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Study Abroad

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Honors Seminars Abroad

Designed by the JMU Honors Program, the Honors Seminars Abroad allow students to explore a new and exciting part of the world for three weeks in May while earning six academic credits and fulfilling the Honors seminar requirement. The program begins with regular meetings in the spring semester during which students get to know each other and the instructors and prepare the groundwork for the upcoming experience through readings, films, and lectures. Once abroad, the seminars combine daily classwork with field trips and events. Students have ample free time to explore their surroundings. Seminars Abroad are affordable and need-based assistance is available. Registration is handled through the Office of International Programs.

Program Highlights
  • Open to first- and second-year Track I and Track II Honors students   
  • Enrollment limited to approximately 20 students in each program
  • Completion of either program fulfills the Honors Program six-credit seminar requirement
  • Includes spring semester preparatory component 
Previous Seminars Abroad 
Barcelona: 20th-Century Barcelona

barcelonaThough an important part of Spain, Barcelona is proud of its independent Catalan identity and language. It is a port city with a long history dating from antiquity, and, during the 20th century, it was an intellectual and artistic hub that saw an efflorescence of modern art, political consciousness and revolutionary politics. Both the unique aspects of Barcelona and its ties to the rest of the country will be explored during the study abroad program. The city is known for its architecture, dating from Roman times, to the Gothic cathedral to Antonin Gaudi's Art Nouveau buildings.

Your experience will begin with two-hour evening meetings at JMU every other week during spring 2013. During this period, you will get to know each other, learn about Barcelona through film and readings, and plan a small research project. Once in Barcelona, you will meet with the instructors to visit historic buildings, museums, go on city tours, and participate in day trips to the Dali Museum, the monastery of Montserrat, and local beaches. We will focus on key historical figures, events and monuments, including Gaudi, Picasso, and Dali.

Florence: Art and Politics in Medici Florence

florenceArt and Politics in Medici Florence will be structured as a six-credit interdisciplinary seminar, designed as an intensive experiential learning course for Honors Program freshmen and sophomores. There will be preparatory work at JMU during the spring semester 2013 and reflective work upon return to campus. During the three weeks in Florence, the group will alternate between seminars on specific topics held at the Palazzo Capponi, visits to major museums and architectural sites, and cultural excursions related to Florence's history. Most days the students will spend approximately 3 hours in classroom activities and an additional 4 hours in outings, with some cultural events scheduled in the evenings. Day trips to Siena, ruled by the Medici at the end of our period, and to three Medici villas in the environs of Florence will be scheduled. One three-day weekend in the middle of the period will be left open for independent student exploration.

London: Art and Economics in the Bloomsbury Group


londonBloomsbury derives its name from 'Blemondisberi', meaning 'the manor of (William) Blemond', who acquired the land in the early-13th century. Known as the hub of intellectual London, Bloomsbury is anchored by the British Museum and the University of London.

This program will be a six-credit Honors Seminar on Art and Economics in the Bloomsbury Group. The Bloomsbury Group is a celebrated group of intellectuals, artists, and public figures who lived in or near London in the early twentieth century who closely interacted with one another. Bloomsbury is a district in London which was the geographical center of the Group’s meetings. The core of the Bloomsbury Group included economist John Maynard Keynes, writers Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and Lytton Strachey, artists Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry, and critics Clive Bell and Leonard Woolf. However, there were many others who had varying degrees of connection to the group. The Bloomsbury district of London is where the University of London, home of JMU’s London program, is located and it is where students will reside during the London stay.