The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 30, 1995, Page 8, Image 8

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    Students gather experience sailing a semester at sea
By Heidi White _
Staff Reporter
Spending a semester traveling
across the globe may sound like a
dream to some students.
Jennifer Thompson and Nicole
Clifton are living that dream by sail
ing the oceans as part of the Semester
at Sea program.
Thompson, a junior Spanish ma
jor, and Clifton, a senior psychology
major, are currently on board the S.S.
Universe. The ship acts like a floating
college campus, housing a library,
classrooms and student union.
The ship set sail Sept. 13 from
Vancouver, British Columbia. The
18,000-ton ship and its 400 students
have already docked in Japan, China,
Hong Kong, Vietnam and India.
The students on board, including
the two from the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln, represent 178 col
leges and universities from across the
United States and the world. They
will return to New Orleans Dec. 23. j
Jennifer Babin, director of admis- j
sions and financial aid for the Semes- ]
ter at Sea program, said it was admin
istered by the Institute for Shipboard
1 he program is academically spon
sored by the University of Pittsburgh,
but courses are transferable to each
student’s college or university. Ap
plicants must be full-time college stu- J
dents, Babin said.
She said 400 to 500 participants
were chosen each year from a pool of
almost 900 applicants.
“All kinds of students with all
kinds of majors are chosen to partici
pate in the program,” Babin said.
Between 50 and 60 courses are
offered each semester, she said, de
pending on the faculty on board. The i
faculty include visiting professors
from universities around the world.
Babin said the diverse faculty al- i
lowed for a wide range of classes, i
including business, writing, commu
nication, psychology and anthropol- <
ogy. The classes incorporate material !
about the countries visited on the trip.
Students on board will soon visit I
Egypt, Israel, Ukraine, Turkey and
“They just left India and are on
;heir way to Egypt, which is one of
heir longest voyages,” Babin said.
When the students reach a port,
die said, they have many activities to
;hoose from during their three-to-six
lay stay.
Activities include home stays, uni
/ersity visits and traveling to places
if historic, cultural and religious sig
Students also can go out on their
iwn toexperience the countries, Babin
The visits give students a chance
o collect cultural information for
another part of their experience —
the Vicarious Voyage Around the
World program.
Babin said the travelers will inter
act by mail with elementary students
around the United States. The chil
dren, who are usually in third or
fourth grade, receive items such as
pictures, newspapers, maps and
stamps from the travelers.
After the elementary students share
the items with their classmates, Babin
said, they send letters back to the
college students and tell them what
they learned about each country.
Another unique feature of the voy
age is the senior adult program. On
each trip, about 40 retired adults ac
company the students.
“They are usually looking for a
learning experience, and not the en
vironment of a cruise,” Babin said.
The adults can audit the courses
and explore the countries visited along
with the students. Babin said that
although they have special activities
of their own and often travel in groups,
they form special bonds with the stu
“It’s common for the students to
adopt one of the seniors as their
grandma or grandpa,” she said.
A spring voyage will depart Feb. 3
from Nassau, Bahamas. The trip will
- venture to Venezuela, Brazil, South
Africa, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Hong
Kong, Taiwan and Japan. It will re
turn to Seattle May 13.
A summer program also will be
offered for the first time and will run
from May 22 to July 18. It will focus
on the environment and culture of the
South Pacific.
Students interested in applying can
call and request a brochure and appli
cation at 1-800-854-0195. A $25 ap
plication fee is required.
There is no deadline for applica
tions, but Babin said applicants should
apply as early as possible.
Semester programs cost $12,58C
and pay for tuition, room, board and
passage fare. The summer session
rate is $6,775.
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