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The Odyssey Fellowship



The Odyssey Fellowship


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Join the Movement

Join the Movement






Do you dream of the possibilities of a Better World?



Are you ready to step into your full potential
and offer your unique gifts to the healing of our world?









The Odyssey Fellowship is a ten-week residential immersion for people who long to restore balance and hope in a time of world crisis.  This semester-long program offers foundational skills in permaculture, deep nature connection, ecological community building and powerful soul-level exploration. Cultivate your unique gifts and passions for the healing of our world. 


Join us in cultivating an authentic, diverse, growing community of leaders who believe in a future that is ecologically resilient, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling for all beings.

Seeking a gap year program, a mid-career break, or a transformative semester-long adventure?  Are you over age 18?  Spend this summer becoming part of a dedicated group of life-long allies working towards a better world.

Fall 2015 Fellowship Group

Photo courtesy of Will Gehrman


Do you see the need to change our current culture and recognize that we each have a role to play?  Are you eager to explore new forms of living that honor nature’s wisdom? 

Help create what our friend Charles Eisenstein calls "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible."  Join forces to honor the sacred interconnectedness of life through relationships with land, ourselves and all beings.


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Living Simply

Living Simply


Your Yome (hybrid yurt & dome) will be your home for the Summer, shared with 2-3 yome-mates. This simple living experience without plumbing or electricity, supports deep nature connection. Develop a relationship with the rhythms of nature, and a deep connection with the land. 

Your kitchen, showers, bathrooms, library and gathering area are in a beautifully renovated former horse stable.

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Cooperative Meals

Cooperative Meals


Cooperatively prepare community meals with consciously grown ingredients, including free-ranging chicken eggs, freshly harvested vegetables, and organically grown mushrooms from the farm. 

In sharing our resources and responsibilities, we recognize our interrelationship to Earth and to each other as we nourish our bodies, minds and spirits.

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Foundations of PERMACULTURE 

Holistic Farming

Farm to Table Culinary Arts

 Planting & Harvesting 


Composting & Soil Health

Mushroom Cultivation

Crop Rotation Planning

Animal Husbandry



Guided Yoga & Meditation

Reflective Writing Practice

Guided Group Work


Life Visioning & Career Design


Other Workshops & Skills

Earthen Building*




Carpentry & Building*


Nature Connection 

Botany/ Wild Plants

Herbal Medicine*

Living Ecology Walks

Mycology/ Wild Mushrooms*

Spiritual Ecology


Community Building

Sharing Responsibilities

Cooperative Meal Preparation

Hosting Community Potlucks & Events

Elders Circle




Conflict Resolution Skills

 Compassionate Communication Skills

Co-Counseling Skills

Circle Leadership Process






*These topics rotate seasonally and may be available during the Fellowship program based on participants interest

That is what school is supposed to be like
— Patrick Cox


A Typical Day

A Typical Day

a typical day


Wake up to the sounds of the forest, birdsong and squirrels rustling in the leaves.  Emerge from your yome-home to a fresh new day.  

Engage in your own personally created morning spiritual practice including meditation, exercise, yoga, reading, walking/running, or writing. 

Share the responsibilities of caring for other living beings through rotating "Farm Chores." Enjoy breakfast together before the day’s learning begins.

Join the group at 9am for planting, cultivating, and harvesting plants in the gardens, or building/repair projects on the farm. 

Share a fresh farm lunch with your companions.

Afternoons offer time to rest, gather for discussion groups, share skills, make art, or check in with your community members. 

Evenings and Weekends offer a variety of special learning opportunities including study groups, workshops, classes and community gatherings focused on what is possible for the future of humanity.

Experience a unique blend of classes throughout the 10 weeks of study. Your schedule is designed to support a balanced life: infused with opportunities to create, play and rest. Spend your days working and learning practical life skills in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and ecological sustainability. Spend your afternoons in group process, contemplation, introspection, and creativity.

