Below is an article i have written for the University Observer about an exciting new educational project launched this September.
Every year many students make the decision to attend a semester in a different country and experience an alternative culture and way of learning in a new environment, this academic year has heralded the launch of an even more international program named “The Scholar Ship” which over the period of a semester takes place in three continents and eleven cities, The Scholar Ship is a semester away with a real difference.
The Scholar Ship is an exciting new project launched this September that involves students and staff taking to the seas for “a semester long academic program aboard a dedicated passenger ship that traverses the globe as an ocean going campus.”
The Scholar Ship is a joint project organised and accredited by a number of Universities around the world including the University of Cardiff and the prestigious University of California, Berkeley, and is a truly international project boasting a faculty and student body from right around the world, which the organisers say helps to create a unique “global community”.
Students who enrol in this unique learning program take part in a sixteen week long voyage that combines traditional class based learning with relevant field activities at many of the port calls made by the vessel throughout the semester, which departs from Hong Kong and finishes in Amsterdam, and includes port calls to cities such as Shanghai, Bangkok, Cape Town and Lisbon to name but a few
Dr. Joseph D. Olander, president of the Scholar Ship program insists that the initiative does not have mere novelty value, instead he argues that the project has real educational merit and claims “There is no other program positioned to deliver the type of personal development and career enhancing opportunities that the Scholar Ship Offers”
The program offers a wide variety of fields of study at both an under graduate and post graduate level, with the organisers stating that “The Scholar Ships curriculum has been designed to develop the intercultural competence and leadership skills of our students.” Courses available on the Scholar Ship range from “International Business” to areas such as “Sustainability Development” and “Conflict Studies” as well as humanities based subjects, providing a great choice of subjects to suit any student.
However, very predictably such an amazing experience does not come cheap, with fees for the next departure of The Scholar Ship in January 2008 standing at $21,395 for under graduate level and are slightly higher for post graduate studies at $22,900, with prices like these it is easy to see that a voyage on the Scholar Ship is considerably more of a financial commitment than a semester here at UCD. The course fees quoted by the organisation cover most of the relevant costs for the semester including accommodation, food, travel and tuition, however do not include costs such as learning materials or travel costs getting to and from the ports of departure and arrival, these extra costs may add another $5000 to the already hefty bill.
So should you decide that all this land based college is a bit too boring, and you have some money to burn, why not consider enrolling in an educational voyage aboard the Scholar Ship.