Semester at Sea Study Abroad Programs, Reviews, and Interviews

Semester at Sea


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!" Colorado State University is our Academic Partner as we sail around the world on our floating campus, the MV World Odyssey!


Colorado State University
Campus Delivery 1587
Fort Collins, CO 80523
United States


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As soon as I heard of Semester at Sea, I knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. My voyage had the opportunity to visit 11 countries while taking classes on the MV World Odyssey; who else can say they have done that? There was lots of work leading up to it, and of course I had my doubts that it would live up to my dreams. But it did that and more! The community on the ship is one that you cannot experience with any other program. This is absolutely the best way for college students to study abroad.
My advice to anyone considering Semester at Sea: DO IT. Do not think too much about it, just go and everything will work itself out, and most importantly: you will have the trip of a lifetime.

Yes, I recommend this program

Semester at Sea takes you to 11 countries and 4 continents, giving cultural immersion, a new global perspective, and a truly global comparative experience. For me, it was absolutely life changing. I learned more in one semester about myself and the world than I ever had in my life. It is true hands-on, experience-based learning. It isn't simply studying from a textbook and then forgetting everything a month later. All my SAS experiences will stay with me forever.

SAS taught me that there is so much that we don't know about the world. There is so much left to learn. Other study abroad programs make you come home and say "that was fun," but Semester at Sea makes you say "What's next? How can I change the world for the better?" You truly leave inspired.

If you are looking for a study abroad program to challenge your views and expose you to the unknown, do Semester at Sea. Learn what the US education system doesn’t teach us. See the things the US media doesn't report on. Do rather than just see. Connect with the cultures you interact with across the globe and begin to understand how we fit into this large world.

My hope is that more students will look into Semester at Sea. For me, I decided to seize the opportunity, knowing once I graduate and begin work, I may not have this opportunity again. A lot of people’s dreams to see the world, and Semester at Sea makes it possible.

What would you improve about this program?
Having more time on land versus at sea.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Semester at sea was BY FAR the best semester I have ever had! Meeting 600 students can be a little overwhelming but you quickly find your friends and hang out with everyone! We were able to experience so many different parts of the world and all with your new best friends! To be completely honest, you will have some of the worst experiences but also some of the best. I made friends that will last a lifetime and came back with some crazy stories to tell.

Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely loved my time on Semester at Sea. It is a great way to see the world in such a short time frame. I have met and made friends with people from all over the world. I highly recommend this program to anyone that is remotely interested in studying abroad. This program does a great job of ensuring everyone's safety and making sure students feel prepared to enter each of the countries on the itinerary.

Yes, I recommend this program

I chose Semester at Sea because I couldn't decide on just one location to study abroad and since I'd never traveled internationally before, this program provided the optimal blend of support, freedom and adventure. The price of the program was a bit more than others but they offer a ton of scholarships and even work-study options on the ship, plus the price includes 3 meals a day, weekly laundry service and 24/7 access on and off the ship whenever we were in port. Classes were only held when the ship was at sea, meaning whenever we were in port (usually 4 - 6 days each country) we didn't have class and were instead encouraged to make the world our classroom. The faculty were incredibly interesting and passionate about their field, many came from ivy league campuses, providing unique learning opportunities that other traditional study abroad programs can't offer. Prior to each port we were briefed on the in's and out's of the country, we talked about significant sociopolitical factors that may affect our experience, and provided with advice, reading, local tips and other resources for having a meaningful experience in each country. If I could give one piece of advice to future participants it would be to take ownership of your own experience, don't be afraid to take risks and do something that takes you outside of your comfort zone. It's easy to stick with a crowd of 600 other American students in every country, but the real ah-ha moments happen much further outside the confines of the SAS bubble. Find a friend or two and go on an adventure in every country, stay in hostels instead of on the ship, go hiking, meet people, use your broken language skills, smile, be patient, and stay positive.

What would you improve about this program?
Be more transparent about pre-voyage costs and additional fees to register for required field programs. I remember it came as quite a shock that I had to pay almost $2500 out of pocket in pre-voyage costs, not including my flight.
Yes, I recommend this program


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