Skip to Top NavigationSkip to Utility NavigationSkip to SearchSkip to Left NavigationSkip to Content
Mobile Menu

This is my story

Victoria Williams ’14

Semester at Sea

At first the idea of studying abroad seemed like a crazy dream, somewhat out of reach. But then I decided that it was something I needed to do. I hope that by traveling abroad I will become my own, independent person. I will learn to form my ideas based upon different perspectives rather than just my own. I hope to find that by losing my comfort I will grow to be comfortable in any situation.

I chose Semester at Sea for this exact reason. I will take classes on a boat but I will also have the opportunity to explore 12 different countries.

Preparing to study abroad was more work than I expected. But with the help of Susan Carey, assistant director for Study Abroad in the University’s International Center, I took things one step at a time. After being accepted into the program, I had to write scholarship essays to help pay for my adventure. There was a lot of paperwork to complete, like applying for a passport and visas, and filling out all of my health forms (including forms for five different vaccines!). I also had to sign up for classes and figure out which trips I wanted to take while in port.

After completing all of the paperwork, I had to figure out a budget. I knew going into this program that I would be spending a lot of my savings. To help with the costs, I got a job waitressing and saved all of my paychecks.

Everything about this trip excites me but I am most thrilled about doing service work in the different countries. I signed up to help out in orphanages and elementary schools, and I will work with Habitat for Humanity in South Africa.

The thought of leaving my friends and family for so long does scare me a bit. The only communication I will have is through email and an occasional phone call—no Facebook or Skype. Because keeping in touch will be difficult, I started a blog so everyone can follow me on my trip.

No matter how much work and time it has taken to prepare for this adventure, I am ready for a life-changing experience. I just have to go with the flow, get out of my comfort zone, and try new things. It will all be worth it in the end.

Bookmark and Share