This is my application essay for the Semester at Sea program. I would really appreciate feedback on both grammar and content. I would be happy to return the favor. Thanks!
Prompt : How will your Semester at Sea voyage create (or enhance) your personal global perspective? Highlight your discussion by referencing at least one country on your itinerary and by explaining how your time there will further develop your awareness.
Religion and Global Perspective
Religion, specifically Christianity, has been a central theme of my life since I was born. I grew up in a city where more than half the population was religious, and I have attended Catholic institutions since I was old enough to take my own steps through the hallowed school doors. While being aware of the existence of other religions, it was not until eighth grade in a World Religions class that I was exposed to the sacred traditions and practices of faiths from around the world. In this class I traveled to Egypt, where Moses freed the Jewish people from persecution and led them to the holy land. I followed Muhammad as he laid the foundation for the Islamic pilgrimage, the Hajj, and proceeded into the city of Mecca. I was beside Siddhartha Gautama as he achieved Nirvana beneath the tree, laying the foundation for the four noble truths of Buddhism.
This class opened my eyes to the exceptional nature of the belief systems of the world around me. The depth of faith possessed by these religions was both fascinating and inspiring. Since learning the basic foundations for these religions, I have continued to build my knowledge of the multiple faiths that exist in the world around me. It is this fascination and admiration that has led me to choose a minor in international studies - where I can gain an understanding not only of the faiths themselves, but also what effect both in the past and presently they have exerted on culture.
It is for this reason I am most excited to visit the port of Cochin, India on the Semester at Sea. While reading about religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism is captivating, the opportunity to see and converse with participants of these religions will enhance my understanding of the faiths and therefore enrich my global perspective. Through this adventure, I seek insight into the everyday lives of Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains. I possess a desire to grasp the spiritual depths of their faiths. By granting me the opportunity to see these religions in action, the Semester at Sea has provided me with the necessary tools to satiate this desire.
For an international studies student, it is increasingly important to have a valid and well-rounded world view. Religion has been central to shaping the world as we know it, and remains a crucial aspect of life in the modern world. Through visiting the multiple ports around the world on the Semester at Sea, I will disembark a more aware and open minded individual. I cannot imagine a better way to become immersed in such a wide variety of cultures and enhance my global perspective than through the Semester at Sea.