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Honors Seminars Abroad allow students to explore a new and exciting part of the world for three or four weeks during the summer while earning six academic credits and fulfilling the Honors seminar requirement. These programs travel in May and/or June.

Academic work for these programs begins in the spring semester. Two-hour, bimonthly meetings incorporate preparatory readings, discussion, and written assignments. This spring coursework lays the foundation for the study abroad experience in the summer. Once abroad, the seminars combine daily classwork with field trips, activities, and events.

The Honors College strives to keep Honors Seminars Abroad affordable. Limited funds are available for need-based assistance to support these experiences.


Jared Diener
Director of Honors Advising and Global Initiatives
Hillcrest Annex 1002

Summer 2020 Programs:

JMU Study Abroad website

  • Interdisciplinary topics open to Honors students in all majors
  • Programs incorporate self-directed research projects
  • Limited enrollment in each program
  • Completion of an Honors Seminar Abroad fulfills the six-credit seminar requirement or can count as Honors electives
  • Includes a required spring semester preparatory component
Summer 2020 Programs

You must apply to each program individually. If you apply to multiple programs, you must cover the application fee for both. Apply through the CGE website (follow the links below). Limited study abroad scholarship funds are available for qualified applicants.

For more information about these programs, contact Jared Diener, Director of Honors Advising and Global Initiatives, or the program directors. 

Victorian London and Modernity

Victorian London was the birthplace of what we now call "modernity." Transformations in food, music, art, theatre, literature, science, and architecture characterized the increasing tempo of modernity for Victorian people. Experiencing all of these things will be the basis of our hands-on learning trip through time and into the heart of London.

The London Underground, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Queen's Walk and the Embankment are all Victorian creations that transformed the life of London and perceptions of what it means to "make progress" and be modern. The joys, failures, and anxieties that dominated the Victorian period still set the stage for some of our most intense contemporary debates even today in our global, social world. Come explore ground-zero of modernity's deepest desires and greatest fears as we walk our way through Victorian London. 

Application Deadline

October 15, 2019

Program Dates

Spring 2020 bimonthly meetings: W 6-8

Summer 2020: June 1-20



Art, Culture, and Politics in Medici Florence

This seminar abroad explores the history, art, political thought, and culture of Florence in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Florence is an extraordinary site for the kind of interdisciplinary learning promoted in this seminar. Late medieval Florence was, to a large extent, a republic in which political power was relatively broad based. The Medici family enjoyed a sustained influence on the ongoing development of political and cultural life in Florence, as prominent and wealthy citizens and later, beginning with Cosimo I, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, becoming a powerful noble family. Florence was also the center of the artistic developments now associated with the birth of Italian Renaissance art, many of which depended on the patronage of the Medici. Donatello and Brunelleschi spent their entire careers in Florence, and other artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo began their careers in Florence before moving to other cities. Major authors, including Dante and Boccaccio, are important for understanding Medici Florence. Christianity was a pervasive and profound influence on all aspects of art and culture. Florence was also a vibrant center for the revival of Platonism during the Renaissance, a movement that influenced the development of humanism in modern Europe.

The experience will begin with approximately bimonthly two-hour meetings on campus in the spring semester of 2020. Students will use this semester to do preparatory readings, discuss ideas, and complete some assignments to become acquainted with the historical background and some art historical, literary, political, and cultural information related to Medici Florence. They will use this period to get to know one another and the instructors and to begin a small Florence-related research project which they will present in Florence. 

Once on site in Florence, the group will become immersed in the cultural history of 15th-century Florence. The students will meet with the instructors daily for classroom work, held at the Palazzo Capponi, JMU’s premises in Florence.  Afternoons and evenings will feature field trips and events, including visits to most of the major museums and cultural sites in Florence, and day trips to Siena and Medici estates in the environs of Florence. There will be a free three-day weekend, allowing students to travel to Venice or Rome or even further afield.

Upon returning to JMU, program students will participate in additional reflective work relating to their experience in Florence.

Application Deadline

October 15, 2019

Program Dates

Spring 2020 bimonthly meetings: Tu 5-7

Summer 2020: May 12 - June 3



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