If you are looking to compliment your studies with hands-on adventures, the Odyssey program at Hendrix College is prepared to send you on a journey. Or three.
|Program Name:||The Odyssey Program|
|Program Type:||Required for all undergraduates|
|Students:||All Hendrix College students – around 1400|
The Odyssey program allows students to explore their interests by getting funding and academic credit to complete individual projects, internships and travel. That means that you won’t have to
wait to be wealthy to live out your dream of visiting Antarctica. At Hendrix College, you can discuss the idea with a faculty advisor, research and propose a specific plan, and make it happen. The best part is that it doesn’t have to “fit” your major for you to do it.
Ever dreamed of spending a summer in Costa Rica? How about interning at a hospital or studying the chemistry of ceramics? Well, now you can.
How do I plan my own project?
First you’ll need to have an idea. Then, you’ll present it to a faculty advisor who will help you to mesh out the details and write a proposal for funding.
The faculty members are really open to working with students to help them turn their ideas into realities. “We see it as part of our job,” says Anne Goldberg, the Associate Odyssey Director.
Odyssey projects need to fit into one of six different categories: Artistic Creativity, Global Awareness, Professional and Leadership Development, Service to the World, Undergraduate Research, or Special Projects. That covers a vast spectrum, so you can explore just about anything.
“I spent a semester interning in public affairs with the U.S. embassy in Trinidad. I received a grant to pay for the experience and took classes in gender issues at a local university while I was there.” — Olivia Meadows, 2010 graduate
Can I get funding for my project?
Hendrix gives out nearly $100,000 in grant money each year for student projects. They have three deadlines each year to request funds, and the grant process is competitive.
“You do not have to have money to be able to do these amazing projects.” — Anne Goldberg, Assoc. Odyssey Director
They also give stipends during the summer for internships. That means that you can feel free to pursue an unpaid internship anywhere in the world and then apply for financial support.
What if I don’t come up with a project?
The Odyssey program is integrated into the whole course of undergraduate study. That means you can get involved in pre-approved activities, like helping to lead an orientation trip, or even take a hands-on class that is pre-coded for Odyssey credit.
Research projects also count.
There are also faculty-led projects. For example, you could take a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, to learn about transnational migration and other cultures. These projects have pre-approved funding and require little out-of-pocket costs for students.
Does my project have to correspond to my major?
No! The goal is to choose a project that aligns with your passions. Perhaps you want to continue some volunteer work that you were involved in during high school. Or maybe you have a hobby that you love.
The important thing is for you to have an experience that you can reflect back on.
“We’re not just asking them to do the thing, we’re asking them to think about the thing.” — Anne Goldberg, Assoc. Odyssey Director
When did this program start?
Why should I consider it? Why is it unique?
Many colleges offer study abroad programs, interesting courses, and credit for unique internships. However, the chance to design your own experience, on your own terms, is truly unique. Even more so when you receive faculty support and grant money.
Beyond that, the Odyssey program can help lead to vocational discernment. Working with faculty to reflect on your hands-on experiences can help you to more clearly identify what you want to do– or do not want to do– in your future career.