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Semester At Sea – A Great Learning Experience More Young Women Should Explore

Semester At Sea – A Great Learning Experience More Young Women Should Explore
MBL Editors

Semester At Sea 

By Lindsay C.

Imagine strolling through the winding stone streets of an European city, trekking through the lush jungles of Burma, or embarking on a voyage along the Caribbean. It might sound like just a little summer vacation, but traveling to a foreign country is more than that. It’s an experience that gives you a firsthand view of a new culture, different language, and forces you to step out of your comfort zone. Identities are better developed, the world is understood a little better, and minds are opened to different lifestyles. You could say it’s a way of finding yourself. And, what better time is there to learn who you are than when you move out of mom and dad’s home for four years of school?

Traveling is an education in itself, but unfortunately it is an undervalued experience when compared to football, math clubs, and debate teams. There are schools that offer a semester in France or England. Yet, for those seeking to step outside of their box, there are companies such as Semester at Sea who offer students opportunities to continue their studies in countries such as Egypt, Sweden, Japan, or Costa Rica.

Semester at Sea is like taking your university classes on a cruise ship, a cruise ship that tailors programs to expose students to new cultures, hands on opportunities in their field, and co-curricular activities with their peers and supervisors in different countries. A standard itinerary is 3 months with a visit to 17 countries, and programs such as entrepreneurship and economics. And, for those a little worried about carbon footprints, SAS ships are all green and clean by practicing environmentally friendly and waste management procedures.

Now, this might sound like an enriching collegiate experience to boost resumes and develop a few life, leadership, and communication skills. But, with statistics showing that out of all the American students who travelled abroad in 2011 and 2012, 76% were Caucasian and 5% are African-American, it might seem that these opportunities are offered on slightly tipped scales.

In the age of globalization, a job market crisis, and competitive markets, it takes more than a shining GPA for graduates to stand out. Companies seek students who can close deals with their overseas clients, communicate effectively to an international team, and who have an understanding of the world around them.

Now, imagine that while still in school you could enrich your education to include some of the life skills employers will seek in the future. Imagine, that as an African-American female you can beat the statistics and embark on a voyage that will prepare you a little better for the real world. Now, if you had that opportunity, would you hesitate to take it?