National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 1. Copyright 2005 National Collegiate Honors Council.


Undergraduate study abroad experiences and immersive international programs serve as rich learning opportunities and substantive creative endeavors. This is particularly true for honors students. This paper describes an honors course that was developed around the idea of the scientific method, targeted at exploring scientific breakthroughs and Nobel laureates, and conducted at the site where the majority of Nobel Prizes are awarded: the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. For the “Stockholm Study Abroad” course at The Pennsylvania State University, honors students were asked to examine elements of the scientific method as the underlying framework of research studies, discuss traditional and nontraditional research techniques used in science, elaborate and/or clarify selected scientific breakthroughs, pinpoint where creativity exists within scientists’ accomplishments of selected breakthroughs, develop questions for Karolinska Institute scientists who are searching for breakthroughs, and explore The Nobel Museum for details of previous Nobel Prize recipients’ careers in science. In addition to the rich academic experiences in which the students participated, this article discusses some of the practical elements involved in the planning of this course, including assistance with arranging lecturers and lecture halls, field trips, lodging, and partial university funding for student expenses. Also discussed are selected logistical topics such as the importance of obtaining agreements from guest lecturers at least six to nine months in advance and facilitating student discussion with international peers and equivalent-level students.