 3, 2021 by sending a one-paragraph statement of interest to Professor Matthew Kaplan and Ms. Sarah Lyall-Combs.

Wide view of Alicante, Spain
Overview
  • Spring Semester & Maymester
  • Southern and Eastern Spain
  • All Scholars
  • Dr. Matthew Kaplan
  • AEE499 (2.5 credits/0.5 credits)

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.

Amizade logo
Cross Cultural Solutions logo
Global Volunteers logo
IPSL logo
Peace Corps logo
Volunteering for Peace logo
Other Opportunities

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
Schreyer Scholar Ananda Rankin

I want to be able to find something through research that can help the rest of the world. If you find this one thing, that could change the course of everything afterward.

Ananda Rankin '20 Microbiology

See the World Global Perspective

Education Abroad Fund Your Travel