In-Port Learning Programs
University Exchange Program
Visiting local universities provides GSI’s community with an opportunity to attend lectures and network with other faculty and local students. These cultural exchange and peace building activities provide participants with valuable insights about the issues facing the countries visited on the voyage. GSI has worked with a global network of universities to recruit students, collaborate with professors and create alliances so that students could potentially matriculate for graduate study.
Cultural Exchange & Peace Building Programs
GSI’s has developed programs with local organizations to promote peace and cultural exchange activities. Experiencing other cultures provides a rich and rewarding experience for all of the participants and sets the stage for cultivating friendships and opportunities for collaboration and social change. This program demonstrates GSI’s commitment to practicing socially and environmentally responsible tourism. For example, we visited a school outside of Guatemala City and participated in cultural exchange activities, which provided a remarkable experience for all of the participants. Cultural performances and a mural painting project were also co-created by the students and visitors. A Moroccan student commented, “It’s an amazing experience when you learn about yourself, other people and build lasting friendships.”
Independent Travel Program
Depending on the itinerary, students also have an opportunity to travel independently. This provides them with an opportunity to investigate places of interest. Many students use this time to do research, search out service opportunities, and develop creative projects. It also provides a break from the intense onboard community. Responsible travel and tourism is emphasized throughout the program. After each port visit, students share their photographs and stories in the regularly scheduled evening event, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” These photographs were later incorporated into a book created by a team of students highlighting the program experience. The editors wrote, “Working on collecting our experience between two covers has been a great challenge, and we feel proud to have created a way to preserve a life-changing experience for so many.”