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A Semester at Sea

Posted: August 19, 2011
Through Semester at Sea, Buffalo State senior Alexis Amankwanor will travel the world in one semester.

Amankwanor, a senior health and wellness major and women’s studies minor, will embark August 26 for a unique semester abroad. Unlike international exchange students who mainly stay in one country and live in a dorm or with a host family, Amankwanor will be living on a ship and stopping in 12 countries over the course of 111 days.

“When I first discovered Semester at Sea, I thought, ‘Is this real?’” Amankwanor said. “How is it possible that a ship can be transformed into a sailing campus?”

Semester at Sea, operated by the nonprofit organization Institute for Shipboard Education, incorporates travel, coursework, and service learning. All of the credits earned while at sea are transferable from the University of Virginia, Semester at Sea’s academic sponsor.

Amankwanor will be taking two public health courses, one women’s studies course, and the global studies course that all students aboard the ship must take.

“It introduces us to each country before we arrive there,” Amankwanor said. “We learn about the culture, what to expect, and what to do or not do.”

On the fall 2011 voyage, Amankwanor will set sail from Montreal, then travel to Africa, India, China, Japan, and other locations before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale.

“I’m most excited to visit Ghana, because that’s where my family is from,” said Amankwanor. “Morocco is going to be interesting, too.”

Amankwanor, who has been very active in United Students Government, will be a work-study student on the ship, organizing programs about wellness.

Amankwanor is not the only member of the campus community to take part in Semester at Sea. This summer, Drew Kahn, chair and professor of theater, is on board with Semester at Sea. “It’s an amazing adventure,” he said.

Buffalo State's International Education Office coordinates international exchange and study abroad programs and provides access to hundreds of international programs.
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