Preparing the Next Generation
of Global Leaders

Reflections On My Semester at Sea & Study Abroad Experience

Posted on April 24, 2019


Diversity Abroad stays engaged with its scholars and ambassadors and has been able to ask them questions in reflection of their study abroad experience. During Karen’s study abroad experience with Semester at Sea she was able to reflect on how the Diversity Abroad Scholarship made, “a word of difference,” and stated that , “being able to study abroad, changed my life for the better, and made me truly want to become a global citizen.” Read more of Karen’s reflections below:

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I decided to go abroad after speaking with a friend that did Semester at Sea. It was then that I realized it was an experience of a lifetime, and I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go around the world on a ship. The biggest influence on my decision to study abroad was the financial aid I was able to receive. Without the support of various scholarships, I wouldn't have been able to attend the program.


How did you pay for your study abroad experience?

In addition to receiving the Diversity Abroad scholarship, I also received aid from my home university, Ohio State. The aid included federal grants and student loans that luckily were able to transfer over to my program of choice. When thinking about my choices on-board the ship, I chose to live in an economy room which significantly reduced the cost of room & board.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?

Time flies, and it is important to cherish and truly enjoy living in the moment because it will be over before you know it. My biggest piece of advice is to use going abroad as an opportunity to see what really matters in life, and to take a break from social media.


Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?

I am a Hispanic woman, and I did not experience any cultural insensitivity. My peers on Semester at Sea were all very welcoming, kind, and open minded. This is not surprising to me, because in my experience people that have the desire to study abroad typically have an open mindset, and are eager to learn from and explore different cultures.

Any additional comments or thoughts that you have about your study abroad experience

Thank you Diversity Abroad for selecting me as a recipient of the scholarship, it made a world of difference. I am eternally grateful for being able to study abroad, it changed my life for the better, and made me truly want to become a global citizen.


Want to continue to engage after you’ve returned from your study abroad experience? Attend the Global Student Leadership Conference, Volunteer at the Diversity Abroad Conference, or share your story with us! Email with questions.

Share this article: