Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
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(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479

Honors College Travel

Honors College students can study abroad or study away for a summer, a semester or full year through Oakland's International Education Program. Some Honors College General Education classes offer an optional study abroad component during the course.

Honors College students who are interested in studying abroad can apply for a one-time Honors College scholarship, the Walt and Donna Young Study Abroad Scholarship.
Honors College
Students Abroad


Professor Richard Stamps

A picture is worth a thousand words but, there is nothing like seeing the real thing! That was the experience of six Honors College students who traveled to China for nine days over the winter recess. “I always dreamed of walking on the Great Wall, today I did it. I climbed to the top.”

The students and their Professor visited Beijing, the modern capital of China. They ate Peking Duck, walked through the Imperial Palace, learned Tai chi, visited a family in an old Hu Tong neighborhood, drove past venues for the August Summer Olympics, took pictures in Tiananmen Square, and experienced the hustle and bustle of this modern city. They traveled on to Xi’an, the ancient capital, where they visited the tomb of Qiu Shi Huang Di, the first Emperor of the Qui Dynasty. Seeing in person the Terra Cotta army was a highlight for several students. Shopping on the streets of this 2,000 year old city created lasting memories. Students giggled as their Professor talked with the locals.

The last stop was Shanghai and its 19 million residents. It seemed as if we saw them all, the city is so crowded. While in Shanghai we had dinner with an Oakland alumnus and visited the father of one the students who often travels to China for work. As we entered the Qin Mao Tower (the world’s fourth tallest building) Kathryn said “my dad is working somewhere in this building.” In Shanghai we experienced this modern center of business, commerce, industry, and history.

Places, events, and personalities from the class lectures came alive as we walked the streets and drove thru the country side. It was a great opportunity for students working on research projects to gather data first hand. Photos and interviews have enhanced the students’ research. It was a great winter recess, not soon to be forgotten.


Macerto, Italy
By Fara DiNoto

I studied studio art abroad in Macerata, Italy. Living in Italy opened my eyes to how other parts of the world work. I experienced another country not as a tourist, but as a resident.
During our program we attended the Biennale, an international art exhibition, in Venice. The 2011 winner was a film by Christian Marclay entitled The Clock. It is a 24-hour montage consisting of film and television clips in which time is depicted and is edited in a way where the film acts as a functioning timepiece, where the time shown in the film matches the time in reality.

In Macerata I spent a lot of time in the studio. The combination of guidance and freedom led me to create one of my best art pieces, which is currently on display in the PSU
gallery in Portland,Oregon. After the culmination of my program I went to Rome and then to Sicily. Sicily had the best food. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I highly recommend that everyone studies abroad.


Hikone, Japan
By Alex Green
, Honors College Student

During the fall semester, I was fortunate enough to be a student at the Japanese Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Japan. Hikone was a small, quiet city, but one with immense character. No more than a twenty minute bicycle ride from Maibara’s shinkansen station, but situated directly on the shore of Lake Biwa, the city was the perfect combination of being off the map, but not far from it.

On the weekends, the inner city, cocooned by the darkness of the quaint, surrounding farmlands, bustled with light and energy as everyone flocked to the friendly ambiance of the restaurants and karaoke bars.

My fondest memories, however, are those of my solo ventures out across the country. I walked the hallowed grounds of Sekigahara, stood at the feet of the immense Daibutsu in Nara, traversed the many shopping districts of Kyoto, and looked out upon the brilliant nightlights of Tokyo’s Roppongi district from the heights of the Tokyo Tower.

My time in Japan was an absolute pleasure, and I am forever indebted to Oakland University for making the experience possible.


Montego Bay, Jamaica
By Hava Leichtman

I traveled to Jamaica as part of an Honors College class to do research on Jamaican Adolescents and HIV. My interest in this project stemmed from my enrollment in two Honors College courses—HC 202 (AIDS, Imperialism, and the Colonial Body) and HC 206 (Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Focus on HIV/AIDS). The instructors of these two classes planned a one-week study abroad trip to Jamaica. The reason for this trip was to expose students to the Caribbean through its literature, and to create an awareness of the environment, culture, and the politics of AIDS. In addition to the extensive readings I had completed beforehand,

I also had the advantage of being accompanied abroad by my faculty mentor whose expertise in the field of public health involved 20 years of researching the determinants of risky behaviors among youth and documenting the need for collaborative strategies for healthy child development. The purpose of my research was to assess the St. James Health Department in Jamaica, and determine if the facility, providers and staff, and administrative procedures were “youth friendly.”

