Anchors aweigh: Columnist prepares to sail
My name is Amber Cope, and this fall will be the start of my junior year at Towson University.
However, on Aug. 24 I’ll be embarking on a very unique study abroad program, where my four classes won’t be held in one country, or any country for that matter. I’ll be learning on a floating university, with the program Semester at Sea through the University of Virginia.
Approximately 700 students from around the world will be traveling on the MV Explorer while attending classes.
In between lectures on the ship, I’ll be stopping in 13 countries making a giant “U” in the Atlantic Ocean.
After disembarking from Southampton, London, the first port will be in Saint Petersburg, Russia. From there it stops in Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil.
I’ll conclude my trip with a final stop in Havana, Cuba. I’ll bid my new friends goodbye in December once the boat rests in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Some countries will be short stops, staying only a night. Other ports will be three or four nights, leaving much more time for exploration.
Semester at Sea offers many fun field programs every day in every port. I’m signed up for a ballet in Russia, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, and a visit to an orphanage in Casablanca, Morocco (so far)!
During the program I will also be involved with a Semester at Sea program called Vicarious Voyage. Volunteers are paired up with K-12 teachers from grade schools across the country, and share their global experience with the classes.
I’m a Psychology and Animal Studies double major, with very little clue as to what I’d like to do with my life after college. I’d like to move around often, and live all across the globe. I was drawn to this program because of the once in a lifetime opportunity to see so many countries in one semester.
This program definitely mirrors my travel aspirations. I can’t wait to get started.