How big is the boat?/How many students?
We will be on the MV explorer which is a remodeled cruise ship. It has nine classrooms, three places to eat, a small gym, a pool, a library, and a health clinic. I think the ship holds about a thousand people, 500-700 are students, then there are a few life long learners (non-student participants), the faculty, staff, and their families, and the crew.
Do you take classes on land or on the ship?
We take classes while on the ship between each port. When we are in port we are set free for a few days and just have to be back on board by the time the ship leaves. We can travel anywhere within that country, or we can make day trips into the city while sleeping and eating on ship.
How did you decided to do Semester at Sea?
I knew that I wanted to study abroad, but I couldn't pick a country. When I learned more about SAS I decided I should visit 11+ countries!
Is it more difficult to study abroad through an outside program, rather than through the UC Education Abroad Program?
In some ways yes, but I will be able to transfer my credits and financial aid, its just a little more paperwork.
Are you getting course credit for your classes?
Yes, I am very pleased that the Environmental Studies major at UCSB allows us to take a wide variety of courses with any outside program and apply them to the major. I cannot get pre-aproved for the classes, but I will be collected all course materials so that when I return to UCSB I can petition the classes.
Is it expensive?
It is more expensive than UCSB but I am very lucky, and very grateful, that I am receiving financial aid. I also saved up some money, received some generous gifts from my extended family (thank you), and I have a work study position that is helping me make this possible.
Do you have internet on the ship?
No. Well, we have some access. We have email, wikipedia, and a few news websites.
How do you stay in contact?
I will have unlimited access to email while on board. Please email me! I want to know whats going on back home, and I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! Juliaaugh@gmail.com
Do you know anyone else going?
Nope, but I have met two people from UCSB, one is going as a student, and the other is a resident director.
How much are you bringing?
One suitcase and the backpack I use for school. We are allowed more, but because I want to travel around for two weeks after the voyage ends, I have challenged myself to fit everything in one suitcase. (My current packing list is three pages long, so wish me luck!)
What is your cabin like?
Very small. Most likely I will have an inside double with two beds, a closet, and a bathroom. You don't want to know how much a window costs. And I won't know who my roommate is until I board. For those that love boats, check out the virtual tour of the ship http://www.semesteratsea.org/our-ship/deck-plans/
When do you leave?/How long are you gone?
I leave for San Diego on January 9th. On the 10th we are bused down to Ensenada and the ship embarks. The program ends 16 weeks later on May 2nd, and then I will be spending another two weeks traveling independently in the UK and Ireland.
Still curious? Check out the website http://www.semesteratsea.org/voyages/spring-2014/