During the fall semester of 2013 our sister, Serena Cersosimo, studied abroad through Semester at Sea. Read about her journey to 16 countries and 29 cities all within 115 days!
Serena in the Sahara Desert
This past semester, I went on the voyage of a lifetime. I studied abroad on a program called Semester at Sea, where I lived on a cruise ship with 600 other college students from all over the world. I traveled to 16 countries, 29 cities, over a 115-day span. The itinerary included London, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Bahamas, and the USA. Being abroad allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and step into a cross-cultural experience around the world. I was challenged in ways I never imagined! I experienced so many inspiring and meaningful memories; it is hard to sum it all up, so I will just give you a few of my favorites!”
Morocco-Not only was the food out of my comfort zone, but so was the culture. As a woman, we had to go through security measures to respect their culture. Learning how to tie a turban was definitely an experience! I camel trekked through the Sahara Desert and stayed in a nomad camp!
Ghana-During my time in Ghana, I did a homestay in the Toregome Village. My house mom, Stella, taught me how to cook traditional Ghanaian soup with okra, chicken, fish, and other vegetables. One of my favorite experiences in Ghana was volunteering at the Toregome Village School. The bubbles I brought to play with AMAZED some of the children! They also loved looking at pictures of themselves on my camera! This homestay allowed me to experience the daily struggles and lives of those in a third-world country, and gave me a deeper appreciation what we have in the United States.”
Stella’s cooking lesson
Volunteering at Toregome Village School in Ghana
Cuba-US citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba due to the embargo, however, being a student on SAS allowed us to participate on an educational visa trip to Cuba. It was quite a cultural experience. Unlike our society, Cuba remains a blast from the past, driving around old Ford cars and not advancing in technology. We interacted with University of Havana students; talking about ways we can improve the US and Cuba’s relationships for our generation and generations to come. “
Old Ford cars on the streets of Cuba
Delta lovin’ from The University of Havana!
Every country, culture, and person in this world is unique and we can all learn something from each other if we just embrace it together. If I could give one piece of advice I took away from Semester at Sea, it would be this quote by Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Thanks for sharing your semester abroad with us, Serena! It seems like you had the time of your life. We are so happy to have you back. DLAM<3