Semester in Exeter

Five Honors Semester in Exeter students and faculty explore a cliff overlooking the seaside.

Program Introduction

The Semester in Exeter program invites Honors students to a half-year immersive faculty-led study abroad experience in the United Kingdom.

Students explore English culture, storied landscapes, and embark on a journey of self-discovery, belonging, and authentic leadership.

Throughout their time in the United Kingdom, students will live the life of an English university student by taking courses at the University of Exeter, explore the cities, towns, and countryside of England on weekly Honors faculty-led excursions, and engage in undergraduate research aimed at enhancing human experience and meaning-making.

This program is for all Honors students, regardless of major or professional ambition, who seek a transformative undergraduate experience that cultivates personal growth, nurtures capabilities for contributing to the common good, and enhances the depth of understanding necessary for authentic leadership. 

Program Dates

Spring 2025 | January 8, 2025 – June 21, 2025

  • January 8 – March 28, 2025: Exeter Modules (classes) + Honors Seminars & Local Excursions
  • March 28 – April 28, 2025: April Break (No modules or seminars meet. Students are welcome to engage in independent travel in the UK or EU. Student housing is available the whole break.)
  • April 28 – June 21, 2025: Exeter Module Exams + Honors Seminars & Extended Excursions

Application Timeline

Dartmoor Exeter 2022

April 24, 2024 – Priority Application Deadline

  • Applications received before this deadline will be reviewed and initial acceptances offered.
  • Applications received after this deadline will be reviewed and admission offered on a rolling basis until the program is full.
  • Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to secure a seat on the program.
  • Once the program is full, applicants will be placed on a waitlist pending availability.

October 16, 2024 – Final Application Deadline

Apply Now!

The Semester in Exeter Experience

Branscombe Group Photo

What if you could explore the world and deepen your self-understanding, craft a vision for the future, and inspire others – all while making progress on your academic and professional path?

Whether you are pursuing a career in the health professions, business, law, public service, or engineering — just to name a few — or deepening your knowledge in psychology, humanities, natural & social sciences, philosophy, international relations, fine arts, education, and beyond, the Semester in Exeter program is designed to enrich your path.

The Semester in Exeter is more than a traditional Honors seminar. It is a personalized, transformative research experience that invites you out of the classroom into the wider world. Through travel and collaborative exploration, the artificial barriers between the classroom and “real life,” between teacher and student, between work and play, are dissolved. On weekly walks and meals together, the rigidity of the academic setting gives way to friendship, trust, and the freedom to explore ideas and discover unexpected insights. 

Exeter 2024 Coast

Premised on the belief that learning and personal growth are natural and effortless processes when enabled by an enriched environment, each element of the program is designed to invite students to find their own path to excellence, personal fulfillment, and contribution to a better future for all. Honors coursework is intentionally flexible to allow each student to personalize connections between their experiences on the program and their academic/professional interests. You are invited to come as your authentic, multifaceted, and unfinished self, make new connections, and get creative.

All study abroad opportunities are valuable, but there is something irreplicable about time spent overseas living in a new culture and navigating a new environment in daily life. The University of Exeter and the southwest of England were selected for this extended immersive program because of their unique combination of qualities that enhance all that can be learned by living and studying abroad. 

Our partner, the University of Exeter, is a member of the prestigious Russell group, a consortium of top universities in the United Kingdom, and is a world-leader in research. Yet its faculty and staff are welcoming, approachable, and sincerely interested in your success.

The Exeter Students’ Guild offers hundreds of active societies inviting new friendships based on shared interests. The city of Exeter has the feel of a large college town filled with cafés and parks, musical and theater performances, historic sites, and athletic events. With the city center just a 20-minute walk from the university, and the whole city a walkable scale, students feel the freedom to become part of British life and culture. 

