Semester at Sea
My name is Savannah Schafer, I am from Massachusetts, I am a criminal justice and communications double major at UJ, and because of UJ I am traveling around the world.
People often ask how I came to find UJ, and I always try to make up some humorous comment about the wonders of the Internet, but to be honest, I think UJ was always going to be the school for me. I am a junior now, and the years have gone by too fast. I feel like everyone says that, but it deserves repeating.
In the last two and half years I have been taught by the amazing professors at UJ, I have worked with some of the best people I know, and words cannot express how beautiful inside-and-out my friends are. So when people ask why I chose the University of Jamestown to pursue my education, the answer is simple: UJ is home.
Now, when this blog is posted you might notice that I am absent from UJ. Currently, I am a student aboard the World Odyssey. I am on a journey that will take me to twelve ports around the world in 101 days.
The program that I am doing for my study abroad experience is called Semester at Sea. I chose this study abroad program because it allowed me the ability to see multiple countries while receiving intensive education. Semester at Sea is currently affiliated with the University of Virginia, and the staff, faculty, and students come from all over the world.
In just a little under a month I have learned an incredible amount of information regarding unique characteristics of the cultures I will be visiting, and some from others I will not be able to see.
In addition to the in-class education, I am also learning firsthand from interacting with people in the countries. When we ported in Hawaii, I was able to learn some Hawaiian from my peers who are part of the new wave, or the “young generation” who are trying to bring back their language before it dies. It is a beautiful language, and I highly recommend learning it. In Japan I was able to learn how to perform and participate in a traditional tea ceremony, I have been able to visit shrines located up in a mountain, and I got the opportunity to see Mount Fuji.
Now currently, I am sailing to Hong Kong from Shanghai, China.
Semester at Sea can be scary and nerve-racking at times, but I do not regret getting on this boat. I cannot wait to get back to the U.S. and share my experiences with my peers. I truly hope it inspires them to see the world. I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to go on this adventure. Already I feel like the experience is enriching my life, it is breaking stereotypes that I had about these countries, and I am becoming friends with such a diverse group of people.
I miss UJ, I miss home, but I know that this voyage will make me a better student and a better person. Can’t wait to see you in the fall! GO JIMMIES!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open” –Jawaharla Nehru