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All aboard, current and future college students! Did you know there is an exciting way you can travel the world, keep up with your studies and pay little, if anything, for the privilege? Now that the weather is getting colder, I’ve been doing some wishful thinking about taking the family on a balmy Caribbean cruise. Sailing on board a humongous boat with hundreds of other people and visiting exotic ports of call reminded me of a college friend who did just that — all while still keeping up with studies in school.
I’m talking about the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea (SAS). Students in SAS hail from all over the USA and even worldwide. It doesn’t matter what your major is; you just need to prove you have a respectable disciplinary record at your college and provide transcripts reflecting satisfactory grades. You will be required to pen a short essay, and it helps to forward a recommendation from an instructor. Once accepted to the program you can hold your place on an upcoming sailing with a deposit of $1,000.00.
The benefits of SAS are many and center around the first hand perspectives obtained while immersed in travel to a multitude of nations. Indeed, Global Studies, a mandatory course in the program, will absolutely come alive for you as you actively circumnavigate the globe. Imagine immersing yourself into a nation’s history and culture while within the country itself – an unparalleled opportunity for any young scholar! Just as an example, remember those ancient Greek cultural studies you slogged through at your desk in 8th grade? Okay. What if you had learned about them from a dusty outcropping atop the acropolis in Greece? Little different, eh? Jack up the fascination factor by that cool thousand!
Depending on when you go, you can count on the itinerary changing from semester to another. The foreign countries the ship will visit on the 2018 Spring cruise are Japan, China, Việt Nam, Myanmar (Burma), India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, and Morocco.
Field classes masterfully incorporate your presence in another country into your course of study. If you’re a Business major, for example, you’ll have opportunities to work concepts learned into your journey. Marketing students study Japanese marketing while on the ground in Japan. Similarly, retail studies are rounded out by a journey deep inside actual Chinese retail practices.
On top of these unique educational offerings, SAS students enhance personal traits such as adaptability, responsibility, and sensitivity. However, they need not worry about studying a foreign language to fully participate.
Come, Sail Away!
Finally, it goes without saying; cruising is just plain fun, and this round-the-world cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most SAS scholars. The MV World Odyssey, a German-built liner of several hundred fellow students as well as numerous faculty, school and cruise ship staff, offers seven entire decks at your disposal! There are not only classrooms but a pool, sundeck, café and much more. SAS sets up Facebook groups prior to each upcoming semester, so you’ll meet your best friends for life long before you set foot on the gangplank.
I can only scratch the surface of the wealth of opportunities available via Semester at Sea. Please, make yourself comfortable for about an hour and read all about the program via their website. Let me know in the comments or via email how the application process goes for you!