Shanon Langlie, a graduate student in Clemson University’s Counseling Education (Student Affairs Administration) program, was one of 16 graduate students who participated in a new program from Semester at Sea called Student Affairs at Sea this summer. Semester at Sea is a study abroad program run by a non-profit organization called the Institute of Shipboard Education.
The University of Virginia is the academic sponsor of Semester at Sea. Langlie went through a an extensive application process with responding to two essay questions and sending letters of recommendation from faculty members. Since 1963, over 50,000 students have studied abroad with Semester at Sea and their predecessor programs. As interns on the ship, graduate students had a unique atmosphere to practice their student affairs skills. Langlie's role as a graduate community educator was to help create a sense of community among the students living in her “Sea”.
She also learned how to conduct student affairs in a shipboard setting with limited resources including time, space, money and technology. “Student Affairs at Sea was an amazing opportunity to work with students and experience growth and change together. I was able to witness their development as the students were challenged with new and different environments, new foods, new experiences and interactions with a variety of different people,” Langlie said.
The summer 2010 voyage sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 14th and visited Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and landed in Norfolk, Virginia on August 21st. The ship was home to 705 undergraduate students, 16 graduate students, 12 K-12 teachers, 33 faculty, 23 staff, and over 200 crew members.