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Open Letter to Furture SAS Students

By Julia Hursh

Dear Prospective Semester at Sea Students,

You are about to embark on the voyage of a lifetime. You will be shocked and amazed by the things you are about to see. Every country that you travel to will be rich in culture and will teach you so much about the way that people live, work and survive in other countries.

What I would like to point out to you is the migration of products and people between countries. First of all is the migration of products. You may not be expecting to see American stores, restaruants and brands until you return to the U.S. but you certainly will. You will be amazed at the amount of influence the western world has on the eastern world. Expect to see Starbucks and MacDonalds in almost every county. You can also shop at many of your favorite stores across the globe such as Gap, Zara,  Gucci and many more. It may come as surprise that a city like Cairo, Egypt has the California chain Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but you may enjoy it as well! It is interesting to see the amount of popular American products that are spread across the world. Take it all in and decide for yourself how you feel about this globalization.

The next thing to look for is the migration of people. Living in the U.S. we are used to a variety of foreigners traveling, migrating to and living in America. However, we often do not know about the reasons or stories of migrants coming to America. Well as you travel through the rest of the world you will see many signs of human migration and it is something you should look for. In Japan for example, 99% of the population is Japanese. So to find and meet people living there from other countries may be a challenge but can be an interesting dynamic examine as well. In Burma, many women are illegally trafficked into the sex trade in Thailand which can be a devastating eye-opener to learn about. These are just two examples of the topics of migrations that I came across in my voyage. I highly reccommend and suggest that you also to look for signs of migrations from one country to another. Having a goal such as this is a good way to enrich you travels and give you a focus.

I hope you enjoy your voyage around the world. It truely is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will change you.


Julia Hursh
Fall 2006

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