First Oceangoing Academic Program For Multi-Cultural Student Body Departs Athens September 5 On A 16-Week Global Voyage

BALTIMORE, MD-September 5, 2007 – The Scholar Ship, the first oceangoing study-abroad program developed specifically for an international student body, will make its maiden voyage from Athens, Greece on September 5, 2007. More than 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 35 countries will travel to four continents over 16 weeks.

The Scholar Ship, backed by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and supported by seven international universities, will immerse students and faculty in an intercultural living and learning environment aboard a 201-meter ocean liner specially equipped for the academic program.

Students and staff will embark on The Scholar Ship in Piraeus, Athens on a westward course to Lisbon, Portugal; Panama City, Panama; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Papeete, Tahiti; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; and Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong in China. Ports of call provide extensive educational opportunities for students through a port program in which students participate in academic field study, community service and independent travel.

Seven international universities collaborated in the curricula development for The Scholar Ship, including the University of California, Berkeley and Macquarie University in Sydney, which has been designated to award academic credit to students. Other participating “Academic Stewards” include Fudan University, China; Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico; Cardiff University, United Kingdom; Al Akhawayn University, Morocco; and the University of Ghana.

Multinational corporations such as IBM, Microsoft and HSBC Bank also have been engaged to ensure the program’s learning outcomes are relevant and practical for students. The Scholar Ship’s introduction reflects the increased interest and extraordinary growth in enriching study abroad programs worldwide.

“The Scholar Ship promises to be a microcosm of our global age: a laboratory for global democracy,” said John Lie, Dean of International and Area Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. “In creating a truly transnational learning community, with its stress on experiential learning, The Scholar Ship represents a bold experiment in international and global education.”

Program fees are approximately $20,000 per semester. A $ 2 million fund has been established for the 2007/2008 academic year to broaden the availability of the program to students from diverse backgrounds. Grants are awarded based on academic merit and economic need.

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