The Study Abroad Newsletter

Bright Red Ball

Lindsay Johnson | Environmental Science major - Semester at Sea Program

During the Spring 2018 semester, in 103 days, I experienced eleven countries on four continents, all while taking college classes on a 5-star cruiseliner. It sounds like a dream, I know; sometimes it’s hard to convince myself that it wasn’t! But, the unforgettable memories are my proof.

One of my favorite memories from SAS was in Bagan, Myanmar. After getting about four hours of sleep after a fun night at a hostel, my friends and I started our day early with a twenty minute ride on rented mopeds to try to find a good sunrise-watching spot. The rental place didn’t ask for licenses or passports; we just gave them five dollars, took a quick ten-second moped drivers ed. course, and then we were off.

After a thrilling ride, we found the perfect spot. The sunrise was spectacular. As the sun lifted and the sky lit up, we realized we were surrounded by beautiful, ancient pagodas. In the distance, countless hot-air balloons rose up and flew right over us. We waved to them, thinking our other friends who were up there would maybe see us. As the day continued, we became pro moped riders and visited numerous pagodas and amazing Buddha statues. I could actually feel how much spirituality and energy surrounded some of them; I almost thought one of the statues would reach out and touch me! As the sun went down, we watched the pagodas slowly disappear into the darkness.

Students basking in dusk sunlight

Hot air ballons rising in the distance

It was such a fulfilling day, beginning and ending with the sun on the horizon, surrounded by the stunning sights of Bagan and the best of friends.