Semester at Sea: Study Around the World

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Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15 credits! Each voyage varies in its destinations, but will definitely provide a wide range of cultures and countries to see. Check the Semester at Sea website for upcoming programs, review classes offered and discover funding opportunities. Hope you have your sea legs ready!

Highlights
  • Earn 12-15 academic credits from Colorado State University
  • Explore 10-12 countries around the world
  • Maximize your time in-country through Field Programs

Scholarships

Semester at Sea Scholarships
Semester at Sea Scholarships & Financial Aid

We at Semester at Sea are committed to our students and understand the financial burdens placed on students to earn the best education possible. This is why Semester at Sea awards $5 million in scholarships and grants annually.

Value
$500 - $10,000

Questions & Answers

As long as you were enrolled as a full-time student the semester immediately before your voyage, and you have proof of admission to the university you are transferring to (such as an admission letter) after your voyage, then you should be all set!
The criteria for teaching are set by Bhutan's Ministry of Education and include fluency in English, at least 3 years of teaching experience and a degree in education. All three are required in order to be considered for a teaching position. Thanks.

Reviews

98%
based on 153 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 45 of 153
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Crystal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once In A Lifetime Experience

If you love traveling and don't get motion sickness, you should definitely consider SAS. It was by far the coolest program I have ever, or will ever, be a part of and I would do it over 100 times if I could! You have to be ready for certain things, like eating pasta 3 nights a week, or crossing the Atlantic (12 day trek) on the ship, but all things considered, it's a pretty great living situation, you are on a cruise ship after all! You have total freedom to do whatever you want in port cities and there is never a dull moment. You can travel with different groups of people all the time and still maintain a solid friend group on the ship. So many pros that they outweigh any cons.

What would you improve about this program?
I would try to get more food options and a more lenient alcohol policy.
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Maryum
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a Lifetime

Semester at Sea was undoubtedly the best four months of my life and truly a once in a lifetime experience. I had the chance to visit 13 countries in 111 days while taking classes and making lifelong friends & memories. On the Fall 2011 voyage we traveled to Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Honduras (changed from Cuba last minute). The diversity of the shipboard community is spectacular, as I was surrounded by people with the same adventurous spirit from all different backgrounds, ages, and countries. You wake up every morning with the world to look forward to and a new country on the horizon. Dreams are turned into reality and even bigger aspirations are formed in the meantime. You learn to live a simple life. Your friends and peers become your family. You forget about technology and focus on the moment. Food isn't the best, but you get used to it - taco nights make up for it. Sleep becomes a lost luxury of the past. The world is such a big & beautiful place and experiencing it firsthand changes you in ways you cannot even imagine. It takes you out of your comfort zone and alters your perspective on everything. Even though at times you will feel helpless about the conditions you come across in underdeveloped countries, you become extremely grateful for what you have and learn how you can give back to those in need. You will be driven and inspired to do wonderful things in the world. A semester abroad in Europe would have been great, but not many people can say they circumnavigated the globe on a ship in a whole semester. The opportunities are endless and the journey is what you make of it!

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Steven
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a Lifetime

Semester at Sea was my favorite semester of college. Life on the ship is about academics and socializing with other students. You take classes and attend guest lectures. They bring in speakers from all areas of expertise such as CIA personnel and former ambassadors. Life off the ship is about experiencing the various cultures with the locals. Smoking hookah with Turks in Istanbul was an amazing experience. In addition to individual travel, students attend field labs depending on the class they take. I took a Gender Politics class, and we met with a Moroccan feminist organization and visited an illegal women's shelter. I still keep in contact with other SASers and visit them even though they live all over the world.

What would you improve about this program?
Semester at Sea is very expensive.
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Dylan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-Defining Experience

The semester was the most challenging, yet rewarding, most exciting, most frightening, and most eye opening experience of my life. Imagine waking up in the middle of the ocean, going to the most interesting classes you've ever taken. You then eat lunch, listen to an announcement about daily activities and the current depth and temperature of the ocean, head to class or study, and hang out with your new best friends the rest of the night. You even get a free snack time later.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is too expensive, but it is worth the cost.
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Mariah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best part of college

if you love to travel do semester at sea! I loved this program, loved the people, loved the ship, and had one of the best experiences of my life. You learn so much about how to travel and become a seasoned traveler in just a few months. Perfect for college aged students

What would you improve about this program?
I was not crazy about a few of the ports but that depends on what voyage you pick.
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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The greatest experience I have ever had!

I love to travel, so I was excited at the prospect of a study abroad program that would allow me to visit many different countries in a short amount of time, rather than just immersing myself in one country.

The Semester at Sea experience is one of a kind - not many people can say they lived on a ship for months while taking classes and seeing the world! In the classes I took, the course work often related to the countries we were visiting, which made the lessons more applicable and relevant. I would say the only difficulty I sometimes found was keeping up with the reading in the course work, just because there were so many other things to do in port and around the ship, and there never seemed to be enough hours in the day.

But I think my biggest takeaway from Semester at Sea are the wealth of friendships and memories that I made that summer. The shipboard community becomes incredibly close because you're surrounded by the same people all of the time and going through this amazing journey together. And not only did I form strong friendships with students, but I was able to get to know professors, staff, and their families, too.

