Preparing For A Voyage At Sea

This fall I will be going Semester at Sea (SAS). Semester at Sea is a third party to the University of Dayton; it is an organization that has been around since 1963. Semester at Sea’s “mission, vision, strategy, and core values are rooted in student success and global comparative education” (semesteratsea.org).  

On September 9th 2016, I will be flying to Hamburg Germany where I will stay over one night and board the ship the following day. I have chosen the fall 2016 voyage to the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and beyond. This voyage includes 104 days, 13 cities and 12 countries. The places I, and many other students, will be traveling to are: Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama Canal Transit, Peru, Costa Rica and then we debark in San Diego, California.

As I delve into my summer break, I find myself constantly thinking about Semester at Sea. There is so much to do before I go, as even though I have a little over three months, it feels like there is so little time.

On my pre-voyage checklist I still have yet to complete my medical clearance form, getting my visa to Brazil, ordering textbooks for my classes, signing up for field programs, setting up my SAS email account, buying my ticket to Germany, verifying different aspects for the trip and figuring out what I will need to buy and what I have as far as packing for this 104 day journey! All of the things on my checklist come with dates that you must have them done by. So far I am ahead, but it doesn’t mean it’s still not a lot of work.

Is it worth it? Absolutely! Every time I check something off my checklist it brings me even more excitement. I am very excited for this journey, and preparing for it is helping me to get as ready as possible. I find myself daydreaming from the photos I see from the previous voyages and writing checklists of goals and things I want to accomplish while on the journey.

So here is my advice for anyone studying abroad. I have yet to go, however, I am in the process; so enjoy the process! Take advantage of the time you have to prepare, learn as much as you can before you go, and strive to have everything done earlier than later to reduce stress and have some gap room in case something goes wrong. Nothing has gone wrong for me yet, however, I am prepared and that is what is most important!

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