Exeter 2019 Bath Royal Cresent

That sense of freedom and exploration is amplified by the quality of the British public transportation system, which is unlike anything that most USF students will have experienced. The network of clean, safe, and reliable trains and buses gives student access to the whole of England. Unlike other shorter study abroad programs, students enjoy free time in the evenings, on weekends, and during an extended April break to explore and travel with friends. This opportunity for independence and international exploration, in combination with the companionship of other Honors students and new friendships made along the way, is a truly unique experience not to be missed!

The southwest of England provides the ideal setting for immersive Honors courses and excursions. With its central location in the region, the city of Exeter provides an ideal platform from which to explore the rich historical culture of Britain and the dramatic natural beauty of Devon and Cornwall. With Dartmoor National Park and miles of coastal paths just a short train ride away, our small close-knit Honors cohort are afforded ample terrain to explore. There is something miraculous about discussions when walking and sharing meals together. Inquiries into human experience and well being are brought to life as scholarly research is woven seamlessly into the rhythms of exploration and friendship. Creativity, personal hopes and dreams, rigorous scholarly debate, and skillful collaboration become entwined, providing a wellspring for self-led personal growth, confidence in one’s ability to change for the better, and the vision and skill to invite others into the questions and projects most needed in our contemporary world. 

With its unique academic, cultural, and environmental affordances, the southwest of England provides the ideal setting for motivated and adventurous Honors students to engaged in the focus interdisciplinary undergraduate research the Judy Genshaft Honors College is known for. The combination of time, cultural immersion, personal independence, and the community of a close-knit research team bonded through travel, makes of one of the most rewarding, impactful, and memorable experiences an undergraduate experience can offer.


This program involves significant walking in urban and rural terrains. More broadly, England has many unevenly paved sidewalks and hills. Some program excursions involve hikes, for example, in Dartmoor National Park and along the South West Coastal Path. Walks through the cities of Bath and St. Ives also involve all-day walking and occasionally steep cobblestone roads. If you have questions or concerns about accessibility, please contact program director, Benjamin Scott Young at

The University of Exeter & Living in Exeter, Devon 


Exeter 2019 River Teach Bath

The University of Exeter is one of the top universities in the United Kingdom and has a well-established 20-year relationship with USF. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, a consortium of the top universities in the United Kingdom. Students on the program will enroll as an exchange student at the University of Exeter, live the life of a UK “uni” student living in campus housing alongside other USF Honors students on the program, and take three courses (or “modules,” as they are called in the UK) that can count towards USF major and other graduation requirements. Three Exeter modules (9 USF credits) are included in the program cost. To find out more about the university, explore the University of Exeter website.

For a quick introduction, check out these videos: 

Student Housing

Honors students on the program will live in student housing on the University of Exeter Streatham campus. Each student will have their own private room and adjoining private bathroom. Private rooms are part of a shared suite, which includes a shared kitchen for preparing meals.

Student Life

You will discover a rich array of opportunities within the University of Exeter, the city of Exeter, and the wider southwest of the United Kingdom. The Exeter Students’ Guild is a key feature of student life at the University of Exeter. From academics to sports to outdoor adventures, these student Clubs and Societies give students a fast-track connection to a diverse array of experiences and friendships. To find out more about the student experience, follow this link to  life at the University of Exeter.

Honors Research Courses

Exeter 2022 Exmouth Group Photo

The Semester in Exeter program offers two Honors courses that invite students to interdisciplinary undergraduate research related to human well being. As “self-interpreting animals” (to use a helpful phrase from the social theorist, Charles Taylor), human existence is inextricably linked to our capacity for meaningful experience and meaning-making activities. Human well being is determined by the quality of our meaning-making and the experiences it shapes. Our aim is to contribute to both the theory and practice of cultivating human experience. 

All students in the semester in Exeter program will enroll in the research seminar Wonder, Wander, and Belonging: What Living and Studying Abroad can Teach about Choiceworthy Human Experience. This seminar explores the nature of human meaning-making with respect to education, personal growth, and leadership. Students will draw on their own first-person experiences during the program to make contributions to educational theory and practice in both the formal contexts of higher education and informal contexts of life-long learning. 

