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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Student Spends Semester at Sea

Jared Foreman, a UMass Boston student, is experiencing his education globally this semester. This fall, he is participating in Semester at Sea, a program administered by the Institute for Shipboard Education and academically sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

Semester at Sea aims to provide a global dimension to undergraduates’ educational experience. Each fall, spring, and summer voyage accepts 650 students from American and foreign higher education institutions to enjoy the ship’s floating university experience, made up of a combination of shipboard courses, which are accredited by the University of Pittsburgh and later transfer to participants’ home schools.

In addition to college and university students who participate in the program, Semester at Sea accepts up to 40 non-student adults for a continuing education component of each voyage. This group is usually made up of retirees, teachers on sabbatical, and other people who wish to develop themselves personally or professionally. They are able to take the on board courses formally or informally, and most take advantage of this aspect of traveling in an academic environment. They stay in single or double occupancy cabins.

The program’s 23,500-ton ship, called the S.S. Universe Explorer, is equipped with classrooms with closed circuit television capabilities, a library, computer lab, theater, student union, and two dining rooms. Students live in double or triple occupancy cabins. The ship is also equipped to answer to travelers’ fitness needs with a swimming pool, basketball courts, a volley court, and a fitness center.

The S.S. Universe Explorer has a far-reaching itinerary. So far this semester, program participants, including UMB’s Foreman, have visited Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and the Seychelles. Before Semester at Sea ends in Miami on December 9, it will stop in South Africa, Brazil, and Cuba. Each port call lasts four to five days, and the program has a field component requirement that each student must fulfill in addition to the courses taken while the ship is at sea. Students can satisfy this requirement by participating in structured travel opportunities, traveling independently to experience life in foreign cities or rural areas, staying with a family in their home, or by visiting a university or site known for its religious, historic, or cultural significance.

Spring Semester at Sea voyages depart from Nassau, Bahamas. The S.S. Universe Explorer then continues on to Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and Japan. This trip leaves in January and returns in May. The summer trip lasts from June 13 to August 17. This trip has a regional focus that begins and ends in Greece and travels to Spain, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Poland, Belgium, Italy, and Croatia.

The cost for the Spring and Fall Semester at Sea programs is $14,375, and the cost for the summer program is $9175. This price includes tuition, standard accommodations, room, board, and passage fare. Financial assistance is available; grants are available for this program, and students can often use financial aid from their own school for Semester at Sea. The cost for Continuing Education Program participants is $16,175, double occupancy, and $19,475 single occupancy.

More information on Semester at Sea can be obtained by writing to Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh, 811 William Pitt Union, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, by phone at 1-800-854-0195, or on the Internet at www.semesteratsea.com.