Honors Abroad 2018

Welcome, incoming Honors Freshmen and greetings to our blog readers! We have some exciting news: we will soon be announcing our 2018 short term travel class topics and details. Check back soon to learn more about the class and application process.

In the meantime, be sure to check out some of our student posts from June 2017 to see some photos and first hand student accounts of our adventures in Iceland.

 

A Journey to the North of Iceland

HON195 Student Post: Jordan Fisher, Nursing Major; Honors Minor

Career Goal: Psychiatric Nurse



A Journey to the North of Iceland

Good day everyone, nursing student Jordan Fisher here with your latest update on our amazing trip to Iceland!

I rolled out of bed quickly this morning, landing face first in the pile of clothes that—let’s admit—I was never going to put away, cursing to myself as I realized I should have packed my overnight bag the night before. My classmates were running around like maniacs, picking up a raincoat here, shoving a hairbrush into a backpack there, and trying to squeeze in a proper brushing of the teeth before our overnight journey to Northern Iceland.  This morning rush has come to be our normal routine here in Iceland. If I have learned one thing on this trip so far, it’s that you have got to move fast to get a good seat on the bus. Continue reading “A Journey to the North of Iceland”

Water You Doing, Puffin Your Chest Out Like That

HON195 Student Post: Aedin McDaniel, General Biology Major; Honors Minor

Career Goal: Veterinarian


Water You Doing, Puffin Your Chest Out Like That

Oh, the adventures we have had in Iceland! Today was especially interesting—but only really after 12 o’clock. Continue reading “Water You Doing, Puffin Your Chest Out Like That”

A Day in the Capital: Wandering Laugavegur

HON195 Student Post: Jacqueline Langevin, Psychology major; Honors Minor

Career Aspirations: Continue education towards PhD

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A Day in the Capital: Wandering Laugavegur

First of all the weather was beautiful. I start out with this because it is a very common conversation starter amongst the Icelandic. I opened my window and the sunlight shone in, leaving gold reflections off of lava I collected earlier in the week sitting on the window still. My day was off to a great start the second I woke up: this morning, we were finally given a chance to sleep in. I quickly got dressed and packed my backpack with the essentials: wallet, sweater, bathing suit. Mind you, I was already wearing a few layers under my raincoat. The bathing suit is an essential item to always carry around in Iceland: you never know when you will find a hot spring or stumble upon a pool. Although the agenda for the day was wandering around the city of Reykjavik I didn’t want to risk not having my bathing suit handy. Continue reading “A Day in the Capital: Wandering Laugavegur”

A Walk to Clear the Mind; Reykjavík Edition

HON195 Student Post: Sacha Kiesman, Political Science Major; Honors Minor

 


A Walk to Clear the Mind; Reykjavík Edition

June 24th – Today was our free day in Reykjavík. We all begin our day watching a 360 degree video of the natural features from all across Iceland. The video is projected on the walls and ceiling of a small room in the Harpa center. Beautiful images of fire and ice surrounded me but they aren’t distracting enough so my mind wanders, and I begin to think about my future, a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Becoming a lawyer would leave my life void of images and visuals like these. My job would primarily be words and texts. The tape deck of possible careers and majors in my head starts flipping again, a thought process that has been stealing away my energy for over a year. I leave with wet cheeks but am practiced at pushing aside these thoughts for later. Continue reading “A Walk to Clear the Mind; Reykjavík Edition”

The Race Between Continents

HON195 Student Post: Emma Cost, Environmental Planning and Policy Major; Honors Minor



The Race Between Continents

My day started with my friend Katie anxiously shaking me awake. “Emma, there’s Belgian waffles for breakfast again!” I already knew this was the start to a great day in Iceland. I ran to breakfast, late per usual, and quickly devoured waffles.

Today’s agenda was focused more on the fishing industry of Iceland and less on tourist hot spots. Yet Einar, our wonderful tour guide, always has tricks up his sleeve! As we were riding on the bus, Einar pointed out the bridge up the road revealing it was the continental rift. Our sleepy eyes immediately opened wide and suddenly there was more energy on the bus. Continue reading “The Race Between Continents”

Tectonically Speaking, Iceland is Awesome

HON195 Student Post: Benjamin Currie, Finance Major; Honors Minor

Career Aspirations: To work in the outdoor industry


Tectonically Speaking, Iceland is Awesome

During the summer, there are very few attractions in Iceland that are not extremely crowded with tourists. This morning, however, we drove to Reykjanes and our tour bus pulled into a hidden parking lot. There were no other cars around. Only a few short feet from the car was a small foot bridge that crossed both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. In geology, the theory of tectonic plates says there are nine massive plates that structure the entire earth. Two of these plates run smack against each other in the Reykjanes peninsula. As I stood on the bridge straddling North America and Europe, I was able to admire the wonderful view of the ocean and miles of rugged terrain. On each end of the bridge were small paths that led down to the black sand that’s been trapped between the two rock plates. As we stood in the sand, a starting and finish line were drawn for us to have a race between the plates. The race started in North America and ended in Europe a few moments later, tectonically speaking. After spending about thirty minutes in this strange land that connects two massive continents and plates, we boarded the bus to head to Gunnuhver. Continue reading “Tectonically Speaking, Iceland is Awesome”

Searching for the Future in the Past: A Day Of Learning In Iceland

HON195 Student Post: Molly LeComte, International Business Major; Honors Minor

Career Aspirations:  In 5 Years I hope to be a Lawyer


Searching for the Future in the Past
A Day Of Learning In Iceland

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Onward to “fishery” (Reykjavik Maritime Museum)

Today I traveled with my class to three distinctly different places, all to get a better understanding of the maritime fishing industry of Iceland. We started the morning at the Árbaer Open Air Museum in Reykjavik, a small re-creation of what life was like in Iceland during different periods of time.  Houses from all over Iceland are occasionally moved to this historic farm for preservation.  By walking from house to house, one is physically surrounded by Iceland’s past. These homes shine light on what life was like for fishermen and farmers throughout the decades. The houses were so well preserved that it felt as though at any moment the old residents would walk into the home and greet me with an Icelandic “grunt,” the universal greeting in this county. Continue reading “Searching for the Future in the Past: A Day Of Learning In Iceland”

A Day of Water and Rock

HON195 Student Post: Vitaliy Popov, Electrical Engineering Major; Honors Minor

Career Aspirations: Pursue a Masters Degree in International Business



A Day of Water and Rock

On Tuesday when I awoke, it was raining like it always does in Iceland. As I waited for the van with my classmates, I gazed out the window—the rain and low fog in the distance made the sky so mesmerizing. When the van pulled in to Geocamp, we all ran to it like ants to sugar. I grabbed a window seat so that I could continue looking at the vast, flat landscape during the hour ride to Thingvellir, our first destination.  As we drove Iceland’s Golden Circle, it started to rain a lot harder and it was extremely difficult to take photos with the fast water droplets flying by on the glass.  Einar, our guide, began telling us about the history of the Thingvellir, the site of the law rock, Iceland’s first parliament, established around 930 AD.   Continue reading “A Day of Water and Rock”

A Crash Course on Skyr

If you’ve visited the yogurt section of your grocery store, lately, you may have seen an unfamiliar item snuggled in with the vast selection of Greek yogurt cups – Icelandic Skyr.

yogurtskyr

This item has actually been around for centuries and has finally found its way into US grocery stores. What, exactly, is this newcomer all about?

Skyr (pronounced skeer) is a traditional Icelandic Continue reading “A Crash Course on Skyr”