Hendrix Magazine

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

With funding from Your Hendrix Odyssey, students have traveled to nearly 50 foreign countries across nearly every continent, completing engaged learning experiences across all categories of the Odyssey Program.

From Belize to Bosnia, China to Chile, Ghana to Greenland, Malawi to Mexico, The Netherlands to New Zealand, Peru to Portugal, Romania to Rwanda, Singapore to Slovenia, Tanzania to Turkey.

The impact of these international Odysseys is an institution whose alumni have engaged with the world before they enter it as college graduates and professionals. The support of Your Hendrix Odyssey doesn’t simply take students to countries all over the world. It ensures that students bring what they learn back to campus and connect those experiences to the classroom, share their encounters with peers and place their newfound knowledge in new contexts, creating effective and entrepreneurial solutions to new challenges that impact their campus and their local and global communities.

How has Your Hendrix Odyssey internationalized the Hendrix campus?

"The easy response is that the Global Awareness category helped codify study-abroad and other international experiences that students were already having," said Dr. Peter Gess, Director of International Programs and Associate Professor of Politics. "But Odyssey brings intentionality to the experience, requiring students to reflect on the cross-cultural experience."

The breadth of Odyssey categories has contributed to a diverse body of international experiences for students, said Gess.

For example, theatre students performing at the Fringe Festival in Scotland earned Artistic Creativity credit; and students have earned Undergraduate Research credit by studying traditional medicine in China and comparative health care policy in Europe.

"We have moved far beyond the traditional model of study abroad," said Gess. "Students are engaging foreign cultures and ideas through faculty-led endeavors and through self-designed activities. This type of engaged learning can both supplement traditional study abroad and complement it by offering new avenues for the experience."

"We really want to see how a student is changed by the experience, how this contributes to creating the ‘citizen of the world,’ how it teaches students to apply what they learn in the classroom, how they become ‘the whole person,’" said Gess.