I spent time at a home for children who were afflicted with AIDS. They were so happy to have visitors. There was one little boy in particular who just plopped himself down on my lab, and demanded I read him the book he brought to me, he was so adorable!

It was a well-rounded trip and a great time was had by all. Each of the students who went got a partial scholarship from a generous Honors College donor who had us over for a fine dinner upon our return. He and his wife wanted to hear all about our trip, see pictures, and hear first-hand how we benefited educationally from the experience. Following the trip I presented my findings at the Honors College Research and Scholarship Day as well as the Meeting of the Minds annual conference.


Rosario, Argentina
By Elizabeth Karwacki

My fall semester was spent studying abroad in Rosario, Argentina. I can honestly say that my semester there was the most rewarding time of my life. Weekend excursions to Iguazu Falls, the beautiful city of Mendoza, and Buenos Aries, allowed me to see some of the variety the country has to offer. Tango lessons, paragliding over the Andes Mountains, white water rafting, repelling down waterfalls, and trekking through the rainforest were just some of the highlights of my semester abroad.

The greatest part of my trip was simply exploring the city and getting to know the locals. I learned a great deal both inside and outside of the classroom. Having the opportunity to experience the culture up close and personal made all the difference.This trip gave me a new perspective on South American culture and provided me with friends and memories that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend a study abroad program to every Honors College student.


Oldenburg, Germany
By Mary Orczykowski

I was fortunate to study abroad in Oldenburg, Germany for three months. I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. I had studied the German language for seven years before the trip. I learned so much more about the grammar and literature than I could have imagined.

It was a great cultural experience as well. I was able to get to know not only the German culture but also the culture of the students from all over the world that were studying with me in Oldenburg. I have always had a strong interest in traveling and learning about other cultures.

While on this trip, I was able to see a city in the Netherlands, the capital of Latvia, Paris, and many cities in Germany including a weekend stay with a family in a small farm town. All of these experiences have positively influenced my view on the world and I really appreciate the opportunity. Studying abroad is a one in a lifetime chance and I am so lucky to have gone.


Angers, France
By Candice Yono

It’s remarkable how two simple words—“study abroad”—can excite such wonderful images of beautiful landscapes, different languages, and excellent cuisine. Yet, it is even more surprising that such lovely connotations of adventure cannot possibly prepare one for the amazing experience that awaits them.

Since my arrival in Angers, France, I have been living with an elderly couple who have welcomed me into their lives and introduced me to French culture. Traditional meals, which can quite literally last hours, are usually accompanied by discussions of politics, religion, movies, or culture in general, giving me the opportunity to understand the French way of thinking.

Study abroad has given me even more than insight into French culture; it has been a way to meet students from all over the world. My classes are offered through an international program that unites foreign students in their desire to learn about new cultures.

I will never forget the people that I have met in my classes, on daily walks, or at social events. Hopefully we can stay in contact and laugh about the things we love in France—from the bakeries dotting every cobblestone road to the ancient fortress situated at a major intersection, to the people taking walks with baguettes in hand. These are the memories that will be cherished.


My Adventures in España!
By Max VanRaaphorst

Now you might ask me, “Max, what is a biochemistry major doing in Spain”? Oh let me tell you! If you ever get a chance to study abroad, be enveloped in another culture, expand your horizons and get a chance to meet amazing new people around the world, you would be crazy not to take that opportunity! Preaching aside, I conducted my studies/adventures in Oviedo, Spain. Oviedo is the capital of the Asturias Region of Spain, way up in the north.

I lived in the Povedo residence hall with other American students taking classes at the University. They were an extraordinarily outgoing, dynamic group, as I have ever seen. Classes ran Monday through Friday 9:30am to 2:30pm, with a little break in between for Café con leche and tortilla española.

My trip included many adventures. The first Friday all the summer students at the university went to a restaurant for a little Austurian party, called an Espicha! There was Celtic music, appetizers, good company and the local drink of choice – Sidra! There were even some official dancers that danced the old fashion Celtic dances. After a few glasses of Sidra, the next thing I knew, I was up there dancing with the Celtic dancers. Oh what fun!

Some other adventures (that I do not have that much room to talk about, but please ask me about some time)would include: Spain winning the world cup, canoe trip down a river to the Ocean, dancing, visiting FC Barcelona stadium, and many more.