This past December, Adelphi students embarked on a voyage which would change their perspective on life.

By Megan Murphy 

“There’s big ships, there’s small ships, but the best ships are friendships!

Megan Murphy

Megan Murphy

This Semester at Sea saying was shared with me on New Year’s Day 2014 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Puerto Vallarta was the second to last port during my voyage and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my experience. This past December, I embarked on a voyage which would change my perspective on life. 

Along with other students from Adelphi’s Derner Institute, I boarded the MV Explorer, a cruise ship we would call home for the next 15 days, to study Child Behavior from a Multicultural Perspective. We cruised from Nassau, Bahamas to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In the DR we visited the Manny Mota Foundation. We learned about Save The Children, and how that organization works with the Manny Mota Foundation. We concluded our visit by playing baseball with the kids. 

Our next port of call was Cartagena, Colombia. The Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation displayed how different cultures view teen pregnancy and how effective interventions better the community. On Christmas Eve we traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific, through the Panama Canal. The transit took 9 hours. After class, we spent the entire day going through the historic locks in close to 100° F heat. 

Costa Rica was our next stop. In Puntarenas, we visited Hogar Cristiano. This was an orphanage for children who came from abusive homes or suffered abandonment. We spent the entire day with the children, playing games and painting the buildings. 

Guatemala was my favorite port. We visited the El Rodeo School. This school was very small and educated extremely poor children. We taught them American songs and visited their classrooms. Afterward, some of us went to Antigua, the second oldest city in Guatemala. We shopped and explored before getting back on the ship. 

Semester At Sea

Semester At Sea

Finally Mexico was our last stop for two ports, Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada. I met many people who were on this voyage after experiencing a full Semester at Sea, as well as students from other universities. I also met new friends from Adelphi who I never thought I would click with. We did more shopping, plenty of eating, singing and running around Mexico.

If you’re not sure what country you want to experience for study abroad, consider Semester at Sea! You visit many countries in a short period of time, while living on a cruise ship and experiencing many different cultures. I am so grateful that Semester At Sea was my first experience abroad, and cannot wait to continue traveling. 


This piece appeared in the Levermore Global Scholars Newsletter March 1, 2014 edition.

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