Salzburg seminar broadens perspective for Seminole State honors students

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Written by: Kimberly Allen

For 16 years, the Grindle Honors Institute at Seminole State College of Florida has taken students to Salzburg, Austria, for what some might call “the trip of a lifetime.” This summer, the honors institute sent six students and two chaperones to Salzburg once again for the Global Citizenship Alliance seminar. The weeklong seminar gives U.S. students the opportunity to travel to the European city to learn about processes and effects of globalization and to explore global issues from a variety of perspectives.

For Seminole State’s honors students, the trip included plenary sessions, small group work and cultural exchange to solve contemporary global issues, and a day at a memorial site of a former concentration camp to understand how globalization has the power to stop atrocities. While this entire experience took learning well beyond the classroom, it also provided an intangible benefit: perspective. 

Honors Institute Director Tracy Harbin, who accompanied the students to Salzburg, challenged her students to write a reflection from a photo they took during the trip. 

In Her Own Words: Honors Student Kailyn McGee

An overhead view of Salzburg, Austria, shows the buildings of the city down below.

"This photo was taken from the fort in downtown Salzburg. Not only is the view stunning but seeing the town from a visually different perspective made me reflect on perspectives alone and why we traveled abroad to the Global Citizenship seminar. You see, we all have our own perspectives on the world. We all see things differently through our own individual lenses. What is special when studying abroad to learn how to be a global citizen, is you get to broaden your perspective. My travel group and I were lucky enough to go to an environment where we could express our views and opinions, and even better, gain new takes on the world. We learned how to be better citizens of the world. We were able to learn more about our positions in the world. As we move forward after this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we continue to develop ideas of how each of us will impact the world. Going to the Global Citizenship seminar allows students to see that every individual has a purpose and will leave a mark on the world. The seminar gives you a space to reflect on what you want out of your life and career. 

Personally, what I found to be the most beautiful part of the program was how each of us was encouraged to be more empathetic. To care more. That is so important. All of humanity shares only one world. One Earth. So, it is vital to care. As I looked out from the fort, I reflected on the various outlooks we came across and listened to while on our journey, while seeing the city from a different outlook too."

Undoubtedly, students attend college to learn skills for a career, but as a demonstration of Seminole State’s core value of learning, an experience like the Salzburg seminar is a "creative learning opportunity" that equips students with skills that will serve them on the job and in life. To learn more about the Grindle Honors Institute and the benefits it offers, visit

Seminole State honors students pose for a picture at a waterfront site in Salzburg, Austria.
Honors Institute Director Tracy Harbin (back left) and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Loretta Ovueraye (right) accompanied six honors students on a weeklong trip to Austria to learn what it means to be a global citizen.

About the Grindle Honors Institute

The Grindle Honors Institute offers programs for academically talented students who want to enrich their experience and engage in honors activities at Seminole State College of Florida. For more information, please visit the Grindle Honors Institute website.