Students enrolled in the Honors Program can pursue a variety of study abroad options, ranging from an exclusive Honors summer program at Oxford University, to short and long term programs open to all Marymount students. Read about some of the opportunities, and students’ experiences, below.
Oxford Study Abroad Program
To reinforce the Liberal Arts tradition of Oxford and Cambridge, and to provide a global perspective specifically tailored for Honors students, the Honors Program offers a six-week study abroad program at the University of Oxford in England. There, students take six academic credits, three of which are with an Oxford faculty member in a Traditional or Advanced Tutorial. The other three are with a Marymount University professor in an Honors Seminar.
They also travel in sponsored trips to London, Stratford, Windsor, and other British sites as well as embark on independent travel throughout Europe.
Brenda Lu, BioChemistry, Class of 2019
Being a part of the Oxford Program was an incredibly unforgettable experience. Without a doubt, studying abroad at one of the most prestigious universities in the world felt intimidating from the start. The professors at Oxford really challenged our way of thinking. I explored countless possibilities and expanded my horizons in ways that I would not have if I hadn’t been a part of the Oxford Honors program. Marymount is already thousands of miles away from my home (CA), but at Oxford, I came, I saw, I conquered — from the deeply-rooted history in England to the gorgeous architecture and Renaissance-centric arts, and the Oxford experience overall. I learned to take things into my own hands and drag others along for the trip. I’m still afraid of getting lost in a city, especially on a bus, but fear shouldn’t keep someone from traveling. The Oxford Program taught me that and I won’t forget it on my next trip.
Spring Break Study Abroad Programs
Marymount offers short-term study abroad programs during spring break called Global Classroom Series (GCS) courses. These are three-credit, semester-long classes taught at Marymount which include an international field experience of one week to ten days during spring break. This unique type of experience allows students to learn about the course material in the classroom and then apply that knowledge in an international setting. Some of these GCS courses may count as Honors seminars, such as the Spring 2019 Honors Abnormal Primate Psychology program to a chimpanzee sanctuary in Girona, Spain. Read about all of the GCS courses here.
Chyna Easterling, Psychology, Class of 2021
After my study abroad trip to Girona, Spain to assist in the rehabilitation, preservation, and enrichment of rescued primates, I can only hope that every student seizes an opportunity to study abroad. During this trip, I was able to assist in the caretaking of rescued primates and explore the culturally-rich city of Girona. The idea of navigating a city in another country can be intimidating at first, but the freedom to explore a city with so much beautiful architecture and friendly people was very fun.
I was so excited to learn more about the culture of Spain and how the local people live, connect, and value. Their culture’s influence on their approach to life and their emphasis on connectedness resulted in a change in my perspective on life in the United States. Studying abroad can be an intimidating idea but it is worthwhile; being able to experience the world through a different lens was so rewarding and only makes me more excited for future opportunities. This study abroad experience has been one of the highlights of my academic career at Marymount University and I hope I am lucky enough to enjoy many more adventures like this one!
The International Experience
Some Marymount Honors students choose to spend an entire semester abroad. Here are a few of their stories!
Stephanie Downing, Criminal Justice, Class of 2019
I’ve heard many people say that studying abroad is too expensive, yet they don’t think twice before purchasing a designer handbag or the latest iPhone. Overtime, these materialistic things lose value, but the experiences we have never do. Buying things for ourselves initially makes us happy, but as we adapt to them, they become less valuable. I’ve never once regretted splurging on a trip I’ve taken but have often reprimanded myself for spending 50 Euros at Primark for clothes that are now sitting at the bottom of my closet.
Looking back on my semester abroad, my favorite experiences were not necessarily seeing the Big Ben or Palacio Real — it was making decisions that I’d originally been afraid to do so but did so anyway, such as traveling to Ireland by myself, learning Latin Dance, and volunteering as an English teacher for the Madrid community. When I’d come across something that I was initially afraid of doing, I would tell myself, “I’m only in Spain for a semester, so why not?” Over time, I learned to conquer my fear of making mistakes and taking risks. These experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me that fear is the only obstacle that prevents us from growing and pursuing our dreams.
Katherine Sanchez, Biology, Class of 2019
The semester abroad in Australia was more amazing than I could have ever imagined. I went diving along the Great Barrier Reef, camped by the Great Ocean Road, explored Sydney, experienced a “Welcome to Country” ceremony, and saw countless kangaroos. However, it was the people and culture that amazed me the most. This country opened my eyes to how big the world really is. I was terrified at first, being so far away from home, but after living there for almost five months I could easily imagine staying there. When you live in one location your whole life, you rarely think about exploring places that are really only a plane ride away. You can set up a plan for what you think the future will hold but it’s impossible to plan how going abroad completely changes your perspective.
Jessica Klein, Business, Class of 2017
Studying abroad was one of the best experiences I had during my time at Marymount. During my semester abroad, I was really immersed in the Italian culture. I got to do a homestay and live with an Italian family, who did not speak any English, so I learned to speak some Italian. I was able to get really comfortable in Florence because I was there for a few months, I got to feel more like a local and less like just a visitor in the city. I also go to travel to many different countries and experience their cultures and histories as well. I was able to go to Estonia, the Netherlands, Italy, and Oxford. Being able to travel and see so many different places and experience new cultures really helped me grow as a person and changed my views on the world. I also studied at Oxford University, which is still my favorite experience at Marymount. Oxford is a beautiful, old city that has an amazing history. Working with an Oxford professor was an amazing opportunity and was very different than any other learning opportunity that I have had. Studying abroad helped me grow as a person and rounded out my curriculum at Marymount.
Emilia Larach, Psychology, Class of 2015
Graduating from Marymount’s Honors Program in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Spanish and International Studies, Emilia studied abroad during her sophomore year in Granada, Spain. Her experience overseas informed the topic of her honors thesis, which investigated the relationship between study abroad and global citizenship as it pertained to a student’s identity development. Following graduation, Emilia presented her honors research at a national conference for international education in Boston, MA. She then returned to Europe as an English teacher, working across Italy within English immersion summer camps, and later with the Spanish Ministry of Education in secondary schools in Zaragoza, Spain. Emilia completed her Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice from Harvard University, where she studied acculturation and student development during the study abroad re-entry transition. Emilia currently works as a Global Experience Advisor at Northeastern University. In this role, she provides guidance and support to students and faculty traveling abroad and is able to utilize her passion for international education to improve current practices and enhance office programming.
The Honors Program director can give guidance about study abroad options. Marymount’s Center for Global Education is available to help students explore programs and facilitate plans as well.