Semester at Sea

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Semester at Sea began at Chapman University in the 60s, but the program was called "University of the Seven Seas." On that first voyage, 275 students set sail for 22 ports around the world aboard the MS Seven Seas to begin a tradition of shipboard education that continues to this day. We've had many people take the lead over over the years - Bill Hughes, C.Y. Tung, Dr. M.A. Griffiths to name a few, although there have been many amazing people that have helped keep our program "afloat!" Beginning with the Fall 2016 Voyage, Colorado State University will be our Academic Partner as we sail around the world on our floating campus, the MV World Odyssey!

Programs from Semester at Sea

  • Multiple Countries
    Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15 credits! Each voyage varies in it's destinations, but...
    143 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.

Program Reviews

  • Pakinam
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    University Heights, Ohio
    John Carroll University
    9/10
    A voyage of a life time
    03/09/2016

    Semester at sea made me sea the world from different perspectives. Comparing and contrasting the different places we visit every week added a lot to my experience and my knowledge about the world. It broke many of my stereotypes and I can't tell how grateful I am to have been part of the Fall 2015 voyage. Being isolated from the world yet travelling the world is a magical feeling and has been very crucial to teaching me about myself and my shipmates. I highly recommend it.

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  • Brittany
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Western Illinois University
    10/10
    My Most Influential Experience
    02/05/2016

    Sailing on a Semester at Sea voyage was the most influential experience of my life. I visited places I only read about, met life-long friends, and gained a global prospective.

    Visiting multiple places in one semester and comparing each to each other and to my own county is a very effective learning technique. We were constantly moving, exploring, and discovering new things everyday. Living on a ship and being part of the shipboard community was my favorite part of the entire experience. Eating with a professor and their family is not uncommon and actually encouraged. Everyone on the ship has the desire and passion to learn about the world through experimental learning. I would learn about the Egyptian history in class and the next day, I was at The Pyramids of Giza and looking at the face of The Sphinx.

    Most people sign up for a study abroad program to see new places, experience a different culture, or to eat better food - afterwards they realize the most valuable part is the people you meet along the way. For the first time I felt like I found my "tribe". When you travel and live on a relatively small space with a group of people, you become extremely close quickly. It's been almost 6 years since I've sailed and I still consider my Semester at Sea group of friends my best friends.

    Overall, Semester at Sea is a way to see a lot of the world in one semester. If you're not sure which country to pick, why choose? With Semester at Sea you can see many countries and be a part of a thriving shipboard community. Be prepared to return with a whole new outlook of the world and an incredible group of people you will call family.

    How could this program be improved?

    The program could benefit from providing resources and support after the students disembark. The experience is so powerful and life-changing, I know I would have appreciated a place where I could connect with past alumni or be more informed about opportunities to connect with my local alumni chapter.

    Photos:
    Riding Camel Back in Egypt
    About to Explore Italy
    Eating Traditional Moroccan Food
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  • Tony
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Chicago, Illinois
    Other
    10/10
    World Traveler
    12/18/2015

    Imagine traveling the world with newfound friends on a ship sailing around the world. This is by far the most significant and eye-opening experience of the world. Semester at Sea takes you to legendary cities around the world; St. Petersburg, Paris, DUBLIN, Havana, Casablanca, with the ease of sailing. When stopped at port the students are allowed to travel to anywhere they wish; provided that they have the means and logistics to make it back to the ship. What is unique is that Semester at Sea provides teaching and college courses on the ship itself. Complete with overhead projectors this ship is a floating classroom lead by the most prostegious faculty members worldwide. The staff is very friendly and welcoming. They are going through the same experience as the students; traveling the world!

    The nights spent lying on the beach at night looking at thousands of stars on the sands of Lagos, Portugal with friends and camel trek riding through the Sahara desert to meet the Nomads will forever remain the most amazing experience of my life. Semester at Sea provides many avenues for scholarships. They themselves help you out A LOT. As long as they see that you are serious and willing to put in work, they will do their best to provide you with the funds to achieve this dream to travel the world.

    How could this program be improved?

    The food! My goodness everything was carbs carbs carbs. Pasta is the staple subsidy for us college students and will be disgusted after a month of eating it. Nonetheless the food is always fresh; just wish there's more variety. A small price to pay to see the world.

    Photos:
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  • Emma
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Northern Arizona University
    10/10
    Semester at Sea Sp '15
    12/17/2015

    SAS gave me ability to go to countries I never thought I would reach, and helped me determine who I want to be as a traveler and global citizen. It taught me how to be culturally sensitive, not only for places that are unfamiliar, but also for the place I call home. I was able to form friendships with people that were different from me in many ways, and create a bond I didn't realize could exist in only four months. Plus the wide range of emotions from the laughter to the tears resulted in the most growth I have experienced in my 5 semesters of college.

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing that would be better was if it was a whole year!

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  • Kimberly
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Washington, DC
    James Madison University
    10/10
    Semester at Sea is the best decision you'll ever make
    12/17/2015

    Just do it. Four months on a ship that goes around the world?! When else will you have a chance to do something so cool? Every day is something new and exciting! You get the chance to meet people from all over the U.S. and all over the world. The professors teach super interesting courses in a wealth of different subject areas. The food is terrible (or was when I did it), but bring food with you and buy stuff in ports and you'll be fine. Go on as many excursions as possible, as they often get you further away from the port then would be feasible on your own. They can also help you get visas to secondary countries, because you can't leave the country on your own- you must be on an excursion.

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