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Fall 2017 begins the journey of a lifetime

559 students from over 65 countries commenced what is sure to be a life-changing adventure today as the Fall 2017 Voyage of Semester at Sea set sail from the Columbus Cruise Terminal in Bremerhaven, Germany.

At 0900, voyagers took their first steps onto the MV World Odyssey after months of planning and years of dreaming about seeing the world. Students were greeted by Fall 2017 faculty, staff, and the Institute of Shipboard Education home office staff. After checking in, they began settling in to their cabins, meeting roommates, and exploring their new home for the first time.

“We got a tour and we’re still trying to find our way around,” said Brielle Gulya of Rowan University as she took in the beauty of the ship. “It’s amazing. It’s regal almost. It has a royal feel.”

After familiarizing themselves with their new campus and meeting fellow voyagers, students, brimming with excitement, spent the rest of the day participating in their first lifeboat drill and talking about what they are most looking forward to during the four-month, ten-country voyage. Field programs were the biggest topic of conversation, as students compared notes and talked about the in-country travel they have planned.

“I wanted to do programs where it would be really hard to plan things for yourself,” said Brittany Rogers, a senior at Colorado State University. “I’m going to the Taj Mahal, and it’s a three-day trip. For (Semester at Sea) to do that for us, it’s really nice.”

And, despite the exhilaration of casting off and the in-country adventures on the horizon, voyagers compared class schedules and talked about how much they were looking forward to having the world as their classroom.

Rogers, a business major, said she was excited to see how business is conducted overseas.

“I’m in international business, and they’re taking us to the Disneyland in Shanghai,” Rogers said. “And I get to go in and meet the management there and compare the differences between the two. I’m really excited for that.”

As the day came to a close, students crowded atop Deck 9 to watch as the MV World Odyssey departed Bremerhaven for the six-day voyage to Barcelona, and Gulya’s words from earlier in the day summed up the attitude of the entire Fall 2017 Voyage:

“I’m most excited for the ship to start moving. I’m ready to go.”


Remember to follow Semester at Sea on Snapchat (semesteratsea) and Instagram (semesteratsea) throughout the voyage! Check out our embarkation snapchat story.

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