In order to provide the most complete global education possible, Semester at Sea is a living-learning environment. Faculty, staff, Lifelong Learners and students live and work in a shared environment on this study abroad voyage. Co-curricular activities provide a wonderful way for all participants to continue the learning outside the classroom. Orientation culminated in an involvement symposium during which all members of the shipboard community were able to sign up for, or create, groups. The incredible range of interests and talents aboard the ship was evident as students, Lifelong Learners, faculty and staff ventured around Deck 6 exploring their options.
‚Ä¢ A perennial favorite of the entire community, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Extended Families recruited many voyagers. Both programs focus on bridging generations and giving every participant a close circle of support. These programs will be discussed in more detail later this week.
‚Ä¢ The Future Alumni group gained quite a following as participants volunteered to help plan events, as well as provide talents and items for the Shipboard Auction near the end of the voyage. The variety of talents was remarkable, but the student who volunteered to auction off a personal serenade, complete with live audition, stole the show.
‚Ä¢ Intramural sports were exceedingly popular, with participants of all ages and backgrounds signing up for sunrise yoga and lawn game tournaments.
‚Ä¢ Every Living Learning Coordinator was there to promote his or her area of expertise, and the students flocked to each of their presentations. They covered everything from learning how to be as academically successful as possible to the intercultural considerations and community service opportunities afforded by the field program.
‚Ä¢ Students created many groups on their own. The Water Sports group and the Scuba Diving group were recruiting in large numbers. (The difference is whether one is certified to scuba dive, as I learned from talking to the group leaders.)
As the crowd dispersed to their ‚ÄòSea‚Äô meetings and other gatherings at 2130 hours, the excitement about a living-learning community with serenades and scuba diving was palpable.