A year with A+ World Academy is challenging but rewarding! Find out what our students have to say about their experience on the Sørlandet.
“This year has been the greatest year of my life. With the bag full of experiences, it’s soon time for it to end. Thank you, A+ Academy for giving me this opportunity. At the start of the year, I met a lot of strangers on the dock in Kristiansand. Our adventure will end on the same dock. However, I will not leave strangers, I will leave family.
With the corona virus out there, our adventure took an unexpected turn. The school has a lot of responsibility, and in my opinion, they have made hard and good decisions. Thanks again for giving me this opportunity. I wouldn’t trade this year for anything.” By Vegard
From A+: Thank you Vegard, for being such an important part of this family. You have brought infinite joy to our days wizard.
P.S. You don't need to achieve emancipatory freedom, you brought it with you.
“This year has by far been the best year so far in my life. Even with its ups and downs it has been an amazing experience. My favorite port was definetly Jamaica. I had so much fun during that port and got to experience a totally different culture than anything I had ever experienced before. Apart from all the cool ports we traveled to, I would say that being part of the deckcrew has been, in some cases, more fun than being in port.
Right now, we are lucky enough to stay at an AirBNB in quarantine, instead of staying on the ship. This has been a really great solution considering the circumstances. A+ has had to make some tough decisions and they have handled this situation very well. When we sailed in they helped us contact our parents and made every decision based on our safety.” By Anders
From A+: Anders, believe in yourself as much as we believe in you, always. You don't need extra credits; they are all within you.
P.S. Do you really not like guacamole?
“This year gave me a lesson, actually, many. When I first came and we had 4 hour watches it seemed to be a nightmare. It was hard and it was difficult to be far from home, but it made me realise so many things that cannot be explained in a piece of paper.
I am so very happy with the overall experience. There are so many things that I have earned while here. I have a new family and all the things I went through with these people. Every day here is a story to tell and there is not a moment you are bored. Yes, there are bad days and good days but every day matters here.
Though lately it has been a hard time for everyone around the world, A+ has managed to make the best out of the situation. We were all tired after 5 months of school and wanted a break and to be able to stay away from the ship. Due to the Coronavirus it was impossible to have a free port and risk us getting infected but they still managed, within a few days, to get beach houses for us and both our house leaders. Emily and Bridget have been the best. We had taco nights and a BBQ, movies, we swam in the beach, played games, had no curfew for bed and relaxed a lot. That is what we needed. I believe that it has been very nice for the situation at hand.” By Tessa
From A+: Tessa, your kindness will guide you towards great places and we are honored to be part of your journey.
P.S. You're completely right “every day matters here”. Te queremos.
“This year has been everything. There is no other way to explain it. It has been the year where I’ve felt the most down but also the most up. It has been the year where I’ve cried the most, but also had the most convulsive laughter. It has been the year where I've experienced life. All this has made me grow close to people in a way I never thought was possible for a human-being.
I’m actually impressed in how A+ have dealt with this crisis. First, they cancelled parent-port which in itself was bad news, but they made the best out of the situation by renting beautiful beach houses for us here on Bermuda where we are able to be together, but also have some much needed space. We have access to a beach and a huge garden. We are also able to order food when it’s needed, ontop of all the food in the fridge. All this happens in a safe way, so we are not taking any risks to be infected. So, I want to say thank you A+ for everything you are giving us, now and before.” By Maria
From A+: Maria, we are deeply grateful to learn from you every day; your beautiful authenticity and confidence is inspiring.
P.S. In one S3 class, you said that world leaders need to come together to fix worldwide problems, and that you hope that these issues would not be fixed with a machine but with humanity. Well, maybe this is the time.
“Looking back at the first day boarding the ship, I had never imagined the friendships this year would bring. All the adventures we have had, has brought us close together.
A+ World Academy connected us in a way I never would have experienced at home. No cellphone to distract our relationships. The best part of this year has been climbing the rig while having deep conversations with my best friends. This is definitely what I am going to miss the most.
A big thanks to A+ for handling the virus situation as they did. While nearly all the other exchange programs sent their students home, we are still here getting an extra month with our friends. Being able to live in a beach villa with lots of friends and fun is deeply appreciated. Thank you to A+ for handling this worrying situation to the best of all.” By Mia Olivia
From A+: Mia, we are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to get to know you and discover the world through your music. Everything, absolutely everything, is more fun with music.
P.S. It has been amazing to witness your dancing skills in action.
“I think everyone around me knew that I was very excited and had a lot of expectations when it came to this year. When we started the year in Kristiansand I thought I had it all figured out. In reality, I knew nothing. I have learned so much from the ship, the ports and the cultural experiences we have had this year. And I have met people I now consider family, and created connections that I didn’t know could be so strong. When I look back at the past months, they have truly been the best days of my life. The things we experience brings us closer together, and we share memories we couldn’t have made without the ship. Everything from setting sails, crossing the equator and even running around on deck during squalls, is what makes this year an unforgettable adventure. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
I think the way that A+ World Academy has handled the situation is the best possible option that we have now. This was unpredictable for all of us, and we are very lucky that we still get to spend this precious time with our best friends.” By Mille
From A+: It is not cheesy at all, that's the reality that you guys create, one of sense of community and unforgettable friendships.
P.S. We are very proud of you! It is ok to not have it all figured out, it's usually then when great things appear in our way.
“Through the experiences I've had from the beginning of the year with people that I barely knew, now ten months later I consider each and every Sørlandet member as a second family. We have had the opportunity to share moments that are difficult to describe with words and impossible to define.
Not every day was the best, but the good thing about the bad days is that they taught me to value and appreciate the moment and how best to experience the opportunities and circumstances given. One of the things I reflected on and understood the most after this year was to appreciate the little things, the little moments and details that become great luxuries when recognized. It is not what happens to us, it is knowing how to act with attitude, effort, humility, solidarity, working as a team, showing respect and empathy for each other. This is how our days were at sea, unpredictable. We just lived and enjoyed every moment, making the best of it.
The experiences that I take from this year do not consist of the number of places we visited, but the number of situations and moments that made me reflect, which challenged me to improve, to understand. Because the objective of this school is about having a global perspective through experiences developing sensitivity, empathy, reasoning, appreciation, humility and respect for the diverse, for the unknown and to understand what the world is, what is happening around us. It is not finding yourself; it is creating yourself, facing yourself and society.
Friendship, teamwork formed the family we feel we are.” By Azul
From A+: Azul, you are one of the most down to earth people to have ever stepped on this school, and we are all incredibly grateful for you.
P.S. In your interview for the press release of the Food Bank in Vigo you stated “the fact that while we help others we are helping ourselves is great” and you're right, it is absolutely amazing.