Each year the IAMU conference focuses on a particular topic and this year’s conference, held in Busan, South Korea, was focused on the cooperation of maritime education throughout the world.
Senior IMB cadets Adam Silvis, Jonathan White, Sarkis Nahigian, and Michael Doren represented Massachusetts Maritime Academy and presented on their topic, “Cooperation in Maritime Education: A Case Study Involving Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Shanghai Maritime University.” Under the guidance of Dr. Ani Dasgupta the cadets collected information from exchange program participants and analyzed the data to determine and quantify program benefits. Additionally, they sought information that would help both institutions improve the exchange programs by focusing on the aspects most important to the participants. Of the eighteen student presentations at the conference, MMA’s group was selected as one of six to present in front of the entire General Assembly and their work was greatly appreciated.
Apart from presenting their research, the four cadets were able to take in some of the sights of Busan, including traveling to the Busan Tower, the highest point in the city that offers great views of the skyline, and were guided on a hike through a local park. The conference itself offered opportunities for the students to witness traditional Korean song and dance routines as well as the chance to hear IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos speak on the new STCW requirements and the benefits of maritime education. They were also treated to a tour of Korean Maritime University’s campus and lived aboard the school’s training ship, T/S Hanbada. The final day of the trip included a tour of the Port of Busan, the world’s fourth largest seaport, with gantry cranes stretching for miles on each side of the port.
The opportunity to travel to Busan was surely an experience the four cadets will not soon forget. In addition to meeting and interacting with cadets, faculty and administrators from various maritime universities, they highlighted the possibilities of an excellent exchange program between MMA and SMU that will hopefully accentuate global cooperation in the field of maritime education.