Semester at Sea Program to Celebrate 100th Global Voyage

August 26, 2009 — The Semester at Sea study-abroad program, widely recognized for educating individuals for leadership, service and success in shaping our interdependent world, will set sail on its 100th voyage Friday from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The University of Virginia is the program's academic sponsor.

"This is a significant moment in Semester at Sea's history, which spans more than 45 years and has influenced the lives of more than 50,000 alumni," said Les McCabe, president of the Institute for Shipboard Education and Semester at Sea. "We are proud to celebrate Semester at Sea's first 100 voyages through a series of events that exemplify our core educational mission: the development of global understanding through life-changing international experiences."

The Semester at Sea 100th Voyage Web site features photos, interactive media and alumni stories and more to commemorate this milestone.

This fall's 109-day voyage will visit 11 countries and focus on the academic theme "Globalization and The Post-American/Flat World."

It will include an international service learning project called the $100 Solution, a student-directed initiative that helps people and communities through small acts of sustainable giving. Led by Western Kentucky University professor Bernie Strenecky, students in three classes will devise service learning projects at an orphanage in Viet Nam, a community center in India and an adult literacy center in Hong Kong.

"Semester at Sea is one of the most unique educational programs in the world," Strenecky said. "The $100 Solution service learning project, the global environment of Semester at Sea, affords students the opportunity to serve others, gain leadership skills and examine the responsibility of service itself."

In addition, members of Global Nomads Group, an international non-governmental organization that provides interactive educational programs, will use the $100 Solution curriculum to introduce service learning to students in 9,000 classrooms around the world. The program, called Currents, will help youth broaden their understanding of an increasingly "flat world" in the 21st century through live, cross-cultural conversations on issues relating to immigration and globalization.

These programs, plus audio slideshows, video clips, photos and blog reports, will be showcased on Semester at Sea's 100th voyage Web site. The site will also include itineraries from all 100 Semester at Sea voyages, as well as a dynamic alumni photo retrospective called "100 SAS Voyages in Pictures."

The return of the 100th Semester at Sea Voyage will be celebrated with a gala event Dec. 14 in San Diego.

Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is the only study-abroad program of its kind in the world. Using a ship as its traveling campus, students, faculty and lecturers live and learn together while circumnavigating the globe each fall and spring semester and exploring a world region each summer. More than 2,000 undergraduates representing about 300 institutions worldwide study abroad with Semester at Sea each year.

Classroom learning is integrated with hands-on fieldwork in destinations around the world – as many as 12 each semester – where participants gain deeper knowledge of world issues, economies and cultures through comparative experiential study. Participants receive full transferable credit to their home institutions from U.Va.

Throughout its groundbreaking history, Semester at Sea participants have met with world figures, including Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, Cuban president Fidel Castro, USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, Filipino president Corazon Aquino, King Mohamed VI and Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco, Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, Nobel laureate and former South African president Nelson Mandela, author Arthur C. Clark, and C.H. Tung, the first chief executive of Hong Kong after end of British colonial rule.

About The Institute for Shipboard Education

The Institute for Shipboard Education is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that administers the Semester at Sea program, one of the longest standing and most well-known study-abroad programs in the United States. The institute is committed to providing challenging and creative study-abroad programming to help students prepare for the demands of an ever-changing world. Undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States and abroad participate each semester, earning academic credit through the University of Virginia.

For information, visit or call 1-800-854-0195.

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