I’m sure that some of you think I am lying when I say that I am going to be taking classes around the world on a ship for 4 months, so I thought I would make a post about the Semester at Sea program and what I will be doing along the way. Please note that this is just my basic understanding of the program form my own research (mostly from the SAS website) and I’m sure that after my voyage I’ll be better educated on the history as well as the functions of the program.
I will also add a link to the website at the end of this post if you wish to check out Semester at Sea for yourself.
About Semester at Sea
A Breif History
The program was first thought of by James Edwin Lough who set sail as the first university campus at sea in 1926; it was not until 1963 that the program really took off, partnering with other univerities, finding its current home at Colorado State University in 2016. The idea was to enhance university education by giving students first-hand experience with the world.
Over the years Semester at Sea has travelled on 6 different ships, currently sailing on the MV World Odyssey; a 175m long ship built in 1998.
“[S]hips could transport more than cargo, they could carry ideas.” – C.Y. Tung
Life as a Student
All students on board the ship take 4 classes; I am registered in Introduction to World Music, Abnormal Psychology, Financial Markets and Institutions, and Global Studies (a course that all students are required to take where you learn about where you are in the world, the local culture, and what to expect).
When out at sea we take classes on a bi-daily basis (days A and B) having the odd day off for study days or ship events. The classes are taught by faculty who all have docotorates and are experts in their field. The program is one-of-a-kind and provides students with an education unlike any other. Each professor has picked a day to do a Field Program in one of the ports, where the students apply what they are learning about in their class to the world around them. These Field Programs can be anything from participating in local traditions, to lectures from professionals working and doing research in the country.
When in port, unless you have a Field Program the time is yours to imerse yourself in the local culture. I registered in other Field Programs that are organized by Semester at Sea to help make time in port more structured as I do not know anyone else going. A couple of the programs I registered in are a 2 night Safari in South Africa, a 2 night trip to the Taj Mahal in India, and a 4 night trip to the Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall.
- Hamburg, Germany – Embark September 9
- Barcelona, Spain – September 15
- Valencia, Spain – September 17
- Tema, Ghana – September 27
- Takoradi, Ghana – September 29
- Cape Town, South Africa – October 7
- Port Louis, Mauritius – October 19
- Cochin, India – October 25
- Yagon, Myanmar – November 4
- Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – November 14
- Shanghai, China – November 24
- Kobe, Japan – December 2
- Honolulu, United States of America – December 16
- San Diego, United States of America – December 23 End of Voyage
We are at some ports for a matter of hours, and others for up to 6 days.
I cannot put into words how excited I am to be able to say that I went around the world in 4 months as it has always been a dream of mine!