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Spring 2017 Veteran finds new community

On board the MV World Odyssey, the community is enriched by the plethora of backgrounds and stories that lead each individual to a voyage. Six people in particular have a unique perspective on the journey, traveling as veterans of the United States military. One of those veterans, Dylan Zuccherino from the University of Colorado, shared his thoughts about being a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and how his past experience has shaped his time on Semester at Sea.

“Most veterans come from a background with lots of travel experience; it’s one of the perks of being in the military,” Dylan explained as he sat in Berlin restaurant. “You get used to a strict regiment when you’re traveling, and it makes it much easier to design itineraries when I’m in port.”

After serving in countries such as Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, and Scotland, Zuccherino decided that he wanted to see the world from a different point of view. Thanks to the recommendation of his younger brother, an alumnus of the Spring 2016 voyage, he determined that Semester at Sea was the perfect opportunity. He soon learned that one of the greatest aspects about shipboard life is the integration of faculty, staff, lifelong learners, undergraduate, and non-traditional students.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is that veterans tend to think that they’re above students or civilians,” Zuccherino said. “On SAS, we’re forced to adapt and see ourselves as equals with the rest of the students on board. We’re making friendships with our peers and learning that their backgrounds are just as rich as those with military experience.”

Zuccherino thinks that sailing with Semester at Sea would appeal greatly to fellow veterans. “It’s an opportunity to travel recreationally through the eyes of a civilian,” said Zuccherino. “As opposed to seeing the world with the military lens.”

Semester at Sea voyages are an incredible way to see the world while in an academic environment, and having a diverse population is a major key in ensuring the students are getting the most well-rounded experience possible. The group of veterans add nobility to the community, and the students and staculty can’t thank them enough for their past service and current company.

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