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.