Semester at Sea Fall 2006 Voyage  banner


Life  Herstory with Kayla Parks

Shipboard Interview

     by  Lara Callaway       
kayla parks

         I’m sitting in the plushy piano bar across from Kayla Parks, who has graciously put her studying on hold to spend a few minutes talking with me. She is amiable and chatty, keen to answer my questions and easy to talk to. I learned that she is from Spencer, Iowa and attends the nearby University of Iowa. She is on this voyage as her final semester in college and intends to go into social work after graduation. She hopes to work in a field that administers to women in need, specifically domestic abuse and sexual assault. We’re surrounding by tons of other studying students who, like Kayla, have chosen to embark on this voyage, but for now I’m interested only in Kayla’s story.

          Kayla learned about Semester at Sea from posters around her home university and was immediately intrigued by the idea. Of course her school offers study abroad programs in several countries worldwide, but none as extensive as the University for Shipboard Education’s unique opportunity to explore ten in one semester. Thinking of her future goals in social work, Kayla thought that her experiences with world cultures and understandings of different people would be weaker if she just specialized in one region, focusing on one country as a regular study abroad programs are designed. She attests that she has always been an avid philanthropist and would like to “get to know” as many people, customs, and ways of life as possible. Having lived in Spencer her whole life, Kayla has never previously been out of the country and says that even in her limited travels, she has barely lift the Midwest.

          After discovering Semester at Sea from the poster advertisements, the inspiration to sail was entirely her own. Kayla has never personally known anyone who had made the journey before. She proposed the idea to her parents who were supportive, and she applied for a few loans that would enable her to fund her trip. She’s been preparing to sail for months now, and, like the rest of us, can’t wait to get to Kobe.

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