Byline: Ann Geracimos, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Gene Hammond, former chairman of the English Department at the University of Maryland, says the teaching he did during a recent Semester at Sea trip was "the toughest I've done in my life."
Vanessa Emdadi, 21, a student at New College in Florida from Warrenton, Va., calls course work on the Semester at Sea ship "fairly difficult, considering that every other day we were in another port, depending on where we were in the world."
Two opinions are not conclusive in judging the integrity of this unusual program - more than 600 students earning college credit while visiting 10 countries in 100 days going around the world - but they help dispel doubts about whether such a seagoing adventure is a valid academic substitute for a more traditional campus life.
At first glance, spending a college semester on an ocean liner with hundreds of students from across the country has overtones of indulgence akin to American collegians' vaunted spring break. Several faculty members at the University of Virginia questioned early on whether a floating classroom could maintain high enough standards …