Experiential Learning

Study Abroad

At the Honors College we strongly encourage our students to pursue international study experiences. It is not required of Honors students; however, it is highly encouraged. The Honors College is here to support you in planning and completing your study abroad experiences. We hope to help you fit in study abroad for a semester, summer, or year, find the right program for you, and find the funding. Our Honors College students have traveled all over the world!

ECU has more than 37 faculty-led summer study abroad programs. For contact information, applications, and details for specific programs, visit pirates abroad. Detailed study abroad information sessions are held every Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 PM in the conference room of the International House (behind the SRC and McDonald’s). These sessions are a great opportunity for you to learn more about the variety of study abroad programs available to you. Hear from students and administration about the benefits of international studies. Please email studyabroad@ecu.edu if you have any questions.

Resources for planning your study abroad experience:

I studied abroad in summer 2023 and was on the ECU Tuscany Intensive trip. Being part Italian, I have always wanted to go abroad and visit Italy to get in touch with that side of my family’s history. Being in Italy was truly a transformative experience; being able to immerse myself in the rich history, art, and cuisine of Italy was incredible. The diverse academic environment encouraged creativity and critical thinking while forging lasting friendships with peers that I might not have crossed paths with otherwise at ECU. Overall, studying in Italy not only advanced my academic pursuits but also nurtured resilience, and independence, and gifted me memories that will last a lifetime.

–Sarah Maisto, Class of 2024

International Programs

UNC-Chapel Hill Honors Semester in London >

All ECU Honors College students, who are at least in their second year, are welcome to apply to UNC-CH Honors Semester in London. This exciting opportunity is only offered to Honors students in UNC system schools. The Semester in London offers an internship, a scholarship for selected students and the chance to travel around Europe!

Global Community Programs

The ECU Honors College has partnered with Intercultural Affairs to offer a Serve & Learn trip to Jamaica in May. This program focuses on cultural immersion, social action, and community-based learning.

Learn more and apply 


As an Honors College student, you will have many opportunities to be involved in undergraduate research. Students of your caliber are wanted as research assistants across campus and you will have the opportunity to present your research in many different ways.

Students are also encouraged to present their research at conferences across the state and nation. To help offset travel expenses, students can apply for the Marilyn Sheerer Fund for Academic Priorities (application found here).

ECU’s Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement hosts various events throughout the year to showcase research as well as offering funding opportunities and resources for undergraduate research. Visit REDE’s website for more information.

REDE also provides access to the Student Opportunity Center (SOC) where students can find thousands of scholarships, grants, research opportunities, fellowships, publications, conferences, and much more. Visit the SOC portal here.

“Originally, I was not interested in research. But from the support of Honors College faculty and coursework, I have found a love for research that helps people around the world through research about refugees in Eastern NC and humanitarian aid. I will be completing my Honors Thesis in the spring and pursuing a graduate degree next year to continue research in my field.”

–Madie Fleishman, Class of 2019

Living Learning Experiences

Living-Learning Experiences provide you with the opportunity to explore and learn more about your surrounding community and beyond while fostering a stronger sense of community within the Honors College. Any Honors students can participate in any trip on a first-come, first-served basis. You can attend as many or as few event as you would like! Most trips are free to students.

Past sponsored Honors experiences have included overnight excursions to Richmond and Williamsburg, VA and Charlotte, NC; a performance of Nerds! at the Progress Energy Center and Wicked at DPAC; visiting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Washington, NC; touring both the Brody School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine; going behind the scenes at the conservation lab for the Queen Anne’s Revenge; visiting local businesses including Metrics, Inc., Southern Bank, the Mt. Olive Pickle Factory, and Grady White Boats; providing service to needy and deserving organizations including My Sister’s Attic and Greenville Community Shelter; and many more!


The Honors College will support you in pursuing internship opportunities to facilitate learning outside of the classroom. Certain internship opportunities are only available to Honors students, including the two detailed below.

East Carolina Heart Institute Internship Program

The ECU Honors College internship at the East Carolina Heart Institute provides an interactive clinical and scientific summer program. Students are exposed to laboratory research methods and clinical procedures, as well as the ambience of an integrated cardiovascular disease program. For 6 weeks (full-time) student interns are immersed in daily clinical activities of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists, which include observing robotic cardiac surgical operations as well as cardiac catheterization procedures. The program is supervised by Dr. Wiley Nifong, an internationally recognized surgeon who helped pioneer robotic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. The program is noted for personal interaction between student interns and our faculty and is devoted to spawning early interest in cardiovascular science and medicine. This internship is only available to Honors College students.

Innovation Design Lab Internship

The Innovation Design Lab (IDL) Internship program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to engage in creative projects and research at the IDL, with the Office of Innovation and Economic Development. The IDL provides a neutral meeting ground for diverse, multi-disciplinary innovation teams where design is the translating language and the connector between the arts and the sciences. The IDL uses established Design Thinking processes to enhance creativity and guide its application into innovations. Students must be in good standing with the Honors College. To learn more about the IDL, contact Wayne Godwin (godwinw@ecu.edu) or visit the IDL website.


The Honors College encourages all students to reach out and impact the community through volunteer and service work. Whether on or off campus, the Honors College strives to make a meaningful impact year-round in the community. The Honors College provides opportunities to serve through our curriculum, the Honors Student Council, and Living-Learning experiences. These events vary each year but the goal to include service remains as we embody ECU’s motto “To Serve”.

Many Honors students often take the initiative to continue volunteering on their own throughout their college years. Honors College efforts have served countless organizations which include the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina, Campus Kitchen, the Center for Family Violence Prevention, Drew Steele Center, ENC Stop Human Trafficking, Greenville Community Shelter, Grimesland Sunday Clinic, Operation Re-Entry, NCPacks4Patriots, Golden Living Center, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, GO-Science, Hope Lodge, Food Bank of Eastern NC, Greenville Harvest, and Pitt County Arts Council.

Makers Arts Residency

This year-long paid residency gives Honors College students from all majors the opportunity to make visual artwork and act as the Honors College’s ambassadors to the arts. Through this residency, students from diverse academic backgrounds will set and attain reachable artistic goals, build strong connections with their community, activate a lifelong appreciation for the arts, and develop as creative leaders. Selected students will receive a one-time $750 stipend plus $250 for supplies, access to studio space and creative facilities, monthly critiques and roundtable chats with a faculty mentor and residency curator, and a final exhibition of their projects. Our Makers also take part in free, customized trips for immersion in their interests; examples include touring the North Carolina Museum of Art, participating in glass blowing workshops, and meeting with local artists and cultural leaders. As part of this residency, selected students will also volunteer at arts events and nonprofits, embodying the Honors College’s commitment to service.

Honors College Student Council

The Honors College Student Council is an organization of Honors College students that works to recruit, engage and connect exceptionally talented students within the ECU Honors College. The HCSC is committed to representing student values to Honors College faculty and promoting the improvement of the ECU Honors College. The HCSC is composed of five committees with distinct roles, all led by the executive board:

  • Election Committee
  • Marketing Committee
  • Programming Committee
  • Service Committee

Click here to learn more about the HCSC.

Student Opportunity Center

The Honors College partners with ECU’s Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement to give students access to the Student Opportunity Center (SOC). This site was built as the for student, by student solution to the growing problem of students being unaware of co-op, intern, research, study abroad and other opportunities across the nation. The mission of the SOC is to build a national network of students, employers, and institutions where students can discover, connect to, and build on their interests through the relevant experiences and to make sure that every student, institution, and employer is connected to that community.

Click here to access the SOC.