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honors international scholars
honors student riding train in central asia

The Honors International Scholars Program (HISP) supports second- and third-year Honors students engaging in overseas opportunities by providing 30-40 scholarships per year, ranging from $2500 to $5000. Students have used HISP funding to participate in traditional university-sponsored study abroad programs, university-to-university exchanges, intensive language-training institutes, internships, and public service projects.

honors student working in cambodia

Our students are eager to learn about other countries, languages, and cultures, and for those in volunteer programs, they are keen to serve. To better understand our increasingly global society, it has become essential to experience ideas, languages, and cultures beyond our own borders. That is why the Honors Program encourages and facilitates meaningful cross-cultural study, work, and service for its students.

honors student riding horseback in costa rica

HISP awards are merit-based, taking into account GPA, quality of essays, and fit of the program to the student’s academic and professional goals. The amount of each award depends upon program costs, financial need, and funds available. The majority of awards are earmarked for travel to Asia, Latin America, and Africa. A limited number of awards, however, can be granted for travel elsewhere, especially to students traveling abroad for the first time or demonstrate significant financial need. For some awards, preference is given to Terry College majors.

honors student visiting aztec ruins in mexico

Information sessions, which provide an opportunity to hear from past recipients, are held in September. Applications are available in August and due in early November for travel the following year. Award winners are announced in December. For further information, contact Maria de Rocher in the Honors Program.

Download the current Honors International Scholars Application.

Comments from Honors International Scholars

Ashley rubbing the Buddha for good luck in China

Ashley Bartlett, China
“My studies in Chinese improved significantly. I worked harder than I ever had, focusing solely on learning the language to the best of my ability. With one-on-one classes twice a day, my teacher correcting my pronunciation and informally chatting on the subject material, I quickly progressed to reading and speaking faster and with more surety. I learned a year of Chinese in six weeks and came to understand that speaking was simply the best way to learn and develop. In the future, when I hope to become a Foreign Service Officer, this trip will prove to be highly significant.”

Christy Boudreau, Costa Rica
“My experience may unlock the doors to other international career paths.  I could apply securities trading experience to work with the International Monetary Fund or pursue a career with a global development agency, such as the World Bank or the International Finance Corporation. I may also become qualified to hold a financial officer position at a multinational oil company with significant investments in alternative energy, like Exxon or Chevron. Additionally, I could apply my knowledge to policy studies and seek to influence legislation that gives funding and incentives to the energy industry. The possibilities are endless, and I will always be grateful to the donors who opened the doors to so many opportunities.” 

Katie hiking the mountains of Argentina

Katie Branscomb, Argentina
“My time in Argentina was the beginning of a new era in my life. I am still discovering the ways that I have been changed during my adventures and challenges in Argentina. I have a renewed confidence in myself and as I continue to sample all of the things that life offers me, I will always take the time to talk to the people around me (in English or Spanish) to learn their stories and share my own…I know that when the dust of youth settles, I will look back on my time in Argentina as a point where my mind was shaken, stirred, and turned upside down, never to be the same again.” 

Tram Jones, Peru
“Our trip to Peru gave me a sense of what the rest of the world lives like and a desire to help through my chosen career—medicine. The need for doctors and modern medicine is great, especially in the small and forgotten villages scattered throughout the nation. While it will be a good time before I can call myself a doctor, I hope that when I can I will be able to travel overseas and use my tools to help others. I realize that as a physician I can use my skills anywhere on this planet and make a difference. That is a truly exciting prospect.” 

Lisa King, Tanzania
“As an environmental economics major, I have been particularly interested in sustainable development, focusing on the relationship between people and the environment and ways in which the environment can be used sustainably to help people make a better living. While in Tanzania, I took classes in agribusiness marketing and anthropology. I enjoyed seeing how different cultures function and interact. Visiting local businesses and a local orphanage, it was clear that there is still much to be done for raising living standards and in the battle against diseases and hunger. The problems could seem overwhelming at times but it was very inspiring to see what local people are doing to help each other. And it helped me redefine how I think aid programs should work. The problems and solutions needed are somewhat different than what I could have pictured.”

Stephen working with schoolchildren in Ecuador

Stephen Pettigrew, Ecuador
“The combination of international affairs studies and experiences in nature while in Ecuador has provided me with more of a sense of direction in my academic studies.  For the first time, I am seriously considering law school and focusing on the discipline of environmental law. It seems to be a terrific fit for me, to pursue my interest in policymaking as well as environmental protection and litigation. This clarity in the direction of my life would likely not exist without my experience studying abroad in Ecuador.” 

McCoy working with schoolchildren in Ghana

Asa McCoy Pitt, Ghana
“My experience helping to further human rights protection for the people of Ghana provided me a wealth of knowledge about international development, democracy and democratization, globalization, ethics, and sustainable business practices that could not be matched in even the best classroom setting. What I have seen, done, and, most importantly, felt during the last month will stay with me for a long time to come and has helped me chart my course towards a career in international development. I want to thank all of the donors to the Honors International Scholars Program for providing me with the educational experience of a lifetime and a defining moment in my development as a person.” 

Bradley Wong, South Korea
“My study abroad program prepared me well for future work I will engage in as an accountant, pursuing international work opportunities within public accounting firms, industries, and government. What I learned has made me no longer hesitant to experience new surroundings or cultures. I now feel a new sense of confidence in my ability to travel outside the United States and plan to seek international work opportunities in the future.” 

Cassondra working in a nature preserve in South Africa

Casondra Turner, South Africa
“Living in South Africa for seven weeks reinvigorated me to fight for the justice and decency that I believe all people deserve. In law school, I will focus on international human rights law with the intention of working against human rights abuses.  Studying in South Africa was most significant because my ultimate goal is to work against gross human rights violations such as apartheid and genocide. It was my first real look at a country that is still recovering from the effects of gross and systematic government abuse. Because I lived in South Africa for seven weeks, I am now ecstatic about my future and about the opportunity of working with the United Nations or the International Criminal Court to address human rights abuses.” 

Sheena weaving in Ghana

Sheena Varghese, Ghana
“I had so many preconceived notions about what I would gain from the trip, from meeting artisans and contemporary artists, but I quickly realized that my expectations for the country were far too low. Rather than just observing Ghanaian artists from a separatist, outsider position, I had the opportunity to participate in numerous activities with them, enhancing my experience more than I would have ever imagined possible.” 


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Assistant Director of Honors & Programming
Maria de Rocher

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