Diversity Abroad – Blog

What is Semester at Sea?

Semester at Sea.

A year ago I had never even heard of this program. A year ago you could have told me that I would be given the chance to travel the world on a ship for three months, and I would have laughed in disbelief. I can’t help but feel that just a year ago I was a completely different person than I am today.

I’ve been preparing for that one question my family and friends back home are going to throw at me left and right: “So, what was your favorite country?” I’ve tried to come up with an answer, but there just isn’t one. In all honesty, as amazing as the ports we visited have been some of my most memorable moments have been right here on the ship.

Student, Cristina Maymi, on a bridge tour through the MV World Odyssey.

Student, Cristina Maymi, on a bridge tour through the MV World Odyssey.

When I started this voyage I had anticipated that most of my favorite memories would be in the countries I was visiting. I never considered the fact that this ship, the MV World Odyssey, would become more than just a way of transportation from one country to the next.

It became my home. It became our home.

Our one and only MV World Odyssey.

Our one and only MV World Odyssey.

In just a matter of a few months we have all managed to take this beautiful ship and turn it into our own little community. The students, staff, and crew have established this connection that I have no way of putting to words. It’s just there, and everyday it has grown a little stronger.

Trying to pick my favorite memories on the ship was such a grueling task. I’d think of one thing, and ten other beautiful moments would come flooding in. I realized it’s impossible to single out one specific event that encompassed all of what SAS stands for. Everyday was a new adventure, different from the last. How could a single memory represent an entire journey?

What is SAS to me?

SAS is the funny feeling you get when you peel your suspiciously brown banana at lunch and can’t help but laugh about it with your table of friends.

SAS is running up and down all nine decks trying to find someone for something that was important at the time only to give up and order a chicken burger after your third unsuccessful attempt to find them.

SAS is getting a group of friends together for a movie night on the screen of a small laptop all bunched together on small couches, and realizing in that moment you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Some of the many beautiful people I'll have to say "see ya later" (definitely not goodbye) to very soon.

Some of the many beautiful people I’ll have to say “see ya later” (definitely not goodbye) to very soon.

SAS is exactly what you decide to make it. You literally have the world at your fingertips, and all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

100 days. 13 cities. 11 countries. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Friends, sun, and smoothies. What more could anyone ask for?

Friends, sun, and smoothies. What more could anyone ask for?