The Honors seminar, Flourishing: Cultivating Persons, Cultures, and Environments of Well being is a second optional seminar that deepens and expands our research on human meaning-making to focus on the personal, culture, and environmental conditions that enhance the capability of cultivating choiceworthy human experience. The seminar provides opportunities for engaged-research, working with community partners to enhance both personal and collective meaning-making within organizations and to support the cultivation of healthy publics. 

Both seminars make ample use of our weekly group excursions exploring England as (1) a common experiential base of analysis (i.e., clarifying the structures and contents of experience), (2) a “laboratory” or “studio” for developing, testing, and refining the skills and techniques of leadership and participation with respect to crafting choiceworthy experience, and (3) as a historically rich and globally connected culture from which to draw illuminating case studies that inspire, challenge, and hone our ideas and practices. 

Both Semester in Exeter Honors courses invite students to consider the nature of understanding, meaning-making, and the cultivation of choiceworthy experience with respect to personal growth, contribution to the common good, and authentic leadership/professional development. For the best experience in the program overall, taking both courses is recommended. The courses are intended (1) for students of all majors, (2) to be flexible in content and assignments to invite individual interests and all academic trajectories and professional aspirations, and (3) to enhance the extended study abroad experience in the United Kingdom. 

Honors Course Descriptions

Wonder, Wander, and Belonging: What Living and Studying Abroad can Teach about Choiceworthy Human Experience

This research course will be taken by all participating Semester in Exeter students. Grounded in the fields of Phenomenology (the study of experience) and Eudaimonic Ethics (ethics concerned with well being), and drawing on the resources of Psychology and Education Theory, this research seminar aims to make contributions to (1) experiential learning pedagogy facilitating young adult personal growth and life-transitions in higher education, and (2) sustainable practices of life-long learning and leadership/professional development.  
The third United Nations Sustainable Development Goal seeks to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” and the fourth goal aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.” Meeting these goals involves clarifying the meaning of both “well-being” and “quality education.” The common characteristic feature of learning in the context of both research and education is the skillful disruption of settled meaning and successful subsequent meaning-making. All new discoveries and experiences produce meaning-disruption and initiate a process interpretation. Utilizing the Eudaimonic Framework for Choiceworthy Interpretation (EFCI), our research focus on three “attunements” of experience that enhance meaning-making activity in contexts of meaning-disruption and life-transitions: wonder, wander, and belonging. We investigate these three modes of experience by way of three formal phenomenological structural clues to the constitution of human experience (Project, Practice, and Soma) and three “sites of investigation” (Food, Field, and Friendship).  

This course crucially depends upon its being offered in the context of an extended study abroad program in England as part of an exchange program with the University of Exeter. Living and studying abroad provides for an abundance of occasions to feel and reflect upon the experience of wonder, wander, and belonging and how these enhance meaning-making and choiceworthy experience in both formal education and life-long learning/leadership. Our weekly travels together throughout southwest England provide common experiences with our sites of investigation (Food, Field, and Friendship), which enable the translation of theory into practice. By moving our research and practice increasingly out of the seminar room and into the field over the course of the program, we anticipate taking these ideas and skills into life beyond higher education and to a life-long journey of learning and leadership.

To maximize program accessibility, the Semester in Exeter program, this seminar can be taken as an IDH 3100, IDH 4200, or IDH 4950.  Assignments very for each course number that reflect corresponding Honors and USF general education learning outcomes. 

