A local university student has discovered a passion for traveling.
Eddie Andrews, an Ole Miss junior from Ohio, got his first taste of travel when he was a young boy.
“Growing up, my family would always travel to Florida every year to visit my grandparents,” Andrews said. “I have family that lives all over the country, so we pretty much have traveled from east to west coast.”
In eighth-grade, he joined a branch of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps located in Cleveland. Inspired by his grandfather, a former member of the Navy, he traveled to Chicago, New York, Lake Michigan, and Washington, D.C. for multiple trainings.
After graduating high school, he decided to major in public policy leadership, a career path that will allow him to continue traveling across the world. Andrews received a four-year scholarship from the Army ROTC program at Ole Miss, which will allow him to further his traveling opportunities.
He dreams of visiting different countries around the world. In the fall of his sophomore year, he applied for a Spanish class that would be taught in Costa Rica.
“I saw signs and posters hanging up on the information boards around campus,” Andrews said. “I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica, and the class was being taught during the winter for three weeks, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity.”
While in Costa Rica, he and other students stayed with host families. Students attended class four hours each weekday, followed by excursions and free time for exploring.
“We would have Spanish class, and then afterwards, we would spend the rest of the day at the beach, trying different restaurants, and exploring the towns,” Andrews said. “Getting to live with a host family was also a very cool experience. You are completely immersed in the culture and language, which was helpful with learning Spanish.”
After traveling to a different country, Andrews searched for any excuse he could find to travel someplace else. Instead of looking through the study abroad office, he looked for opportunities within his major.
The Public Policy Leadership department offers study abroad opportunities every summer. Public policy students who are accepted for trips are awarded a $3,500 scholarship and up to six credit hours at the 400 level towards their major requirements.
This past spring, Andrews applied to study abroad with the public policy department in South Africa.
“I had to write an application letter describing why I wanted to go,” he said. “I also had to get recommendations. It’s a competition trying to get accepted for these programs because they only have a certain amount of spots available.”
Andrews was one of 10 students accepted into the program to South Africa this past summer. He spent a month studying human rights with a focus on race relations between whites and blacks after the fall of Apartheid. Students on this trip studied at Nelson Mandela University, located in Port Elizabeth.
They also spent time studying in Cape Town, Grahamstown, and small towns in between.
“While studying, we were able to explore and visit major parts of South Africa,” Andrews said. “We took a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and got to tour Robin Island.”
Having enjoyed the study abroad trip with the public policy department, Andrews decided to apply for the other opportunity they offer. This upcoming summer, he will be spending a month in Beijing, China studying the country’s economy, government and culture.
Aside from studying, he will also be exploring the culture of China, which includes visiting the Great Wall, multiple temples, and trying popular foods.
“I’m really excited for this upcoming trip,” Andrews said. “Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity now while you have it or else you will regret it later.”
All of the traveling he has done is just the beginning of what he would like to accomplish in his lifetime. Andrews hopes to travel anywhere and everywhere in the world.
“Any opportunity I have to travel, I’m going to take it,” he said. “Traveling has definitely become a passion for me, and I can’t limit myself after all of these experiences.”
Andrews hopes to continue traveling after he graduates, whether it’s with the Army as an officer or his career afterwards.
“Studying abroad is a completely different experience than normal traveling,” Andrews said. “There are so many opportunities that you have traveling through school rather than planning a trip on your own. I want nothing more than to continue traveling and learning through my experiences after I graduate.”