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July 20, 1995

Semester at Sea adding summer voyage in 1996

The first summer session of Semester at Sea will leave from Ensenada, Mexico, on May 22, 1996, and travel to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Hawaii before returning to San Diego on July 18.

Although the curriculum and itinerary of the 56-day voyage will focus on the South Pacific, its comparative cultures mission will be similar to those of Semester at Sea's traditional 100-day fall and spring voyages, which circle the world.

Of the 2,500 undergraduates who responded to a Semester at Sea survey in December 1994, 60 percent said they would be interested in an SAS voyage focusing on Pacific Asia and Australia, said John Tymitz, executive director of the Institute for Shipboard Education. The institute administers SAS, which has been academically sponsored by Pitt since 1981.

"The largest interest among the students for a summer session was Australia," Tymitz said. "That's consistent with a growing trend. More and more Australian universities are starting study-abroad programs with American universities, and more and more U.S. institutions are sending their students to Australia." Students, faculty and staff for Semester at Sea come from institutions across the United States and around the world. Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) accredits all courses, and credits earned are transferrable to the student's home institution.

At least three administrative jobs are reserved for Pitt personnel on each voyage: academic dean, librarian and registrar, although Pitt employees may fill additional slots. The deadline for employee applications for summer 1996 is Aug. 1.

Pitt faculty and staff with experience in the South Pacific who have been asked by CAS Dean Mary L. Briscoe to help plan the summer 1996 academic program include Keith Brown, Richard Scaglion and Andrew Strathern of anthropology; Don Goldstein, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; Gabriele Sturzenhofecker, University Center for International Studies; and Joseph Zasloff, Asian Studies acting director.

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