The American Foreign Service Association is sponsoring a national high school essay contest to generate interest in the U.S. Foreign Service. The contest winner will receive a full scholarship for an upcoming semester at sea voyage as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., for a special awards ceremony.
The 2012 high school essay topic is "Explain what you would do as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service to improve the relations between the U.S. and your country / organization of choice, and how the major foreign policy differences between them might best be handled in our national interest." Students can focus on one of the following nations / organizations: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Japan, Pakistan, South Sudan, The United Nations or Venezuela. More information about the contest rules, deadline and prizes can be found at (www.afsa.org/essay_contest).
The Semester at Sea study abroad program, a co-sponsor of the essay contest, is the only study abroad program of its kind in the world. Using a ship as its traveling campus, students, faculty, and lecturers live and learn together while circumnavigating the globe each fall and spring semester and exploring a world region each May and summer term. Participants earn transferable credit from the University of Virginia, the program's academic sponsor.
More than 55,000 individuals representing 1,500 institutions have traveled to more than 60 countries since the program's inception in 1963. Semester at Sea is administered by the nonprofit institute for Shipboard Education in Charlottesville, Va.
The program is also sponsored by technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.