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Tuition & Scholarships

Tuition & Scholarships


Tuition, room & Board

Thanks to generous support from our funders, the Odyssey Fellowship tuition, room and board costs are now being offered at $4,000. The Odyssey Fellowship program is valued at $6,000, which includes room & board, food, and all classes and workshops for 10 weeks.

Applicants who are able to pay over the $4,000 subsidized cost will be helping to make the program accessible to all.  By applying, you are agreeing to be resourceful about finding funding to provide the $4,000.  

In addition to the subsidized cost of the program Scholarships are available if needed.

After sending in your Odyssey Fellowship Application, check out and consider applying for the Scholarship Offerings.

Thank you to the donors and supporters who are committed to making this program accessible for young adult visionaries and change-makers!

Scholarships program

The Eco-Institute recognizes Solidarity and Allyship work as a critically important part of healing the human-earth relationship. A variety of scholarships make this program accessible for people from all walks of life. We encourage young adults who bring diverse perspectives, a passion for environmental justice, a love of the Earth, and who inspire action through creative expression to apply.

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Scholarships typically range between 20%-80% of the valued cost of the Odyssey Fellowship program . Upon acceptance, participants are required to send in a $500 non-refundable deposit to save their spot in the program. Tuition payment plans are available.

The aim of the scholarship program is to build bridges between future leaders of diverse cultures and identities, to experience the powerful connections between personal and planetary health, and to heal the aspects that divide humanity so that we may co-create the future together.


  • Environmental Educator or Activist
  • Young Adult Person of Color
  • Artist in Residence
  • Nonbinary, Trans, or Genderqueer Young Adult
  • First Nations/Indigenous Young Adult
  • Social Justice
  • Spiritual Activist
  • Human Rights Activist
  • Culinary Expertise
  • Primitive Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Young Farmer

Upcoming Sessions

Upcoming Sessions

We are currently accepting applications for the following seasons. We welcome you to apply before the corresponding deadline.


SUMMER 2018 session

June 6 - August 15

Accepting Applications
Throughout the Month of May


Truly beautiful.
And what is amazing is these young people will come away deeply connected from within and with a greater fabric of community with other young people who truly wish to connect. So many great things can come from a model like this. We applaud you!
— Sustainable Human


Apply to the fellowship

Apply to the fellowship

Photo courtesy of Anna Maynard


Accepting applications throuout the month of May.

Please read directions carefully and send your application in PDF format to Chris at programs@eco-institute.org.

We still have little understanding of the spiritual dimension within the natural world, or how our individual soul relates to the larger dimension of the world soul (what the ancients called the anima mundi)... Instead we are caught within a contemporary consciousness that focuses on the individual self, no longer even aware of our deep bond to the sacred within creation.
— Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee


Meet the Fellows

Meet the Fellows


Jimi Eisenstein

“What I have learned here is vastly diverse, encompassing practical skills in agriculture, interpersonal skills, philosophical ideas, and spiritual practice. Most importantly however, I have begun to learn nature’s language and how to directly communicate with the magnificent spiritual essence of what we call the Earth.”


Taylor Westbrook

“Work as a way to Create
Play as a way to Release
Share as a way to Connect
Receive as a way to Appreciate
Open as a way to Relate
Vibe as a way to BE
All ways to endless possibilities...”

Brenna Carpenter

“I carry the stillness now to be able to listen.  This may sound nice and neat, but my head had to explode a few times, and my notion of the world obliterated.” 


Will Gehrman


"This space allows for rehabilitation of the soul, renewed connection with one’s self, nature & the universe."

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Jamila Versi


“It is often easy to lose ourselves in the external world, but an important first step to igniting any change is to ground ourselves so that we can become that change we wish to see in the world.”

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Flora Kaye

“This program calls us to look clearly at that which holds us back from our greatest potential.”

Shane Hawkins

“I have learned tools to help me step into life with authenticity and greater fullness.”

Check out this video by former fellow, River Bourne:


Stay Connected

Stay Connected

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Our Location

8519 Pickards Meadow Rd. 
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


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