Shipping Off to College

Lissette Martinez, Feature Editor

As seniors throughout the country apply to universities, some seniors consider studying  anywhere from community college to Ivy League universities, while others consider the remarkable new option of embarking on a cruise through Semester at Sea. This program works in conjunction with Colorado State University and is administered by the Institute for Shipboard Education, a nonprofit organization. Semester at Sea has served as a pioneer and leader in multiple countries and comparative education for more than 50 years with over 60,000 alumni.

The ships offer a living and learning environment in which students embark on a special and non-traditional learning period filled with new encounters at every stop. Equipped with classrooms, a student union, wireless Internet, a library and many of the amenities you would find on a land-based campus, the ship functions as both a traveling university and residential home to more than 1,200 participants each year.

 “The concept of traveling while you’re learning is incredible… Being able to witness something you learn in class in person is extremely special…” senior Christa Riddlemoser said. 

Riddlemoser is considering applying for a semester at sea in the near future. 

Students onboard can tackle global issues while discovering the joys of shipboard life. Various ships comprise the international university that breaks down all borders. Its living-learning community cultivates a platform for healthy discussion, coursework and deep connections all while traveling to new locations. Every aspect of the shipboard learning experience encourages discovery and growth. However, this experience does include sacrificing some opportunities that most traditional colleges provide.

 “I can imagine that it’s definitely hard to sacrifice seeing your family, friends, and everything you’re used to and that define you to an extent, ”Riddlemoser said. “Some people aren’t willing to give that up; others are willing to because they know they will get a lot out of sailing the seas during university.”

With a campus that moves, the ship creates opportunities to learn without wasting a moment during travel, allowing students to learn about countries on the itinerary while en-route. 

“I’ve always planned on traveling the world, but considering the cost and how it’s so time consuming, it’s never been an option for me,” interested senior Jimmy Lopez said.“This university gives students that opportunity and it’s something you can only imagine coming true… It completely redefines learning.”  

Every course and seminar is geared toward the countries on the itinerary. The Fall Semester of 2020 consists of the exploration of Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.  With Semester at Sea, students grasp a truly global study abroad experience and education while they sail on the grandiose ocean which they sometimes even call “home.”

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