In the spring of 2010, Bailey Richert, a then senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, decided to spend her last semester of college at sea, excited to experience the world.
As soon as Bailey disembarked the ship at the end of the Spring 2010 voyage, the life she intended to pursue post-graduation had shifted. ‚ÄúThe idea of working a desk job for the rest of [my] life after [I‚Äôve] literally just seen the world is not something [I] could stomach,‚Äù she says. ‚ÄúMany of my friends on the voyage and I felt convicted to do more with our lives and live to our fullest potential after SAS.‚Äù
With a dual bachelor‚Äôs degree in environmental engineering and hydrogeology, Bailey had intended to use her education to pursue a career as a consultant in environmental engineering. While she remained passionate about her career of choice, her voyage gave her a newfound thirst for global travel and led her to start her own company. She was also inspired to write a book: a comprehensive handbook for first-time international travelers.
It is Bailey‚Äôs hope to encourage others to see the world after undergoing many influential experiences during her travels with Semester at Sea. One especially powerful voyage experience was a visit to a daycare in a township in South Africa where half of the children were HIV positive. Bailey felt that interacting with locals firsthand gave her a more personal connection to and better understanding of global issues.
‚ÄúThat connection now means that when I hear about South Africa in the news, I listen. I pay attention,‚Äù Bailey recalled. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs why travel is so important. It makes things personal. It gets you invested in a very good way.‚Äù
Now determined to encourage prospective travelers to see the world and experience culture on a deeper level, Bailey‚Äôs business offers courses to inexperienced travelers to learn the ins and outs of international travel and how to prepare for trips overseas. Bailey has also recently produced a series of video interviews with Semester at Sea alumni, with the purpose of educating prospective students on the program in order to help them determine whether or not it is a good fit for them. (See below)
‚ÄúMy message to students thinking about SAS? GO. Study abroad changes your life in ways that you cannot even foresee. You become more self-reliant and perseverant, but also more open-minded and accepting of others‚Äô differences. Often, your real interests and passions are awakened.‚Äù