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Global Education: All in the Family

Angela Claeys and her mom, Kathy Townley, in the library aboard Semester at Sea’s MV Explorer. (Photo/Kaya Berne)

How’s this for a mother-daughter experience?

Kathy Townley of Dickson, Ky., is sailing aboard the MV Explorer on the Maymester voyage as a lifelong learner with her daughter Angela Claeys, a rising sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. They’re roommates to boot.

Kathy says she was visiting Angela at school, where they took in a series of architecture lectures. During the break, they were absent-mindedly staring at the bulletin board in the hallway and both noticed the Semester at Sea poster hanging there.

“We both said, ‘We can do that!’” Kathy said while sipping coffee in the Garden Lounge.  “One thing led to another, and here we are.” Here, of course, being the new short-term Semester at Sea voyage, “Engineering a New Tomorrow.”

Angela is taking Dean Abernathy’s architecture course, “Quality of Housing,” and she is a work-study student in the library.

“I am currently an architecture major, but I was undecided my first semester of college,” she said. “I am hoping that this voyage will inspire me and point me towards the right career path, whether it be something completely different from architecture, or perhaps a way to narrow down what I want to accomplish with an architecture major.”

The voyage will also take her to seven countries she’s never been to. “I am interested in the unique cultures of these places. I hope I can gain perspective about poverty-stricken areas of the world by seeing how they live, specifically their housing.”

As for herself, Kathy said she’s just ready to explore. A semi-retired physician, she has done medical work in Honduras, one of the countries on the itinerary.

“I’m laying a foundation for a new career direction,” she said. “I’m thinking doing volunteer medical work in developing nations.”

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  • Life at Sea

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