Sailing the high seas, studying the world

The Atlantic Exploration. 115 days, 17 cities, 15 countries. It seemed too good to be true. No longer did I have to worry about which country to study abroad in, I was be able to explore the world from a ship.

Students who do a Semester at Sea get to travel the world while taking classes on a ship.

Each port allows students anywhere from two to five days for unlimited adventure.

We met locals that became our best friends, tried foods and drinks we never knew existed and we fell in love with a new city, over and over again.

The voyage is perfect for people who know they want something amazing out of life.

The beauty is, you don’t have to have a clue what that is.

That’s the biggest lesson I learned doing Semester at Sea. As long as you know you want something, you will find it.

Whether it is an adventure in Morocco that turns into a spontaneous camel back trip through the Sahara, or hopping on a bus from the east coast to the west coast of Ireland, the opportunities available in port are endless.

You can also gain invaluable experience navigating the metro system in Russia, guaranteeing that you can take on any public transport afterward.

It is about having the time of your life getting to know your taxi driver or waiter, who can give you the best insights on what life is like for most people in their country.

You can earn 12-15 credits and choose from a wide range of classes and subjects. I took astronomy, global music, human sexuality and philosophy of religion because I thought they would be fun to learn about from a global perspective.

Each class has one day in one port during the voyage dedicated to field work and learning. For example, in my Global Music class we spent a day at the University of Ghana in Accra learning traditional drumming and dance lessons.

These field labs are the key part in the Semester at Sea educational experience. It is having the opportunity to learn first hand about what you’re studying in a variety of countries.

They also offer optional field programs each day in port that range from simple sight-seeing tours around the city for a low price to grand adventures such as a hiking trip through Patagonia in Argentina for a couple thousand dollars.

It is easy to personalize this trip to your needs, wants and abilities, physically and financially.

I had a small budget for spending money, which goes quickly when traveling. This experience taught me how to be frugal when I have no other choice and still have the time of my life.

It also taught me how to just relax and be happy no matter the circumstances.

Laura Lichti/For the Review

Laura Lichti can be reached at

(Center left) Junior Laura Lichti stands in front of a river in Germany. During the the semester at sea, she earned 12 credits while traveling all over the world.

Photo courtesy of Laura Lichti

(Left) Lichti and her cruise classmates stand amongst ruins in Ireland. They had a lot of time to tour the countries they visited during their semester.

Photo courtesy of Laura Lichti

(Right) Lichti poses before the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro with other cruise students.

Photo courtesy of Laura Lichti