Honors and Study Abroad

The Baccalaureate Honors Program encourages students to enrich their academic, social, and cultural experiences by studying abroad. Students in the BHP can now earn honors credit based on their study abroad experience. There are three options:

  1. HONORS CONTRACTS: Consult with the Honors Director to see whether it is possible to arrange an honors contract in a course taken abroad. (This work will be evaluated by the faculty advisor for the contract and reviewed by the Honors Director; see Honors Contracts in the BHP website).
  2. PAPER AND PRESENTATION: Write a 7-page paper and make a presentation at a study abroad forum arranged by the Center for International Education. This forum typically occurs during International Week every November. The primary audience is students who are considering or planning a study abroad experience, and your purpose is to help them understand both the challenges and the opportunities afforded by living and studying in another country. Use the themes listed for option 3 (below) as a guide for topics appropriate for inclusion. This work will be evaluated by the Director of the Center for International Education and by the Honors Director.
  3. PAPER ONLY: Write a 12 to 15-page paper addressing the following themes:
    • What you learned about how people in your host country perceive the USA, and your analysis of the reasons for these perceptions
    • How your experience abroad affected your perception of your host country and your native country
    • How differences in language, culture, and tradition affected the nature, method, and/or outcome of the study of your academic discipline (major or minor).
    • Among the additional topics you may address are the following:
      • How your experience influenced your academic or vocational aspirations and plans
      • The particular difficulties you encountered in your study-abroad experience, and how you were able to meet or overcome them; you may wish to draw upon your study-abroad orientations as well as relevant readings to frame these difficulties according to what researchers say about culture shock, adaptation and reverse culture shock (upon return).

This work will be evaluated by the CIE Director and by the Honors Director.
It is recommended that students choosing options 2 and 3 purchase the book Studying Abroad/Learning Abroad (An Abridged Edition of The Whole World Guide to Culture Learning) by J. Daniel Hess (Intercultural Press, 1997), which provides a student-friendly framework for understanding and benefiting from the study abroad experience.

By satisfactorily completing one of these options, you will meet requirements equivalent to those for one 3-credit honors course.

Criteria for evaluation:

Content:

  1. Demonstrates understanding of the host culture and the influence of the study abroad experience on the student’s perception of the culture
  2. Demonstrates understanding of perceptions of people in the host country, and the reasons for their perspectives and inferences regarding the U.S.
  3. Effectively deploys persuasive evidence and analysis to support claims
  4. Articulates the value of study abroad in terms of broader cultural enrichment with regard to multiculturalism

Writing/Oral Presentation:

  1. Logical organization of ideas
  2. Clear and engaging presentation/writing
  3. Correct use of language and (for writing) language mechanics (paragraphs, punctuation, use of citations etc.)
  4. Appropriate level of diction/rhetoric for intended public

Due Dates for completed papers:

  • Papers are due no later than four (4) weeks after completion of the study abroad semester. If the semester’s completion date is LATER than 4 weeks AFTER THE FINAL RIDER UNIVERSITY examination for that semester, please discuss changing the completion date deadline with the Honors Director and Director of the Center for International Education.
  • For GRADUATING SENIORS, papers are due no later than two (2) weeks after completion of the study abroad semester. If the semester’s completion date is LATER than 4 weeks AFTER THE FINAL RIDER UNIVERSITY examination for that semester, please discuss changing the completion date deadline with the Honors Director. Please be aware that seniors studying abroad in their final semester often receive their grades from abroad at least 4-6 weeks AFTER the Rider University graduation IF the semester abroad finishes at the same time as the Rider semester.