A Community Like No Other

Segment #3 from Semester at Sea


Athena is a student from Union College who is on board to prepare for a career in international diplomacy. And she’s starting by building and enjoying the campus community on the ship. Athena, tell us more about how you seek out these connections.

Thanks, Alex. Hi, everyone. My name is Athena. I’m from Hong Kong and I recently graduated from Union College with a degree in diplomacy. I’m here to talk about the community aspect of ship life, as it’s something most voyagers don’t expect, but end up cherishing it even more than their experiences in class and all the countries we visit. As I said, diplomacy is my career of interest and I’m really passionate about bringing people together. I’m one of the sea captains for the Arabian Sea, my community within this community. I help organize events such as Spirit Week and the Sea Olympics. One of my favorite memories so far was MCing for our annual talent show and lip sync battle. There’s nothing more fun than doing skits onstage with your friends and bringing everyone together for a good time. Besides the fun, we also spend a good deal of our time learning together and from each other. One of the defining features of “Semester at Sea” is that we get to have our own experiences in port, but then come back onto the ship and get to hear all about what others saw, experienced, and learned. The internet on the ship is pretty limited. Without round the clock access to social media, we have time to get to know one another in real life. Whether playing ping pong after class, grabbing coffee with a faculty member, reading on deck or catching up with friends over dinner, we count on one another to get through the crazy experiences we encounter on this journey. We build friendships that will last a lifetime, which is why so many would say the ship is their favorite port. It certainly was mine. Thank you so much for letting me share my community with you. Back to you, Alex.

Athena, I so appreciate how you go above and beyond to organize gatherings for and with your shipmates. What you’re doing is extremely important to the learning experience and remaining connected with your peers. Deal me into the next round of Uno and pour me a cup of tea. Cheers. 

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