Hampden-Sydney College is renowned for its commitment to forming good men and good citizens. The institution actively fulfills this mission by providing students with opportunities for not only academic development but also experiential learning. One compelling avenue is the opportunity to study abroad, a platform through which students can explore and expand their horizons. This past summer, foreign affairs major, ROTC cadet, and third-generation Hampden-Sydney student Jack Thomas ’25 took advantage of this opportunity on a unique journey to Bali, Indonesia, through the nationwide program Project Global Officer (Project GO).
According to the program’s website, Project GO is “open to all qualified ROTC students offering fully-funded opportunities in critical language education, overseas study, and cross-cultural experience. Since 2007, Project GO has provided approximately 6,500 students with opportunities to study culture and 19 languages, both domestically and abroad in 33 countries around the world.”
“I have to give credit to the late Lieutenant Colonel Rucker Snead ’81,” Jack said. “During my freshman year, Colonel Snead encouraged me to get my feet wet and experience life beyond our borders to become a better citizen.”
Intrigued by the prospect of exploring a country vastly different from the U.S., Jack applied to multiple U.S. Army programs in Asia, a region of significant importance in U.S. national security. To his excitement, he was selected to travel to Bali, Indonesia, a destination aligning with his interests and offering the desired distance from home.
“I wanted to jump right into the deep end as this was my first time traveling abroad,” Jack said. “Everything was covered by the Department of Defense, so I didn’t have to worry about different costs or tuition, and I was able to contribute to Project GO’s mission of forming experienced worldly officers.”
Prior to heading overseas, Jack spent a month at Arizona State University, immersing himself in the study of the Indonesian language. This crucial step prepared him for his in-depth language studies at Universitas Ngurah Rai in Denpasar, Bali, when he arrived in mid-July.