Semester at Sea has been on the horizon for international voyager Akshat Rajan ever since he can remember.
‚ÄúWhen my sister was in college, eight years ago, her roommate did Semester at Sea, so I have known about [the program] since I was 12,‚Äù Rajan said. ‚ÄúEveryone that has gone has said that it changed them, and I just know that I have to do it.‚Äù
While Rajan chose to spend his undergraduate years studying International Relations at Tufts University in the United States, he is originally from Mumbai, India. With India being one of the countries on the Fall 2017 Voyage itinerary, Rajan sees¬†the stop as an¬†opportunity to show his fellow students around his home.
‚ÄúMy friends from Semester at Sea can see where I live and I can show them my city,‚Äù Rajan said. ‚ÄúWhen we go to India, I feel like it is my land and I have to show them around.‚Äù
Like the majority of voyagers, Rajan will not know anyone when he embarks in Bremerhaven, Germany on September 9, but he doesn’t seem worried.
‚ÄúI think [not knowing anyone] is what makes me the most excited and nervous at the same time,‚Äù Rajan said. ‚ÄúI think that will be the best part.‚Äù
While the absence of Snapchat and Instagram stories will be quite a change for voyagers, Rajan is looking forward to going off the grid.
‚ÄúI know there is limited access to internet and I‚Äôm happy about that because it will be a nice break from everything else. I‚Äôm excited to go off the grid with 600 other college students all on the ship together.‚Äù
With the Fall 2017 Voyage just around the corner, Rajan has already started thinking about the personal impacts that taking a voyage around the world will have.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm a bit torn between what I want to do when college is over,‚Äù Rajan said. ‚ÄúI think that this experience will really help me understand what it is that I specifically want to do. I know it‚Äôs something related to cultures, cross cultural communications, and international relations, so the voyage will help in bringing that cultural feel and being able to understand what I get from each experience.‚Äù
For now, Rajan is getting excited for his classes and looking forward to adjusting to life on the MV World Odyssey.