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Young Harris College Student Georgia Shipley Studies Abroad with Semester at Sea

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College student Georgia Shipley, class of 2024, studied abroad with Semester at Sea during the Fall 2022 term. Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with the optional autism endorsement, Georgia earned 12 credit hours in her major through a combination of traditional and hands-on learning experiences, all while travelling to 11 different countries. Georgia’s journey began in The Netherlands, voyaging from Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Suez Canal Transit, Jordan, Kenya, India, and ending in Dubai.

With the world as her campus, Georgia had the opportunity to see the world while making progress on her academic journey. Enrolled in classes like Child and Family Development and Children and Youth in the Global Concept, Georgia had several engaging field experiences. “In Kenya, I spent the day at an orphanage,” said Georgia. “In Cyprus, I visited local schools and a refugee center for unaccompanied minors. During my time in India, it was a home for the elderly. I have a story from every single port.”

Georgia became part of a tightly knit community through her voyage. With the mentorship of seasoned staffers and the camaraderie of fellow shipmates, she felt at home in no time. Aside from office hours on the pool deck, Georgia found the environment not unlike the Young Harris College campus, recalling a unique dynamic between professors and students. It was also easy for her to transfer her college credits, as The Institute for Shipboard Education administers the Semester at Sea in conjunction with Colorado State University. Georgia recommends the Study Abroad Program to everyone interested in international learning experiences.

Georgia’s Academic Advisor, Dr. Diane Vautrot, was instrumental in her first steps towards the program. “Georgia is an amazing young woman who embraced this opportunity to travel the world and learn about new cultures,” said Dr. Vautrot. “I commend her courage and spirit of adventure.  She has returned a more confident student with a broader understanding of global issues and cultural sensitivity that will undoubtedly serve her well as a future educator.”

Originally from Gainesville, Ga., Georgia plans to use her B.S. in Early Childhood Education in the field of elementary education. She believes that her experiences at Young Harris College and abroad are helping her cultivate a well-rounded approach to teaching. With a passion for educating and integrating children with autism, Georgia plans to return to her hometown and begin a career in integrated early learning.

Learn more about the Study Abroad Program.

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its undergraduate, Early College, and MAT programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor. For more information, visit