My summer semester at sea

This article is part of our Summer Sojourns 2016 series highlighting the summer adventures of FIU students. Luis A. Ibarra, a College of Business student majoring in logistics and chain supply management, spent the summer semester at sea. In this piece, he shares his experience and what he found most rewarding about this adventure.

By Luis Ibarra

A life full of experiences can give a person the tools and resources to face daily situations with better response capacity, but few will inspire you as much as travel.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program called “Business at Sea,” aboard a transatlantic cruise – Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. It was directed by Doreen Gooden and Marc Weinstein for students looking to learn about management and international business in an in-country environment.

I’ll admit that two things came to mind – because it was on a cruise ship it would be a full-time vacation or that after a few days, it would get boring. However, neither was the case.

The 15-day classroom at sea departed Fort Lauderdale and included stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands; Lisbon, Portugal; and Vigo, Spain; as well as Le Havre and Paris in France.

We took the “Study Abroad in International Business” course that teaches how to identify how cultural, economic and political aspects of the countries you are visiting take a special role when conducting business. I also chose “International Business,” which focuses on the opportunities and challenges that companies face when entering the global market.

It was a win-win situation.

In addition to the lectures, we had group presentations about topics including the history, culture and special events of the cities visited, and of the cruise industry. We visited the interior of the ship and the command bridge. We heard first-hand from employees in the different departments on board, including navigation, engineering, guest services, food & beverage, talk about their backgrounds and different roles on the ship.

FIU Business students studying at sea

To read the full story on the Business at Sea program, click here Studying at sea.