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Honors College Learning Away

The Honors College offers learning away 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 Milledgeville, GA; New Orleans, LA; Santa Fe, NM; and Houston's world-renowned Medical Center. All learning away 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, Spring, and Summer sessions, and generally range in length from three to seven days. Interested in seeing the College travel somewhere not currently listed? Email us at ogesp@uh.edu with your ideas!


Northern California

Summer 2020; Trip Length: 8 Days
Led by David Rainbow

Travel with Dr. David Rainbow, Russian historian and native Californian, for a unique Northern Californian adventure. The first half of the trip we will hike and stay along the rugged Northern California coast. The second half of the trip we will stay in the heart of San Francisco. The goal of the trip will be to explore Russia’s long history on America’s western frontier. We’ll stay at Russia’s nineteenth century colonial outpost at Fort Ross, explore the beautiful Russian River, and see firsthand the legacies of Russians in San Francisco. This trip is for anyone who likes the outdoors, wants to visit one of the most interesting cities in America, and is curious about how global connections in history have shaped the United States. Travel dates are May 16 – 23, 2020. Contact Dr. Rainbow or visit the trip website for more information about the trip and how you can get credit toward a minor in Russian studies. Please visit the Russian and Eastern European Initiative website for other program opportunities. 


Washington, DC: Visual Rhetoric and the Principles of Our Political Architecture

Spring 2020; Trip Length: 5 Days
Led by Dustin Gish

The city of Washington, D.C., has always been a destination for American tourists. But the city offers more than the usual tourist attractions. From its disputed beginnings to the present, Washington stands as the Capital of our nation and the Symbol of our national identity. Landscape and architecture form the physical setting and home for political institutions and offices, but the National Mall, Monuments, and Memorials also embody a vision of our nation and its political principles, a vision that has evolved over time. Washington is not only the vibrant center of our national politics, but a sourcebook for the study of the formation and evolution of American political principles. The purpose of this study away trip is to introduce students who are already living and working there during the Washington Semester to the visual rhetoric of the National Mall and Monuments. The Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, White House, and Jefferson Monument — together with war memorials, monuments to individuals, and federal buildings — are engaged in a great conversation regarding the development of the principles of American government. Washington, D.C., as our national city, literally embodies in its landscape how we as a people have defined and dedicated ourselves from the Founding until today. 

This course counts toward the Phronesis Minor. For more information, please contact Dr. Gish.

Artists & Their Regions: Los Angeles Noir – City of Fractured Dreams

Spring 2020; Trip Length: 6 Days
Led by Brandon Lamson and Robert Cremins

How are artists and their work intimately shaped by the place of their origin? How do certain places provide fertile ground for a variety of artistic practices and aesthetics while maintaining a specific local identity? How do artworks made in a particular place reflect its complex history as well as how it continues to evolve in the present? 

In this Artists & Their Regions course we will study various artists and art making located in the iconic city of Los Angeles. From the visual art of Robert Irwin to the films of David Lynch and the novels of Raymond Chandler, we will explore a wide range of creative works that capture Los Angeles noir and its unique juxtaposition of high and low art culture.

Our course culminates in a trip to Los Angeles from March 9 – 14, 2020 to conduct field research and to work on creative projects that are inspired by, and in conversation with, the City of Dreams. Scholarships are available.

This course counts toward the Creative Work MinorFor more information, please contact Brandon Lamson or Robert Cremins.


Trip deposits are non-refundable. Students are financially responsible for trip balances; program fees may not be refunded within 45 days of travel. Please check with your trip leader on payment schedules. Acceptance into a program is acknowledgement of all travel-related and program fees.