Why Study Abroad?
A liberal arts education in the twenty-first century calls for an understanding of peoples and cultures beyond our shores. The Honors Program addresses this contemporary component by requiring the study of a foreign language as well as encouraging students to take courses in world history and inter-religious dialogue. However, the best way to understand a foreign culture is to live in it. Consequently the Honors Program strongly encourages students to spend some time studying abroad.
Where, When, How?
Students in the Honors Program have the unique opportunity of having their Gonzaga-awarded financial aid transfer to any study abroad program in the world. Thus Honors students have the option of studying abroad through a Gonzaga sponsored program, or they may choose any program outside of Gonzaga. Most Honors students study abroad for a semester during their junior year. However, some choose to study abroad for a full year, others go abroad in the summer, and some study abroad during their sophomore or senior years.
Study Abroad Experiences
"I knew that spending a summer in Chimfunshi was going to impact me, I just wasn't prepared for how deep and unexpected that impact ultimately was. There's nothing quite like embracing another culture and making new friends across the globe to expand your mind and your heart."
- Mary Kate Koch, studied in Chimfunshi, Zambia
"Study abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned a lot about myself and had some incredible experiences, from getting to shear a sheep to wandering around cathedral ruins between classes. Studying abroad also helped me to become much more independent and confident. I wouldn't have been able to go to St. Andrews if honors hadn't made it possible to take my financial aid anywhere in the world. Every student who can study abroad should, and I can attest that it is even possible for science majors!"
- Libby Young, studied in St. Andrews, Scotland
"Studying at Oxford was the best thing I could have done. The highly individualized approach allowed me to engage with my major in a way that I hadn't before. I'm so grateful that the Honors Program gave me an opportunity I wouldn't have had otherwise. Plus, I got to eat at Hogwarts and accidentally got locked in the cemetery where JRR Tolkien is buried. Isn't that every English major's dream?"
- Emily Reis, studied in Oxford, England
"Studying abroad in Chile was one of the most rewarding and unique experiences that I have ever had. I was able to profoundly strengthen my Spanish language ability while visiting some of the most beautiful places on earth - San Pedro de Atacama, Volcán Villarica in Pucón, and Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. I also was able to learn by living, both about Chile's history and its culture. My college experience would not have been complete without my semester studying abroad."
- Mollie Picha, studied in Valparaíso, Chile
"I really loved the study abroad opportunities made available to me by the Honors Program. Because of Honors, I was able to take my financial aid with me to a program in El Salvador called Casa de la Solidaridad (House of Solidarity), which is a 4-month experience unlike any other. The Casa program encouraged me to learn more about and act upon my passions for social justice and experiential Service-Learning in new ways. I immersed myself in another culture much different from my own, and it opened my eyes to new ways of seeing the world and those around me. Studying abroad in El Salvador challenged me to expand my definition of what it means to just "be" with others, and I am incredibly thankful for the life-changing opportunity."
- Annarose O'Brien-Wilson, studied in El Salvador
"I went to the University of Glasgow and I can honestly say that it was the greatest experience I have had in college. I met people from all over the world, made lots of new friends, got to travel throughout the UK, and took some classes that I would not have had the opportunity to take had I stayed at Gonzaga. One of my favorite trips was going to the Isle of Skye and the North Coast of Scotland... The train to Skye went over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is the trestle seen in all of the Harry Potter films, and is stunningly beautiful in person."
-Tabitha Lovell, studied in Glasgow, Scotland
"Entering a world-view that had been colonized taught me a lot about the past and possible future of our own national politics and how it affects other cultures, economies, and identities. Plus, I learned a lot of Spanish while studying abroad in South America! My personal best moment I had was meeting Christ in Chile. Another great moment for me was galloping my horse up a sand dune in the Atacama desert. Study abroad is important to learn about other perspectives, but also to highlight your own culture and perspectives that you have absorbed during your lifespan. It gives you a chance to challenge those perspectives and assumptions that maybe you'd never noticed before."
- Sara Reed, studied in Valparaíso, Chile
"Having my scholarship money follow me to any program was huge. Without it, I probably would not have gone abroad. Besides, a lot of friends went abroad in Europe the same semester, so I could crash with them during weekend trips."
-Chris Heinrich, studied in Munich, Germany
"I got a paid academic internship in Witzenhausen, Germany through the RISE program. It turned out to be mostly farming, growing and drying medicinal herbs, and building a corn maze. We didn't actually work that much though, and I had a ton of time to socialize and travel, much of which was paid for. It was completely unexpected and a total blast!"
-Amelia Ferrel, worked in Witzenhausen, Germany
"I fell in love; I became part of a family; I learned to live in solidarity."
-Katie Beno, studied in El Salvador
"Studying abroad makes you feel like a different person: more conscious, more aware, and more worldly. As for the Honors Program, everyone wants to talk about their awesome, life-changing, consciousness building, awareness cultivating, worldly study abroad experiences and hear about yours."
-Leslie Cabrera, studied in Brazil
"I studied abroad in Florence, and it was an incredible experience to spend a summer in Italy. Once I was there for a few days, I started to get to know some of the local secrets, like where to get the best gelato. It's amazing because after spending the first half of the day in class, I would have a huge gourmet lunch, courtesy of the owners of my pensione, and then I was basically free to wander the city. Florence is one of the few cities I've ever been to where literally everything has historical value."
-Clelia Leopold, studied in Florence, Italy
"I really wanted something different, so I chose Santiago, Chile. Traveling all over South American while taking classes as a Chilean student is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I became immersed in a culture and a lifestyle that led me to places and experiences I never thought possible before attending Gonzaga. It was worth every peso."
-Mike Merz, studied in Santiago, Chile