Q&A with Semester at Sea Scholarship Winner Harrison Hart

We are proud to announce that Harrison Hart, a TU senior majoring in Photography and minoring in EMF, was awarded a full program scholarship from The National Society of High School Scholars for this upcoming Fall 2015 voyage on Semester at Sea. He will spend 100 days visiting 13 cities in 11 different countries. 

Harrison Hart, recipient of SAS Scholarship

Q: How did you hear about the scholarship?

I heard about the scholarship through my email. I joined The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) back in my Sophomore year of high school and haven’t really had to do anything for them since – it was a one-time fee for the induction and that was it. Other than he induction, the only way I’ve heard from the NSHSS is through their emails that they send out every so often. The emails are usually about updates of the society, but I came across an email from them regarding scholarships. I clicked on it and the first scholarship was a full scholarship to Semester At Sea. Ever since freshman year I had always wanted to do Semester At Sea, but just didn’t think it was realistic from a financial standpoint. Once I saw this I immediately applied! In my application essay I described how it has been something I’ve wanted to participate in since the beginning of my college career. I talked about how you learn so much traveling and that traveling makes you a better-rounded person since you get to experience different cultures, languages, and cities. I had a list of so many countries that I wanted to study abroad in and I felt like it was more reasonable to do Semester At Sea to get a little taste of many countries in one semester rather than just one.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about the program?

I am excited for the entire trip! This is a once in a life time opportunity that not many people get to experience. I can’t wait to visit all of these different countries. Since I am a photography major, I can’t wait to take a lot of pictures and capture the experience through my own lens. I am also really excited to meet a ton of new people from different colleges all over the world. I’m just excited to be involved in something totally different than what would happen at a university back home. Since there is a huge financial boost from NSHSS, I can focus my budget more towards sightseeing and extra activities to learn more about the countries aside from being in the classroom. Not many students can say they were dormed on a cruise ship, traveling all around the world, earning college credit for an entire semester. Being taught by teachers all around the world, being able to take different classes than offered at my university, all while sailing across the world – is something couldn’t imagine doing if it weren’t for NSHSS and Semester At Sea.

Q: How did the scholarship that you received help to make your study abroad experience a reality?

I’ve always heard about Semester At Sea through the study abroad fair and thought of it as the ultimate study abroad experience. My good friend and fraternity brother, Will Weise, actually went on Semester At Sea last year and he would rave about it was the best experience he’s ever had in life and in college. After listening to him talk about how phenomenal his trip was, and seeing this scholarship for a fully funded SAS trip, there was no point in me not applying. What was the worst that would happen, they say no? A couple weeks after applying, I got an email saying that I was the recipient of the NSHSS Semester at Sea Fall 2015 voyage –  I was breathless! Since I’m a photographer that wants to travel the world for a living, what a perfect way to do so while still being in school getting college credit.

Q: What your plans for the future, and do they include any international aspirations?

My plans for the future are still up in the air. I know I want to be a professional photographer/videographer, but I don’t know what field of work I want to pursue – whether it be portraits, landscape, or event photography. I have my own non-profit organization that I co-founder with my brother in 2007, The South African Lacrosse Project, in which I go to South Africa every year to better the lives of kids affected/infected by HIV/AIDS through the sport of lacrosse. Through this project, I have been able to travel all over the world throughout grade school and college, giving me a more diverse outlook on the world. After college, I will continue going to South Africa along with traveling the world around me. Semester At Sea will give me a greater outlook on the world with experiencing 11 different countries and 13 cities.

Congratulations, Harrison! We look forward to seeing your amazing photos from around the world!