Flourishing: Cultivating Persons, Cultures, and Environments of Well Being

This optional research seminar elaborates on themes and ideas developed in the first seminar by inviting students to an Engaged Phenomenological research project with opportunities for collaborating with community partners to enhance skills, cultures, and environments for meaning-making within organizations and to support the cultivation of healthy publics. Our focus in this seminar shifts from authentic personal meaning-making to authentic public meaning-making.  
We explore the many contexts for collective meaning-making as a cultural phenomenon and distinguish “authentic conversation” as a special mode in which the real freedom of choice and the intentional cultivation of choiceworthy experience are enabled. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s and Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach to Human Development, we articulate the real freedom for “authentic meaning-making” as an essential capability for human well-being and identify “conversion factors” that potentiate authentic meaning-making in both personal and collective contexts. These social/material conversion factors provide an array of potential contexts within which the Eudaimonic Framework for Choiceworthy Interpretation (EFCI) can be successfully deployed to enhance transformative authentic collective meaning-making conversations. 
In the context of organizations and communities, public authentic conversations that are sustained by community leaders and cultural habits, enhance the ability of individuals to successfully engage in personal meaning-making activities that lead to real freedom and reflective rational/emotive endorsement. Our aim is to contribute to the theory and practice of leadership within authentic communities and organizations.  

To maximize program accessibility, the Semester in Exeter program, this seminar can be taken as an IDH 3600, IDH 4200, or IDH 4950.  Assignments very for each course number that reflect corresponding Honors and USF general education learning outcomes. 

Program Excursions Exploring England

Each week, students on the program join Dr. Benjamin Young on an excursion to explore England. These trips are woven into the Honors coursework and often involve a meal together. The list below provides a sample of possible locations. 

Program Cost & Honors Scholarships

Genshaft-Greenbaum Travel Scholarship:  $6000

  • All students accepted to the Honors Semester in Exeter program are eligible to receive a $6000 scholarship.
  • This award is not subject to limitations based on prior participation in a study abroad program.
  • Award amount may shift based upon a student's financial aid award package. 

Program Cost for Spring 2025: TBA 

  • The Spring 2024 program cost was $12,556.00 + Tuition for Honors Courses
  • In-State Tuition: All students on the program, regardless of residency status, will pay in-state tuition price for both university of University of Exeter modules and USF Honors courses.


  • Coursework at the University of Exeter (up to 45 Exeter hours-- about 9 USF credit hours)
  • Housing for the program's duration
  • USF on-site faculty members
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Program related site-visits

Not Included:

  • USF tuition for Honors courses
  • Passport / Visa Fees
  • Personal Expenses
  • Meals
  • International Airfare
  • Transportation not included as part of the itinerary
  • 16-25 Railcard
  • Student activity, lab, or ID fees assessed by the University of Exeter 
  • Supplies

Other Sources of Funding

Please note that scholarship deadlines may vary and students may need to commit to a program before they know if they have received a scholarship.

What Semester in Exeter Alumni Have to Say

Tehami Ammad Exeter

“The experience was phenomenal! The Semester in Exeter program led me to adopt Philosophy as a second major alongside Biomedical Sciences, but it fundamentally changed the way I see the world! Being able to immerse myself in the distinct way of life for so long let me fully appreciate both the intimate friendships I developed and the self-driven approach to education offered by the program and the University of Exeter. The biggest lesson for me is actually being able to better appreciate the value of diversity in thought and the importance of travel to achieve this. I really loved the opportunity of getting to see a bit of all that Britain has to offer. From the quiet natural beauty of Dartmoor to the refreshing coastal St. Ives, historic Bath and the inspiring city of Oxford, the experience was unforgettable!”  
– Tehami Ammad (Semester in Exeter 2023) 

Brooke Petersen Exeter

“I have loved my time thus far on the Semester in Exeter program! This experience has given me invaluable insight into culture and academics in the beautiful United Kingdom. Throughout my time on the program, I have traveled extensively throughout the southwest of England and explored craggy cliffs, ancient caverns, and picturesque seaside landscapes. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in a rewarding, immersive education abroad. Cheers!” 
– Brooke Peterson (Semester in Exeter 2024)