Honors College Learning Abroad
The Honors College offers learning abroad trips to add an experiential dimension to the Honors curriculum and provide a peak experience in a student's success that will last a lifetime. Previous trips have included Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, the Netherlands, Ireland, Jordan, and Israel. All learning abroad programs and courses are open to all students, regardless of major, discipline, or membership in the Honors College.
Programs are offered in the Fall, Winter, and Summer sessions, and range in length from five days to 6 weeks. Interested in seeing the College travel somewhere not currently listed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas! Don't forget to stop by the Office of Global Engagement and Special Programs to make your mark on our #pinwhereyouvebeen world map.
Click here to visit the UH Honors Abroad blog.
Looking ahead to academic year 2022–23 or beyond? So are we! At the University of Houston, we believe that cross-cultural experiences are crucial to transformative learning and personal growth. As such, we continue to plan. Check out these great program options. Additional details will be added as available.
Health & Human Rights: Service-Learning Program in Jordan
Travel Dates: May 19 – July 4, 2023
Led by Keri Myrick
The application for this program is now open! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply early.
Join the Honors College in traveling to Jordan to see how humanitarian aid workers are addressing the various refugee-related crises in the MENA region. This unique service-abroad opportunity will immerse students in the purpose, mission, and workings of a locally operated humanitarian healthcare agency—the Jordan Health Aid Society international (JHASi)—aiding Syrian refugees in Za'atari Camp. Project themes include Family Planning and Nutrition; Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Health; and Refugees and Mental Health; Nonprofit Management and Leadership; and Legal Aid Awareness.
New for 2023, some students will have the option to work in a local NGO that provides legal assistance to refugees from various backgrounds. Through this two-pronged approach, students will better understand the challenges of providing long-term refugee care in a middle-income country. Students will commit to six weeks of service at their assigned NGO and complete a creative project in-country.
Weekend and cultural excursions will include Petra, the Dead Sea, Jarash, Ajloun Castle, Madaba, the Roman Ampitheatre, the Citadel, Wadi Rum, Wadi Mujib, Aqaba, dance classes, and more. Students also study and practice day-to-day Arabic with faculty from the School for International Training – Jordan and the host families with whom they stay.
This opportunity is open to all majors. The associated course counts toward the Medicine & Society, Global Engagement & Research, and Leadership Studies minors.
Special requirements: program fee (multiple scholarships and payment plans are available); airfare (not included); The Jordan Pass, which includes a single-use entry visa fee and admission to some 40 cultural sites throughout the Kingdom; day-to-day expenses in Jordan (all meals are included). Space is limited; students must have completed the associated course, Health & Human Rights HON 3306H, with Drs. Myrick & Valier by the end of the Spring 2023 semester to participate in the fieldwork experience.
For more information, please contact Keri Myrick or click here to be added to the interest list or here to apply. Visit the Jordan Gallery for pics from the 2019 program. This program is Gilman and Fund for Education Abroad eligible.
Israel: Ancient & Modern
Led by David Mikics and Carol Cooper
Few places are as important to world history as Israel, central to three great religions, full of panoramic beauty, and the site of a bustling and fascinating culture. On this trip, we will explore Israel’s ancient history as well as its lively contemporary existence.
In Jerusalem, we will see the city of David and the Western Wall, sites important to Judaism, as well as the Muslim quarter and the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), which has played a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We will visit sites that are central to the Gospels, like the Mount of Olives, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, as well as Capernaum and Magdala, believed to be the homes of St. Peter and Mary Magdalene. In northern Israel, we will see Tel Dan and Banias, thought by some to be the most beautiful place on earth, along with Herod’s capital, Caesaria, Megiddo, and the fascinating Crusader ruins of Akko. In Tzippori, we’ll look at the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.” We’ll kayak down the Jordan River and unwind in Gan HaShlosha, a spectacular natural spring. We will visit archaeological sites reflected in biblical history, like Lachish, Tel Gezer, and Khirbet Qeiyafah, as well as the Greek and Islamic site of Beit Guvrin. And we will tour Yad Vashem, the most significant Holocaust museum in the world. We will end our tour of Israel by climbing Masada, where the Jewish rebels against Rome took their incredible last stand, cooling off in the spring waters of Ein Gedi and floating in the Dead Sea.
Students on the trip will notice Israel’s strikingly multicultural atmosphere. Half of Israel’s Jews have family roots in the Middle East, and a sizable number speak Russian. Israel’s Muslim, Christian, and Druze populations play a major role in its culture. Religious and secular communities rub elbows. All this adds to a multifaceted and energetic country like no other on earth. For more information, please contact David Mikics.
Istanbul, Turkey: Explorations of the Ottoman Empire
Few cities can boast a history as dramatic and eventful as Istanbul, the megalopolis that spans Europe and Asia, the city of empires, the “Queen of Cities.” Founded as Byzantium in the seventh century BCE, it was ruled over the centuries by Greeks, Persians, and Romans. As Constantinople, it was the seat of the Byzantine Empire for over 1,000 years. At its fall in 1453, it became Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Our itinerary will consist of many of Istanbul's major sights, sounds, and tastes, keeping our eye always on its complex history and rich cultural traditions. While the trip's focus will be the Ottoman period, we will also consider the city’s Byzantine past and its vibrant and dynamic present as a world capital and cultural hub connecting east and west. Students interested in the history, politics, art, and culture of the Eastern Mediterranean are encouraged to register. Click here to be added to the interest list.
Tunisia: Ancient Civilizations and Arab Uprisings
Join the Honors College as we travel to the land of Ancient Carthage. Visit the remains of Byrsa; take in the country's history at the Bardo National Museum. Perform at the Amphitheatre of El Jem, then make your way down Avenue Habib Bourguiba for fresh food and even fresher political discourse with locals. Whether you're a history buff, an adventurer, or a culture aficionado, this trip has something for everyone!
The associated course, offered in Fall 2020, took a number of “soundings” into the history and culture of Tunisia, from antiquity to recent history. The course aimed to raise questions for further exploration based on selected literary and historical readings. The selection of topics was linked to places we plan to visit, including at least four of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tunisia (The Medina of Tunis, Kairouan, Dougga, and Carthage). The course considered four broad content areas: (1) the Carthaginian Punic civilization and its competition with the Roman Republic, (2) Christianity in Roman North Africa, (3) Islamic civilization in North Africa, and (4) Tunisia and the Arab Uprisings of 2010–2011. Students need not have completed the course to participate in travel. During the trip to Tunisia, you will learn about the many aspects of Tunisian society and culture and interact with Tunisian guides, educators, and everyday Tunisians.
This trip will interest Phronesis minors, students of religious studies, archaeology, French, Latin, Arabic, political science, classics, history, art and architecture, and Islamic studies. Both the course and trip count toward the Global Engagement & Research minor.
Click here to be added to the interest list. Please contact Jesse Rainbow or Keri Myrick for more details. Visit the Tunisia Gallery for pics from the 2019 program. And check out this amazing video by Honors College alum Hannah Ajrami, also from 2019.
Identity & Forced Migration: Spain & Morocco
Led by Keri Myrick and Jesse Rainbow
This trip is still being developed. Please check back.
Trip deposits are non-refundable. Students are financially responsible for trip balances; program fees may not be refunded within 90 days of travel. Please check with your trip leader on payment schedules. Acceptance into a program is acknowledgment of all travel-related and program fees.
For information on other Learning Abroad Programs at the University of Houston, please visit the Office of Learning Abroad's website.