When I was in grad school a few years ago, I did a summer graduate internship with Semester at Sea. For those of that are unfamiliar with this, it’s a pseudo-study abroad program in which students spend a semester living (and supposedly studying) on a cruise ship, and it stops at various places around the world. If all goes as planned, the students get a semester worth of college credit, while getting to visit and experience cultures and amazing places all around the world.
Sunset on the ship // The MV Explorer: My home for Summer 2010
(photos taken from facebook, please excuse the crappy quality)
Since travel is one of my true passions in life, this opportunity sounded perfect to me. While I’m not going to get into exactly what this experience was like for me, I will say that I think Semester at Sea is a very different experience when you’re 19-21, as opposed to when you are 27 or older. Living in dorms and being surrounded by 500+ college kids was very different from what I expected. Getting the opportunity to travel all around the world by ship is, no doubt, amazing, but I don’t think it is on par with the experience of living and immersing yourself in a foreign culture for an extended period of time, as a traditional study abroad program provides.
I did a summer semester, and my route took me across the Atlantic ocean and through the Mediterranean. Yesterday Kevin came across an old tumblr I had started to document this experience, and reading it was such a blast from the past. One of the things I did most frequently was post conversations I would overhear students say, because, let me tell you, I heard some doozies. The stuff these kids would say was beyond hilarious. So amusing, in fact, that I decided these conversations needed to live here on this blog, too.
Overheard before arriving in Turkey:
SAS Student: Why do I need a Turkish visa if I already have a credit card?
Overheard while trying to study out on the deck:
Girl: Why is this taking so long? Aren’t we there already? That must be Barcelona! (pointing to what we have been told multiple times is Morocco).
Other Girl: The Pacific Ocean is just so big.
(for those of you that didn’t pick up on this yet, we were crossing the Atlantic ocean)
Overheard on our way to Greece:
SAS Student: “Can I exchange my Italian Euros for Greek Euros?”
Overheard at the Parthenon in Athens:
SAS Student 1: What are you doing when we get to Egypt?
SAS Student 2: I don’t know, I think I signed up for a safari or something.
SAS Student 1: Uh, no you didn’t, it’s not like it’s Africa!
Overheard while walking the city walls in Dubrovnik, Croatia:
Tour Guide: This is where the prince was decapitated.
SAS Student: Did he die?
Overheard in Italy:
SAS Student: “How long is the bus ride to Capri?”
And because parents can be “funny” too…
Overheard by a parent visiting their child in Egypt:
SAS Parent: I need someone who speaks the language to help me.
Tour Guide: I can help, I speak Arabic.
SAS Parent: No, I need someone who speaks Egyptian.