A Voyage around the World
By Katie Deneen
My name is Katie Deneen. I am a sophomore here at UD and am the web developer for the Flyer Enterprises Information Technology team. This spring 2nd semester I will be doing Semester at Sea (SAS). Semester at Sea is a third party study abroad program that is sponsored by Colorado State University. Semester at Sea is a multi-country study abroad program that promotes a global comparative education to non-traditional destinations. It is an organization that has been around since 1963.
In less than 50 days (January 2nd) I will be disembarking along with 600 college students from over 250 universities on the spring 2017 Voyage Around the World. The voyage includes 110 days, 12 countries, 16 cities, 4 continents. The itinerary includes: San Diego, Mexico, Hawaii, Japan, China, Việt Nam, Myanmar (Burma), India, Madagascar, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and Germany. I became interested in Semester at Sea because 2 of my aunts who went to UD did SAS in 1992 and still talk about their experience till this day!
On the trip I will be taking Issues in Environmental Economics, Principles of Marketing, Global Studies, Theatre, and Comparative Religions. Students take classes while they are at sea on the “floating campus” and are free to travel once in ports. For each course, faculty members develop one in-country educational trip. For example, for my Environmental Economics class I will visit the State of Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control and US EPA related sites.
Additionally, I was asked to work as an IT assistant on the ship that would allow me to have more spending money for independent travel. Four other guys and I will assist the IT Coordinator on the ship and help students with their computer issues. So I guess I’m shifting my feIT skills to the Institute of Shipboard Education for the semester!
Some of the things that I have planned for each country include visiting the Taj Mahal and Saint Mother Theresa’s orphanage in India, tour Tokyo, climb the Great wall and see Beijing and Shanghai, go on an overnight safari and skydive in South Africa, do a homestay with a family in Ghana and volunteer at the refuge orphanage, tour Casablanca, and do an overnight Sahara Desert camel trek.
As the date gets closer and closer I find myself constantly thinking about my upcoming trip. I am incredibly excited but also freaking out at the same time! I am nervous about making new friends and the culture shock that I will have after visiting some of the countries. Preparing for the voyage has required an innumerable amount of hours. For instance, I had to obtain 5 visas, get my vaccines and malaria pills, budget my money, schedule my classes, figure out what I need to pack and buy for the trip, and verify various traveling details. I’ve come across many obstacles but I know it will be totally worth it. I can’t wait to finally embark on this life changing journey and “sea” the world!