How much do you love travelling as a hobby? How many of you would make study abroad a must-do at university?
Introducing: Semester at Sea (SAS) by City University of Hong Kong. This could be the best experience in your university life. In one semester (approximately three and a half months), you get to travel the world on a cruise ship while still finishing your degree. There’s something about the ocean that allows you experience mother nature at her best. Imagine being able to get out from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the serene ocean as a semester getaway.
In about 100 days, you will travel to more than 10 countries across the globe. You will attend regular university courses in the cruise when you are at sea but have the freedom to travel and explore different cities when the cruise ship is at port, be it through the SAS’s excursion programs, or your own excursions.
Some courses also require you to go on a field trip or a lab class when you are on land. This is an excellent way of experiencing different cultures through education. The materials you learn might be similar, however, the experience of learning with students of different nations while travelling together globally is something that you can only experience through a program like SAS.
Ride and Facilities
Your ride is called the MV World Odyssey— a massive, magnificent cruise ship with a 70s classic interior décor that will have you fallen in love with it instantly. There is a total of 9 decks in MV World Odyssey, and you can pretty much find anything you need: classrooms, communion areas, library, residency, clinics, and even gyms and swimming pool.
One of the eye-catching rooms was the Kino Theatre Classroom that serves a multipurpose of educational classroom during the day, and as a cinema theater at night. There’s always a movie night every other day – isn’t it awesome to spend the night sitting back and watching a movie after a whole day of study?
Another multipurpose room is the Kaisersaal Union, a vast communion area that can fit more than 500 students altogether. This area is used for teaching purposes, public announcements, and student events. Don’t worry about getting left out because there is a student body on the ship that facilitates student activities and events and encourages you to be proactive at sea!
The residency on cruise works just like any other place—there are designated resident tutors in each deck who are responsible for taking care of students. Due to limited space, a student can have a roommate or two roommates. While they don’t have the luxury of a common room to cook, there are several restaurants and snack bars available all around the cruise to rescue you from those late-night munchies.
Safety is the top priority here. Students undergo a safety/ lifeboat drill once a month, complete with a roll call and a life jacket. SAS also covers mental and physical health at the same time. There are gyms (along with weights!), a spa and sauna place, a ping pong table, a giant chess area, a basketball field, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well. If in any case, a student is feeling unwell, they can find the clinic at the lowest deck. There is even a surgeon room there for emergency operations! Onboard doctors and nurses are available on the voyage, so no need to worry about the sea sickness!
Millennials have the innate the need to feel and be connected, and thus comes the question of, “How is the Wi-Fi?” Thanks to the power of satellite and technology, Wi-Fi is widely available throughout the cruise – the internet connection will not be as stable and fast as that you get on land. Video call might be a struggle, but you can still message your family and friends while you are at sea. Or why not spend more time talking to your peers and enjoying the beauty of ocean? Experience the world as it is and share it with the friends closest to you!
Semester at Sea is for you adventurous souls. It’s for you who feels ready to see the world unfold in front of you. It is for you who craves to go out of your comfort zone and experience the world outside Hong Kong.
Voyage through a sea of learning with City University of Hong Kong!
*This article originally appeared on the CityU HK Website written by Natasya Viona Chandra, a Quantitive Finance & Risk Management student at CityU HK, with minor edits by the Edukasyon.ph team. Photos taken by Lydia Lei.