- Friendships that will last a lifetime. On a study trip, you spend a lot of time with your fellow travelers, the folks with whom you will not only spend every waking hour for one to two weeks, but also share some transformative cultural and educational experiences. On an Honors trip, you also have the chance to get to know professors and staff--and on this trip, our dean--in a way that is just not possible in Houston.
- Classroom learning connected to the world. As a student traveler, you will visit places connected to the pages of your Human Situation books: Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto, Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground or Crime and Punishment, and so on. You might even be inspired to read one of the classics that usually doesn't make it into the Human Sit syllabus, like The Brothers Karamozov or Tolstoy's War and Peace, or attend a performance like the Houston Grand Opera's recent production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
- Experienced leaders. Yes, we hire the best local guides and work with the best tour vendors. But Honors faculty and staff themselves represent an additional wealth of experience in international travel and study abroad. The faculty for this trip represent dozens of student trips, and years of living abroad, including in Russia. Honors College trips reflect both the immense practical wisdom and the high educational standards of our faculty.
- It will never be easier for you than right now. Honors trips are affordably priced, and generously supported through scholarships. You may have received summer travel support as part of your financial aid package. If not, you can apply for an IEFS scholarship or for an Honors College scholarship. But setting aside the dollars and cents, your undergraduate years are a great time to see the world. It will never be easier for you to drop what you are doing for a couple weeks and travel. Invest in yourself and your education, and consider joining us next summer!
While this is our first trip to Russia, the Honors College has a long tradition of excellence in study abroad and study away trips. Here are four reasons you should make a trip a part of your undergraduate experience:
Historian David Rainbow writes:
In 1917 two revolutions took place in Russia that have affected the world ever since. In February, a 300-year-old Romanov dynasty came to an end. What started with women marching in the streets of St. Petersburg demanding bread ended eight days later with the tsar’s forced abdication of his throne. Then in October, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik Party seized power in the name of the people. Lenin created the world’s first Marxist socialist state, but not before having to fight and win a three-year-long civil war that ravaged—and eventually reconstituted—the Russian empire. More than ten million people were killed from 1917-1922, and millions more fled into exile abroad. The years of revolution and civil war that began in 1917 utterly transformed the lives of 200 million former subjects of the Russian tsar. The Soviet Union was being born. It was a country built to eliminate injustice forever.
If you want to learn more, come on our trip to Russia in May 2017. While in St. Petersburg and Moscow we will visit several of the most significant revolutionary sites.
For more information on the trip and on Dr. Rainbow's fall 2017 Russian history course, see here and here.