What do Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Laureate), Joan Lunden (journalist, former host of Good Morning America), Cynthia Nixon (actress), and Nelson Mandela (First President of South Africa & Nobel Laureate) have in common? They are among the many notable alumni, lecturers, and guests of Semester at Sea (SAS).
Never heard of it? Well, you know how sometimes you can go for years and years without knowing about something but as soon as you learn about it you hear about it or see it constantly? This is how it was for me with SAS. I had never heard of this program, ever! Then I started traveling and meeting fellow travelers of which surprisingly many are SAS alumni. All of the alumni had positive things to say about the experience, but more importantly about the connections it helped them forge. It’s not often I wish I could go back in time and redo things, but given the chance this would be among the things that I would do.
Since 1963 SAS has educated “students with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of our interdependent world. With the world as our classroom, our unique shipboard program integrates multiple-country study, interdisciplinary coursework, and hands-on field experiences for meaningful engagement in the global community.” – See more on the Semester At Sea web site.
If you are less interested in following in the footsteps of the who’s who of overseas experiences, another great organization to look into for an amazing educational experience is SIT Study Abroad Program. Originally they were established as a training facility for early Peace Corps volunteers. Their mission is to “prepare students to be inter-culturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. In so doing, SIT fosters a worldwide network of individuals and organizations committed to responsible global citizenship.” And, like SAS they have been in business for 50 years.
So, what are you waiting for?