Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Send them to Sea

Looking for a way to enhance your kid's college experience while broadening their interest in your nautical lifestyle? We've come across a cool program called The Scholar Ship, where college kids go away on a cruise ship for a semester at sea, globetrotting across 5 continents while earning credits towards graduation. Unlike many traditional onboard education programs such as SEA in Woods Hole, Mass and Ocean Classroom, The ScholarShip and others like it focus on an International cultural education which encompasses more than sailing, marine sciences or nautical know-how.

So, is this program legit, or just a USD $20,000 vacation? Well, like any away-from-home college experience, the young adults known as your children will certainly have opportunities to have fun and enjoy life outside of the classroom. But they'll also have an opportunity to explore the world in a classroom-out-of-the-classroom environment. In addition, the ship looks like it is run by Royal Caribbean (at least RC promotes the program on their site), so it's not just a bunch of professors or businessmen who decided to rent a big boat to throw a 16-week party for your kids! Perhaps most importantly, it seems the program is stewarded by a consortium of schools with their own high academic standards such as UC-Berkeley and Macquarie University (Australia).

By the way, this is not a paid ad for The Scholar Ship. Alternative programs include Semester At Sea, the aforementioned SEA in Woods Hole, Mass, and many others.