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Sammy Angel Lam Sails Multiple Voyages to Jump Start International Business Studies

While many SAS alumni express a desire to do it all again, Sammy Lam is actually living that dream.

Lam, an International Business major from Our Lady of the Lake University, is currently participating in his third voyage in two years, with his fourth voyage approaching, as he will also be sailing on the Fall 2013 50th anniversary voyage.

I recently spoke with the affable and enthusiastic Lam about the rewards of the SAS program, his career goals and what he likes most about traveling on the MV Explorer.

Q:  What is it about the Semester at Sea program that keeps you coming back?

A:   A couple months before I was about to graduate from high school, my mom passed away.   It was then that I started to question my future, and what direction I was headed.   When the study abroad program director held a seminar at my school for The Semester at Sea program and asked, “Would you like to study on a ship?”  at first I thought they were kidding.   But then after thinking about it, I realized that there was nothing holding me back and I thought this would be a great opportunity to see the world.  I also wanted to do this in memory of my mother.

Q: What do you like best about being on the MV Explorer?

A:  I like that moment when we’re approaching the places we have been studying about and we get a chance to experience it first hand–that moment when what we’re studying comes to life.  It’s magical.

Q:  How do you afford to participate in multiple voyages?

A:  I received generous support from The Semester at Sea program and my school.  I also applied for a number of outside scholarships.  Although I was denied for many of them, it’s a numbers game.  I still received enough money to cover the program.

Since my mom passed away, I became a financially independent student. I think I am a good example of how a person without financial support is still able to find a way to make their dreams come true and accomplish what they set out to do even when faced with overwhelming challenges.

Q:  How do you think your participation in the Semester at Sea program will impact your career?

A:  After the Fall 2013 voyage, I will have completed my bachelor’s degree in International Business and Anthropology, and I will begin a Master’s program at Hult University, International School of Business, in the Spring, 2014.  We get to choose up to three countries in which to study, and I hope to study in Shanghai China, Dubai, UAE, or London.  I think the Semester at Sea program has created a great foundation for my career in International Business.

Q:  What have you found to be most surprising about the Semester at Sea program?

A: Once you are in this program, you see that the world is actually a small place.  The world itself is big, but it seems smaller because you get to see it first hand and that’s been a great experience. I’m going on my 4th voyage because I don’t want it to end.

Q:  And most rewarding?

A:  I feel a sense of pride sailing on four voyages   After losing my mom, there was a void in my life, a loss of guidance, a blurred path in my future.  Being on these voyages has set me on the right course as a student.  I often ask myself, “What is to become of me?  What are my goals?  What am I to do in the real world after I finish my education?”

Being in this program has opened my eyes to the world.  It often seemed like an unattainable goal to achieve, yet, I’ve done it three times now and looking forward to the next voyage, my 4th.

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  • Life at Sea

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