Maybe in your house it’s a rush in the morning to get the kids ready to leave for school on time. On those school days, do you often find yourself saying “Hurry up or you’re going to be late for school”? Well the children studying on the Africa Mercy have one big advantage, and it’s that to get to school they just have to walk down the hallway from their cabin to the ships very own school.
The onboard Academy educates around 50 students from about 25 different families, from 18 different nations. Right through from preschool to high school students can receive education on board, thanks to 18 wonderful volunteer teachers! The academy has an average class size of six students and is accredited by two different systems allowing graduates to continue their studies in a variety of places around the world.
The curriculum meets world class standards, but the unique experience of studying on board an international humanitarian aid hospital ship is something all of its own. Not only are students and teachers from all around the world, but life on the ship is all encompassing. Students and teachers study in the classroom together, then share meals, leisure activities and life. This relatively small community (400+) allows for students to build relationships like they could in no other way.
Tanya Sierra was a teacher onboard the Africa Mercy and feels this will be the most unique place she will ever work. “ Working on a ship, you have to be creative and flexible but you have all these opportunities to experience things and teach. Being able to meet all these people from around the world and share in this mission with them is amazing. It is such a diverse place with many differences, and yet we all share the same purpose.”