Snapchat: Semester at Sea

On September 27th, Snapchat broadcasted a “Live Story” of students embarking on the MV World Odyssey as they began their semester at sea. Of course, once I saw a ship, I was hooked and kept checking back to see if more Snaps were added. The “Story” offered tours of the boat, while also showing the students venturing off into Greece, their first port of call. In between the tours, some of the students cracked jokes. One video showed a bunch of people in their life jackets, probably going to a life boat drill before they left Germany. Another video showed a professor introducing himself and his course. All in all, the Story shows that all of the passengers really want to be in the Semester at Sea (SAS) program.

If you are not familiar with Snapchat, it is an app that allows people to send pictures and videos to specific friends. These pictures and videos quickly disappear, so the receiver cannot forward or save the media. After the app began to get popular, Snapchat added Stories,  allowing users to share pictures and videos on their Story to everyone on their friends list, rather than being selective. While basically the same as the original Snapchat features, Stories disappear in 24 hours, not instantly. In the 24 hours, the media can be viewed as many times as a receiver wants to look at it. More recently, Snapchat created their own Story, which are usually collections of other users Snaps (pictures/videos). This is how the Semester at Sea’s Snapchat Story was created.

Now, the one part about the Live Story that I do not understand is that it was available on Snapchat on September 27th, but according to the Semester at Sea website, the ship departed from Germany on September 10th. Therefore, the “Live” Story is not actually live. I understand that there will be some lag time to get the feed situated, but 17 days is not even close to “live”.

While the type of the Story could be renamed, I really enjoyed watching the Snaps. I never went abroad for a semester of college, but when contemplating it, the only program/place that I really considered was SAS. The experience abroad is unlike any other. They visit 12 countries and 4 continents, something that an abroad experience in London just does not compare to. Plus, the beautiful view at sea really doesn’t hurt either.

After seeing the Snapchat Story (forget the “live” part), I wish that I could go back in time and be a part of SAS. The ship is gorgeous and is surprisingly similar to many of the cruise ships that I have been on. My dream has always been to live on a cruise ship, so this is very enticing. They have a large pool on the Lido Deck, a sports court, and so much more. A tour of an interior cabin even showed that the rooms were not even cramped! Cruise cabins are never big and you always hear about the crew living with 4 people in a tiny cabin. I expected the cabins on the World Odyssey to be similar to this, but to my shock, the cabin shown had only 2 beds and they were not even bunked.

So now, as you go back to work or school, just imagine doing your work while sitting at a nice table on the Lido Deck. I would give anything for that! Happy Thursday!

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