Cultural Exploration as an Honors Experience
Cultural Exploration includes activities or projects that promote global citizenship, critical, multicultural understandings of the world, and self‐awareness of one’s cultural orientations. Cultural exploration includes:
- Language immersion and study in a foreign country.
- Work immersion in a foreign country.
- Service Learning in a foreign country.
- Fieldwork in your discipline in a foreign country or a location/community in the United States notably different than San Antonio and your hometown.
- Cultural immersion programs in a foreign country or a location/community in the United States notably different than San Antonio and your hometown.
- Projects or activities that engage with art, culinary art, or music traditions of a foreign country or a location/community in the United States notably different than San Antonio and your hometown.
Why Should I Choose Cultural Exploration?
Pursuing an Honors Experience in Cultural Exploration is an opportunity for you to learn about another culture, interact with people from that culture, and develop intercultural competency. Intercultural competence is the ability to work effectively across cultures and is a valuable asset to have as a graduating student. In an increasingly globalizing world, it is more likely that you will be working in teams with diverse backgrounds, collaborating across borders, or being required to travel for work. Students pursuing Cultural Exploration as an Honors experience come away with greater resilience, adaptability, and ability to communicate with others effectively.
Is Cultural Exploration Limited to Certain Majors or Disciplines?
No – whether you are majoring in foreign languages to become a diplomat or are an aspiring computer scientist, Cultural Exploration will be a valuable Honors Experience, as you will learn how to interact with people across cultures. Some majors will have cultural exploration programs like study abroad built into the degree plan, whereas other majors, particularly the sciences and engineering, might see students completing cultural exploration experiences over the summer.
What Have Other Students Done for Cultural Exploration?
- The most common example is study abroad, Internships abroad, and Service learning abroad.
- Becoming a conversation partner with the UTSA English as a Second Language Conversation Partners Program or Woodland Baptist ESL Program.
- Working with local community organizations (RAICES, Migrant Resource Center, Center for Refugee Services).
- Designing an oral history project with a diaspora group in San Antonio.
- Online courses offered by a foreign university.
- Virtual internships offered through foreign companies or study abroad providers.
How Do I Get Credit for Cultural Exploration?
Applying credit for Cultural Exploration to satisfy Honors SPICES requires a minimum of 75+ hours of time on task while supervised/mentored, have a stated goal to be reached by the end of the project, and submission of an experience approval form. For more information on Honors College Experience requirements, visit the Experience Approval Process page.
How Do I Find Cultural Exploration Experiences?
- Honors College Study Abroad Programs. We routinely offer three programs to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Japan.
- Visit the UTSA Education Abroad Website to look at all other study abroad opportunities.
- Programs offered by the Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice .
- Fully-paid international travel opportunities via The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards .
How do I fund study abroad?
There are tons of scholarship opportunities for study abroad, and many allow for students to apply for funding up to a year in advance, before they have committed to or paid for their program:
- The Honors College Study Abroad Planning Scholarship
- UTSA International Education Fund
- Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad
- UTSA Study Abroad Funding Page
Example ELF Posters and Presentations in Cultural Exploration
- Sandra Ovuegbe, Public Health, Nigeria to America: My Journey
- Taylor Helmcamp, Global Affairs, Transatlantic Perspectives Program - Frankfurt, Germany
- Layan Ali-Hasan, Fertility Clinic Shadowing Overseas
- Vivienne Martinez, Language Study in Italy
- Forough Askarirad, Teaching English as a Second Language