Semester@Sea with Chelcie

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11 countries in 105 days. While Chelcie is on her journey she’s blogging about her experiences with International Student Voice!

Chelcie Cusumano is a senior human development and family studies major at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.  She started keeping track of her journey beginning this past January, this is her first blog post. ISV Magazine will be with Chelcie as she continues her journey! Get caught up on her adventure so far by clicking the link at the bottom of the article or visit “ChelcieSemester@Sea” at the top of the page.

I’m Doing What?!?

January 11, 2012 

In just a few days, I am headed off for what will become one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Last year at about this time I was starting to think about graduation and the looming idea of becoming an adult.  Inititally, I was supposed to graduate early this December, but thankfully my mom (homemaker as I like to call her) had other ideas in mind. Just about anytime I talked to her we somehow ended up having the same, repetitive conversation:

Mom: ”Why don’t you study abroad?!?
Me: “Mom… I’ve told you a million times, there is no study abroad program for my major.”
Mom: ”Well, that’s ok! Just pick a program… This is the last time in your life you are ever going to be able to do something like this.”
Me: (Rolling eyes). “Alright mom…got it. I’ll just go take a semesters worth of classes for the heck of it.”

So… I decided to do just that (after picking up another concentration so I will actually need all of the classes I will be taking)! I finally caved to the awful, terrible idea my mom so incessantly beraded me about just a year ago…Mom’s really are the best though, aren’t they?  I decided if I was going to study abroad, I wanted to travel the most places possible and Semester at Sea ( was the perfect way to do that.

In just a matter of days, I will be flying to the Bahamas, hopping on a boat, and cirumnavigating the world in 105 days with 500 students I’ve never met before (besides “meeting” them on Facebook, which totally doesn’t count).  While on the ship I will be taking a full semesters worth of classes (Global Studies, Religion, Gender & Society and Social Inequality) and then upon arrival in each port, we are free to do whatever we want! Planning for 11 countries, languages and currencies is both exciting and extremely overwhelming.  I’ve decided to plan absolutely nothing (typical), but I have made a list of “must do’s,” which includes kayaking to a penguin colony and sandboarding in Cape Town, snorkeling in the champagne reef in Dominica (Where Pirates 2 was filmed for you movie buffs) and some other things that I will talk about AFTER I do them ;).

For those of you wishing to follow along, here is our itinerary:

Although I am already starting to compulsively shake at the thought of not having my iPhone for a semester (and little to no internet), I am also excited about the opportunity.  I will blog on here as much as I can.

For Christmas, my older sister, Laura (Loey), got me an amazing travel journal and inside she wrote this quote from St.Augustine: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  She knows me so well. For the past year this is exactly how I have been feeling.  I am so grateful for my upbringing and where I have been so far in my life.  Honestly, I would not change a thing.  But, as most of you know the majority of my family has moved in/out & north/south of this country over the past year or so, and I have been itching to spread my wings.  Augustine could not have said it more perfectly. I feel as though there is a huge playground of experience, culture, people, and life and I have only seen just a tiny percentage of it.

With that being said, heres to new friends, new experiences, and the opportunity to travel the world!

**Blog post retrieved with permission from Chelcie’s blog at

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