I’ve wanted to explain this experience for a while, but it’s hard to even begin. A day does not go by when I don’t think of my crazy adventure around the Atlantic. I was lucky to be able to travel with the Semester at Sea program for my first semester of college! If you’re interested in learning more about this crazy, amazing program, read on!
Semester at Sea is a cruise ship turned college university which travels around the world for an entire semester! Classes are held on the ship, and students sail with college students from all over the county. The ship docks at ports around the door, and once we land, students are free to travel the country as they please for however long we are in that location (2-7 days, depending).
My trip was in the fall of 2013 which was the 50th anniversary of the Semester at Sea program. During my trip, the ship sailed around the Atlantic. We stopped in Europe, Africa, South America, and finally North America. We left from Southampton, England, and from there traveled to Russia, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, and Portugal. We then continued to Africa, stopping in Morocco, Ghana, and South Africa. Then, we crossed the ocean for 12 whole days and reached Argentina. Next, Brazil, finally Cuba (before the embargo had been lifted!) and the Bahamas. We finished the trip in Ft. Lauderdale, where we embarked for the last time.
While in certain countries we had the opportunity to travel to nearby countries. Adding stamps to my passport became an addiction, and I was able to add the Netherlands and Uruguay before the trip ended.
I can’t even begin to express the crazy that was this trip. All I can say with certainty is it was the most amazing time of my life. I did so many amazing things and met so many amazing people. I shark cage dived in Cape Town, South Africa. I hiked to the top of a mountain in Rio. I stargazed in the middle of the Atlantic. I made some of the best friendships of my life in four months, and I still talk to them today.
This trip has launched a burning desire for travel which I’m certain I will have for the rest of my life. Since embarking the ship in December of 2013, I have visited Italy, Hungary, and Croatia. I went skydiving. I got two tattoos, and am considering a third. I went to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I completely changed my major and have since discovered my love of writing. I’ll be going to Puerto Rico for spring break this year, and I have so many more places I want to go. The journey didn’t end when I got off the ship.
I can show you better than I can tell you.
Interested in Semester at Sea?
Check out semesteratsea.org for more information. There’s a ton of scholarship options available (my entire tuition was covered by scholarships!) and it’s open to both international and domestic students from all areas of study! You can get a full semesters worth of college hours, and you get an opportunity to travel with a boatload of likeminded travelers! Reach out with any questions you might have, I love to talk about my experience and help you with your own!
Make it count!