Intercultural Honors Experience (IHE)

Intercultural Honors Experience Overview

The Intercultural Honors Experience is a unique program designed to help students build a solid intercultural foundation, introduce them to interdisciplinary learning, and provide them with opportunities and incentives to study away. The program includes a challenging first-year seminar, as well as the opportunity to apply for study abroad scholarships.

The college chose the intercultural focus of this program carefully. In the increasingly global economy and socio-political situation that our students will be entering upon graduation, they need exposure to people from different cultures and different ethnic groups. They need to experience settings in which diversity is the norm rather than the exception and exposure to ways of thinking that are different from their own. The best ways to meet these needs are intercultural and international study and living experiences, and this program provides both.


  • Eligible to apply for scholarships that can turn a dream of studying away into a reality;
  • Participation in a competitive honors program sets your resume ahead of others;
  • Show employers that you are open to other cultures, excited to learn about the world, and willing to try new things;
  • Access new opportunities to develop leadership and organizational skills;
  • Have the opportunity to meet students in other majors who share a common interest: embracing our diverse world.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

  • Current first-year, sophomore or junior at Franklin College
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (high school GPA of 3.0 for first-year students)
  • Application, references from FC faculty, entrance exam, and interview


Students who complete all required components of the program – completion of class requirements; presentation of a research paper at a public symposium; and receipt of a minimum grade of “B” in the spring seminar – will be eligible to apply for study abroad scholarship funds, which can be used at any time before their last semester at Franklin College.

Applications for study abroad scholarships from IHE students are due to the office of global education by March 1 for the following academic year (fall, spring and summer). Please keep in mind that you must return to Franklin College for at least one semester after your study abroad experience in order to be eligible for an IHE scholarship.

Scholarship funds are to be used for a fall or spring semester abroad. If you are unable to leave campus for a semester and would like to use the scholarship funds over the summer, the program must be a minimum of 10 weeks and you must provide justification for your decision Only academic reasons will be considered (for instance, unavoidable course conflicts).

IHE Symposium

Held each May, the IHE Symposium is the culminating experience of the Intercultural Honors Experience. During the annual campus event, student scholars present original research related to the IHE spring course to the campus community. The event includes a presentation from a noted national scholar who engages the campus with a presentation on their research related to the course content.

To celebrate the academic achievements of our students, invitations for the event are extended to family members, campus faculty, and staff as well as the Franklin community.

2021-22 Symposium

Origin Story: Discovering New Beginnings
This class will examine the ways in which people make and understand new beginnings. How do students face the joys and challenges of their first year of college? What are the pieces of a memorable and inspiring super hero origin story? How do humans understand the origin of the Universe? And how are nations built… or rebuilt?

Students in this course can expect to explore how people from varying times and places create and understand what is new. We will explore the ways in which new experiences and stories can be both challenging and energizing. And we will learn about ways in which people build stories, relationships and institutions that are meant to last. Each student will finish the course with the opportunity to investigate a new beginning”that interests them, sharing what they learned in a celebration of scholarship.

Dates to Remember
Monday, October 25 – Application must be submitted
Wednesday, October 27 – Entrance exam
November 1 through November 15 – Entrance interviews
December 1 – Notification of acceptance

More information

Past presentations:

IHE 2019 — In the Eye of the Beholder: Cross-Cultural Conceptions of Beauty

Frequently Asked Questions

When and how do I apply for IHE?

Applications are due each year in mid-October. Only first-year, sophomores and juniors enrolled at Franklin College can apply.

If I successfully complete the requirements of IHE and receive a grade of ‘80%’ in the spring seminar, am I guaranteed scholarship funds to study abroad?

If you complete all of the requirements, you are eligible to apply for IHE scholarship funds to study abroad. All scholarships applications are based on criteria such as quality of application, program cost, your need and the need of other applicants.

Can I use the funds for any travel program?

Scholarship funds must be used for an approved semester-long program. Approved programs include Franklin College partnerships, as well as programs through Franklin College’s preferred program provider, ISEP. Students whose academic focus prohibit them from studying abroad for a semester, can petition to use the scholarship funds for a minimum 10-week summer program.

If I don’t get accepted into the IHE during my first year, can I apply in my sophomore year?

Yes. While the program is targeted toward first-years, sophomores and juniors are also encouraged to apply.