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Semester at Sea option for students

By Tom Martin
April 4, 2014
The Institute for Shipboard Education’s floating campus transports its cargo of college students beneath sunny skies.

The Institute for Shipboard Education’s floating campus transports its cargo of college students beneath sunny skies.

As part of its “Semester at Sea” program, the Institute for Shipboard Education is making available to Rappahannock Community College and other Virginia Community College System (VCCS) students an opportunity to study in Europe and Scandinavia this summer. Participants will earn nine to twelve transferable credits from the program’s academic sponsor, the University of Virginia, while visiting 11 cities in 10 countries between June 16 and August 21.

Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is the only study-abroad program of its kind in the world, with the stated mission: “to educate individuals with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of our interdependent world.” The MV Explorer, one of the world’s safest passenger ships, has been specially outfitted as the program’s floating university. The rigorous academic program integrates coursework from more than 20 disciplines with field study in up to a dozen countries.

Participants include students from across the United States and around the world. The professors represent a global selection of acclaimed institutions, and the curriculum is enhanced by distinguished experts, visits with world leaders, and cross-cultural fieldwork. This floating campus features nine classrooms, a 9,000-volume library, Wi-Fi Internet, a computer lab, and a medical clinic. Recreational facilities include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a sports court, and a wellness center.

To view the upcoming voyage’s itinerary, college courses offered en route, the faculty list, and other details, please visit their website. Any questions about the program or the admission process can be addressed to James Fealey, the admissions counselor for VCCS schools, or 434-243-4302.

In an effort to make “Semester at Sea” more attainable for community college students, the Institute has created a special offer for them. All currently enrolled VCCS students are eligible for a $3,000 grant toward the Summer 2014 voyage. Applications should be submitted before May 1, in order to allow ample time to secure the one required (Russian) visa. To save the $50 application fee, students may use the application fee waiver code “VCCS”; this code, which is valid through April 30, will also serve as the Institute’s notification to issue the $3,000 VCCS grant.

“We hope to see VCCS students on board this summer!” says Beth McCarthy, the Institute’s vice president of enrollment management and marketing.

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