Starting something new can be terrifying. It seems pretty safe to say the first day of your new career in a new city 2000 miles from home might take the cake. As the newest member of the Outreach team there have already been many first days in this position, and I see many more ahead of me.
It‚Äôs stressful and scary approaching someone new nearly every day, finding an office or classroom for the first time every day, and searching for parking every day. But with this stress there are two saving graces:
- I work for the best abroad program which I get to share with wide-eyed, enthusiastic strangers every day ‚Ä¶ more on this later
- there are always, and I mean always, SAS Alumi where ever I go ready to give me tips, guidance and most importantly a hug (I am from the Midwest after all.)
In the two short weeks of my employment I have met countless SAS Alums, each of whom has gone out of his or her way to help me with my new position as well as my personal life as I settle into sunny San Diego. Within 5 minutes of meeting one alumna I was offered the spare room in her home while I search for an apartment. I respectfully declined since I am staying with a close friend from my voyage until I find housing ‚Ä¶ please let me find housing.
Semester at Sea is more than a study abroad program and does more than educate students, faculty and staff as they experience numerous countries. Semester at Sea creates a tight family on every voyage. These families translate into the largest extended family I could fathom. I was invited into a perfect stranger‚Äôs home because I am family.
We share a bond, an experience so deep that it warrants familial status. When I share Semester at Sea with students ready to see the world I always try to tie in the amazing shipboard life and individuals who make every voyage memorable. It‚Äôs impossible to describe but that‚Äôs what makes it beautiful, so I fruitlessly try anyway.
When the students I recruit return from the voyage of a life time they‚Äôll know what I meant.