THROGS NECK - Students from the Bronx's Maritime Academy returned home Friday after spending two months overseas.

Thousands of family and friends were there to greet them for the emotional reunion.

"I missed him so much and I love him ... it's just a lot of time to be away from him," says Kathryn Walsh, a mother of one of the students.

As part of their training regimen, the Maritime Academy sent 650 cadets to the Bahamas, Mallorca, France and England accompanied by staff.

Students say that while they were taught much during their travels, the biggest lesson learned was about themselves.

"I learned that you can be self-reliant - you don't have to rely on anyone other than yourself," says Jason Fetter, a cadet at the school.