Two University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students recently returned after a trip around the world with the Semester at Sea program. The students were each awarded scholarships for the trip in the amount of $14,370.
Kaiulani Kamau, a kinesiology and exercise sciences major, and Raelyn Eckert, double majoring in marine science and geology, experienced a 112-day educational visit to 15 cities in 12 countries during the spring semester.
The trip launched from San Diego, California, in January, and ended in Southampton, England, last month. In between the students explored Yokohama and Kobe, Japan; Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Việt Nam; Singapore, Singapore; Rangoon, Burma; Cochin, India; Port Louis, Mauritius 2; Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and Casablanca, Morocco.
Eckert says the experience changed her outlook on the world.
“I have interacted with so many people, listening to so many types of music, eaten food that I didn’t even know existed, seen sights that blew my mind,” she explains. “This changes a person’s ideas and thoughts, and I am so glad for it.”
Kamau echos the sentiment.
“Not to sound cliché, but this has been a life changing experience that has broadened my perspective on life, culture, and people,” she says. “I am truly grateful for Semester At Sea and for University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo for allowing me to make my dreams a reality.”
For more on their adventures, visit the UH Hilo Stories website.