Major: Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS)
Specialization: Sustainability and Business
Graduation: May 2016
Program: Semester at Sea
When: Fall Semester, August 27th-December 8th 2014
A leap of faith is an understatement for what I decided to do with my Autumn 2014 semester. I embarked on the most incredible journey of my life with the Semester at Sea program. In my four months abroad I visited the United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Brazil, Barbados and Cuba.
It was the most exhausting, challenging and brilliant four months of my life. I learned how to not fall off a camel in the Sahara Desert (turns out camels feel calm when they see blue, who knew?), how to catch piranha in the Amazon River and how to say “hello” and “thank you” in countless languages without sounding too touristy (I’m hoping). I had the opportunity to gaze upon the beauty of the Iguacu Falls, the Vatican, and the Cliffs of Moher. I salsa danced in Cuba, ate way too many crepes in Paris, and got the most amazing souvenirs in the marketplaces of Morocco. I met people from all over the world and hearing their stories gave me a whole new perspective on my place in the world. Semester at Sea gave me the opportunity to see the world with new friends, all while making memories that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Semester at Sea is a study abroad program unlike any other. At the beginning, this is all I knew: I would be on some sort of massive ship sailing around the world to 14 different countries with 700 strangers from universities across the U.S. and the world. Every day we were at sea, we’d take classes on the ship, and when we got to a new port, we’d have a few days to explore and soak up as much as we could. It sounded ideal, I didn’t have to pick one place to study abroad, I could go to 14! I could get 12 credit hours taking interesting classes with distinguished professors from all over the country. I got all that and so much more.
I would encourage anyone who wants to see many places around the world, or who jut can’t decide on one place to study abroad to consider applying for Semester at Sea. I learned more about the world and myself in the four months I was at sea, than in all of my semesters at Ohio State. There’s nothing like being lost in a foreign city and having to figure out how to get back, or trying to communicate with people who don’t speak English. I felt my fears and uncertainty diminishing with each country we visited and my confidence growing. I came home tired, but self-assured that I could take on anything life threw at me. Most of all I came home incredibly thankful for the experience of a lifetime.