Students will utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create a successful transition to the Semester at Sea experience. This transition will include an assessment of social identities, values, skills, and interests to reflect on individual purpose and develop goals for educational and professional aspirations. Information literacy skills will also be enhanced by learning how to be academically successful in their coursework and within an academic discipline of interest; as well as planning and executing meaningful port experiences with different diverse populations, cultures, and perspectives. Students will determine how to best advocate for themselves in identifying resources and opportunities, developing a curricular and co-curricular engagement plan, and engaging and reflecting on those experiences. Additionally, the class provides opportunities to develop community with other Gap Year students through intergroup dialogue for a deeper understanding of various social identities and cultural backgrounds that may differ from their own.
This class is required for all Gap students — those who have completed high school but have yet to begin their degree program at a 2-year or 4-year college campus, whether admitted or not. This is a 1-credit course that will be fully completed during the first part of the voyage.
Field WorkCountry: Japan
Date: January 24, 2020
This field class is all about collaboration, communication and culture. Students will participate in a student exchange program with a local university learning about academic culture in Japan. With this visit we are hopeful that both student populations (Semester at Sea students and the local university students) work together to learn about each other’s culture regarding academics at the higher education level, to learn about each other’s goals and how they plan to accomplish them, to communicate and collaborate with each other on specific issues, and to learn how students at the local university may share some of the same values as Semester at Sea, focusing on how they practice inclusivity and acceptance of others from different countries and cultures. It is our hope that students will take what they learn in Kobe from their experiences and apply it in countries throughout the voyage.
All of this can happen in many different ways. Ideally, the Japanese students will take our students on a tour of their campus. This will help later in the day for a scavenger hunt where the two student populations will be in mixed groups working together to solve riddles and unlock clues locating different objects. Another activity will include SAS students meeting with different student organizations at the local university. This can show the culture of academics and student life and how students stay active and involved outside of the classroom. To learn more about Japanese culture, lunch can be intentional as well with having different options of traditional Japanese cuisine at different local restaurants.
1. Gain skills around collaboration and communication after working with students at the local university.
2. Utilize skills gained after reading about and applying information literacy.
3. Gain an understanding around advocacy for themselves and others and apply it to the rest of their voyage.