Students could spend semester at sea

By D. Shayne Christie
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 29, 1996

Katherine K. Gardiner
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jessica Carney, elementary education sophomore, flips through a book of pictures shown to her by Mary Thielemeir, a regional representative of the Semester at Sea program. The program involves a combination of class work and first-hand cultural experiences while at sea.


Students interested in learning about the world first-hand can take up to 15 units of credit while sailing around the world as a part of the Semester at Sea program.

The cost of the program ranges from $6,580 to $12,580 a semester, with lower rates available for those with a financial need or who are willing to participate in a work-study program on board.

Semester at Sea is offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Mary Thielemeir, a regional representative for Semester at Sea, was in the Memorial Student Union yesterday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to inform students about the program.

According to the program's World Wide Web site, the program recognizes the need to "advance the exchange of knowledge and understanding between cultures" in "an increasingly interdependent world."

Troy Todd, business junior, participated in the program last spring.He said it allowed him to experience "interactions I couldn't have gotten from books."

"Every place you went had something new to offer."

Todd also said the trip was worth the price for him, adding that he once told his parents he would sell his car to make the voyage again.

Todd said he feels many have a misconception about the program, because of the cost of the voyage.

"I think people think the ship is full of well-to-do kids, but with 250 universities and 500 kids, you meet people from all walks of life."

Thielemeir said students come from 200 colleges around the United States and that more than 50 percent of the participants are business majors.

Thielemeir said she had spoken to between 60 and 75 students throughout the day, and had given out 40 brochures.

She also said 16 students from Arizona schools were part of the last voyage, adding that the University of Arizona is one of the top 10 schools that have alumni of the program.

Marissa Elia, sociology senior, also went on last year's voyage.

Elia said the trip was easily worth the money for the number of places visited.

"Everything taught me something," she said, adding that a bus accident in India that killed four students made the group closer.

Her advice to students who are thinking about going: "Go for it. Try not to think, just go in with a clear head. Be excited and open to anything."