Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A minute with…Jenny Brum ’12

Jenny Brum, a theatre studies and dance major, took a nontraditional route to study abroad and gained a great perspective on the world. Insightful seeing: “I lived on a 25,000-ton ship with about 600 other college students from around the country and around the world. The program is called Semester at Sea. We spent three and a half months circling the globe, stopping in 12 countries along the way. We set sail from Nassau, Bahamas, and made port in Roseau, Dominica; Manaus, Brazil; Takoradi, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius; Chennai, India; Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hong Kong, Beijing/Shanghai China; Taipei, Taiwan. We had classes while the ship was in transit and then had the opportunity to travel in port with our professors, seeing firsthand the topics we were learning about. For example, I took an ‘Abnormal Psychology’ class and went with my classmates to volunteer at mental health facilities in a number of the countries we visited. In addition to academic experiences, I had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins in the Rio Negro, go on safari in Africa, hold a snake in Vietnam, and hike along the Great Wall of China. Additionally, while on the ship I had the chance to live with students and professors from all over the world. The experience of traveling to so many places and living on the ship in such a diverse community gave me an enormously increased global perspective. Instead of spending a full semester in one location and soaking up a single other culture, I got to experience several of the world’s vastly different cultures. Semester at Sea gave me a firsthand understanding of how the different countries of the world connect and compare. A huge emphasis of the curriculum was on the process of globalization and how it is shaping the world. The nature of the program also allowed me to form the kind of strong and deep friendships that only travel can produce.” Going with the flow: “I am very grateful for my time at Wheaton. I think it is a testament to the college that they were able to work with me so that I could do a program like Semester at Sea. It is not a Wheaton program, so the college and I had to do a lot of work looking into it and making sure that my academics and safety would meet Wheaton standards. I love that Wheaton is so student-oriented and willing to help students do what they love. I have encountered this kind of flexibility and understanding time and time again here.”