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Shipboard Interview with Raine Fryberger

                                                                               By Michelle Cox

    I sat down on one of the orange leather chairs in the piano lounge next to Raine Fryberger with her headphones contentedly studying for her next class.  I interrupted her and asked her if she wouldn’t mind talking to me for a little bit, and she was more than happy to answer my questions.  I began by asking Raine if she had known anyone that participated in Semester at Sea before.   She responded with a no but said that she knew of a participant that was a daughter of a distant family friend, but Raine hadn’t talked to the person directly about her experience. However, this is how she originally heard of the program and it definitely had an influence on her decision to do a semester abroad.  It seems to me that the people who recommended the program to her must have thought very highly of SAS, which I am confident about because I have never known anyone who has done a program like this.  Something else that influenced her decision to do Semester at Sea rather than a regular study abroad program is that she doesn’t have a single concentration on any particular language so it would be harder to stay in just one country for an entire semester.  I have this in common with Raine.  When I asked Raine how SAS will reflect her personal interests, she said she has always been interested in traveling and loves art history and she thought SAS would also be a great way to learn more about art in other countries.

    raineRaine’s parents were very supportive of her decision; however, they were slightly disappointed that she would be participating in the fall semester instead of the spring because the ship is traveling so close to the Middle Eastern countries and especially North Korea.  Raine's parents' reaction is very unlike my parents, because when mine first found out I would be participating in SAS they were very nervous and did everything they could to discourage me from coming here.  Once my parents did a little more research and realized that it is a great program, they changed their minds.  In Raine’s response to my question about the efforts it took her to make the voyage possible for her she explained that there were a lot of small things she had to take care of including the paperwork she had to fill out for a leave of absence from her home school, Colorado State University.  She also told me that her grandparents had set up a mutual fund for her, which is helping her to pay for the trip.

     When Raine weighed the advantages and disadvantages of coming to SAS, she said the only disadvantage was leaving her family because she’s never lived more than a few hours away from home.  The advantages, on the other hand are that she is given this opportunity to meet other students who have similar interests as she from all over the United States as well as to meet others from around the world.  She believes the experience will help her in life personally as well as professionally.  Obviously the advantages outweighed her disadvantages.  Lastly, I asked Raine what it is about her that is unique that she brings to the ship.  She said that she came here with an open mind and an open heart and she is willing to be honest with herself as well as others.  I really liked how she answered this question because she really didn’t have to think about it.

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