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2019 Odyssey to Oxford


  • Author:

    Kara Swanson

  • Published:

    Dec. 10, 2019

On August 18, 2019, 43 Michigan State University alumni and friends embarked on a one-of-a-kind educational experience in Oxford, the “City of Dreaming Spires”.

Over the course of the two-week program, participants were able to take courses taught by a University of Oxford tutor and attend various group excursions designed to help stimulate learning and increase the bond between participants.

Sharon Senk, a Professor Emerita from MSU, described her experience with this year’s program, “I enjoyed the entire Odyssey to Oxford experience. First, after having been a high school teacher and university professor for more than 40 years, it was fun to be a student again. The recommended background readings were interesting and relevant, the instructor/tutor was knowledgeable and engaging… I also appreciated having free time to pursue individual interests. I love gardening and the arts, so I used my free time to visit the Botanic Garden, Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill), and a performance of War Horse with other Odyssey participants, and to take walks and go shopping on my own.”

Many Odyssey to Oxford participants utilize their time abroad to do some additional travel. When asked about the highlights of her trip, she replied, “The highlight of my UK experience was a BBC Proms concert in London two days before the Oxford program started. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment celebrated the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth with music by her favorite composer… The program was one I’d likely never hear in the U.S., and the ambiance, especially the pub dinner in Royal Albert Hall and the audience participation, was also unlike anything I’d experienced before.”

Next year’s Odyssey to Oxford program is scheduled for Aug. 23 – Sept. 5, 2020. Featured courses will include “Art and Power in the Tudor Court”, “British Traitors”, “Making Things, Making Britain”, and “Oxford Fantasy Writers”. To anyone considering this amazing trip, Sharon says, “The Odyssey to Oxford program is very well-designed, with a good mix of structured intellectual and social activities and unstructured free time. The cost covers almost everything you’d need for two weeks, making it easy to budget… it is suitable for both inexperienced and seasoned travelers.”

For more information about the Odyssey to Oxford program, go to alumni.msu.edu/oxford or contact Elizabeth Wheeler at szufnar@msu.edu. Registration will open on Jan. 29, 2020. Don’t delay – registration fills quickly!

View 2020 Brochure