Monday, October 12, 2009

Introducing the Fall 2009 Diversity Scholars

Every voyage Semester at Sea offers a number of Diversity Scholarships in an effort make SAS and the global educational opportunity it provides more obtainable for students from diverse economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These students are named Diversity Scholars, a title that carries distinguishment, as well as responsibility. The Fall 2009 voyage has 13 Scholars aboard, each awarded a scholarship in an amount equal to approximately half of the program fee cost. Diversity Abroad joined with SAS to award five of those scholarships (details on applying are at the bottom of this entry).

Fall 2009 Scholars
Jennifer Carcamo
Maria Matamoros Castillo
Louis Lorenzo Chambers
Khamani Fox
Camila Garcia
Nikola Ignjatovic
Marcus Jamison
Tina Le
Lily Pak
Stephanie Ramos
Erica Reyes
Terrance D. Smith
Christine Souffrant

One of the cool things that the Scholars do while at sea is meet with interport students and lectures during the Diversity Scholar Dinners. For South Africa, the students sat down with the two South African students that joined the voyage in Ghana. After conversation over dinner, the students had a question and answer session during which they explored a wide range of topics including K-12 education disparities, living in the post-Apartheid era and the battle against HIV/AIDS. Bulelani Futshane talked to the group about his work with Love Life, a South African nonprofit organization dedicated to improving sex education amongst children and teenagers, and the reduction of HIV/AIDS. He discussed the different campaigns the organization uses to encourage safer sex practices, as well as the major cultural and socioeconomic influences that they must consider in their work. He explained that there are many factors that put young people in his country at higher risk to be sexually active at a younger age, and be at higher risk for contracting a STD. Some of these factors include poverty, lack of education and they are socialized to believe having sex early is good.
In addition to this discussion, they also talked about how Americans are percieved in South Africa as not being accepting of other cultures, but his SAS experience combatted that assumption.
"I was able to establish interactions with people so that I got a different impression," he said of his time at sea. "Most people were warm."

The South African students and Diversity Scholars together after dinner.

How to Apply to be a Diversity Scholar
1.Apply for and be admitted to Semester at Sea.
2.Submit a short financial aid application to ISE.
3.Submit an essay to Diversity Abroad on the topic "What does it mean to be a global citizen both now and in the future?" See for submission details.
Summer 2010 - March 12, 2010
Fall 2010 - April 16, 2010

Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible in order to guarantee availability of preferred cabin category.

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