I would definitely recommend Semester at Sea to anyone looking for a phenomenal study abroad experience. All I can really say is: do it! You won't regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
I believe in the fall and spring semesters of Semester at Sea, students have their classes every other day. I voyaged in Summer 2013, and because of the short time frame, we had class every day. This led to some difficulty in keeping up with the course work because there was no one-day buffer between class days to be able to catch up on work if you were behind.
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Marissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester at Sea is more than a study abroad program

Semester at Sea is more than a study abroad program; it's the first chapter of a new life, a new way to look at the world and the people who inhabit it. At its core, the program boasts the promotion of an international education in which cultural exchange, adventure, and formal education merge to provide a uniquely enriching experience abroad. Unbeknownst to the program however, alumni would disagree. The breadth of impact attributed to moments and experiences abroad with Semester at Sea are innumerable, immeasurable and frankly, unbelievable. The program spans a mere four months of a student's life, yet its influence is resolute. Lifelong friendships are unavoidable.

Dreams are fulfilled, and replaced with new bigger ones. Visions of change are realized. A short visit to the Wikipedia page for Semester at Sea will illuminate a small few of the achievements made by notable alumni. The truth is that Semester at Sea turns dreamers into believers, and believers into achievers. If you want to visit a few countries, take some pictures, and then return to the life you left at home, Semester at Sea is not for you. If, however, you want to see the world for what it truly is, and never be the same again as a result, sign up now for the voyage of your life.

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Paola
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life!!

I went on the Fall 2013 voyage, and SAS truly changed my life as well as my global perspective. I made life-long friends with whom I still keep contact and I now have memories that will one day make great stories for my grandchildren, if I ever have any. Studying abroad in general is a must, but only the Semester at Sea program will make a global citizen out of you!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe if the costs were lower then the program would have absolutely no flaw.
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

Before the voyage I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future but after my service experiences and traveling I was able to realize that I want to be involved in the Peace Corp, and make a change.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe that my voyage had a great balance of locations but the voyages since then have become limited in the types of experiences that the students are receiving and I would like to see the diversity re-expand.
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Jay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience

The classes were great the way that they incorporated the travel. The food was sub-par, but not a big deal. The security was sometimes annoyingly tight, but it is understandable. The crew are amazing, the professors were great, and the entire ship community is awesome. You get to see so much in such a short amount of time- there is nothing like it. It opened my eyes to traveling in a new way. I had amazing experiences exploring and learning about different cultures. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could!

What would you improve about this program?
Have more of the administration do consecutive voyages
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Dani
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study the World on a Ship

Semester at Sea is the experience of a lifetime and is something that SASers will most likely credit as being the best part of their college experience. Not only do you get to travel the world while taking classes, but you will also meet students and staff from all over the world!

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Natali
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It is what you make it

This program was a spectacular way to get a taste test of countries all around the world. We didn't stay in one place long enough to really get know it, but it was definitely enough to get a feel for it and to leave with a knowledge of what areas in the world you would want to return to.
Anyone with an adventurous spirit and a curious demeanor about the world and the cultures that make it up will love this.
You will quickly learn if you have stronger land legs or sea legs. I had the former, which meant I had to readjust when hopping back on the ship but was totally fine stepping off of it. I knew I had a history of motion sickness (even on trains, and I can't read in the car), but that didn't stop me from going on this - it shouldn't to anyone hesitant because of that. And the ship's size helps so it's not too intense.
My roommate was a perfectionist and didn't enjoy herself as freely as most people I encountered, and it was sad to see her complain constantly - if you go on this trip, see the beauty around you and the incredible opportunities that you have just by being able to literally sail around the world. Be grateful and don't cut yourself short of this experience.
The community that naturally happens on this ship is amazing, simply by looking at the vast range in age you get. Also, having your professors bring their families is comforting as well, and bridges the gap between professor and student - I loved hanging out with my professor's son and daughter, and running into them in different countries. The youngest voyager on my trip was 4 years old and the oldest was in her mid 80's.
So it is what you make of it, but you start with a spectacular blank canvas, a ship that circumnavigates the globe. The possibilities!

What would you improve about this program?
Cheaper program adventures - haha. And more scholarship options for lifelong learners :)
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Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

Semester at Sea was the best decision I ever made. I travelled on the Summer 2013 Voyage which included Europe and North Africa. The staff is so supporting, and always available. I also met some of my lifelong friends. The environment created on the ship is one of community which helps each student open up and create memorable experiences and friends. At the same time, the academics are challenging and directly related to the countries you visit. I found everything I learned to me applicable to my surroundings. I have already, and will continue to recommend people for Semester at Sea.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to see a wider selection of courses. It may have been because I was on a summer voyage, but more classes to chose from would have been nice.
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Nancy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best there is!

While my experience with SAS was almost 40 years ago, my daughter recently did a semester so I know the quality I had back then is still present. There is nothing like the SAS community to support a look at up to 12 cultures in a relatively small period of time, one semester. The faculty tailor classes to the experiences you may have and sights you will see. But unlike tours, you can make your own way once in port. Nothing in my life, short of motherhood, has had such a profound impact. NOTHING comes close to what I learned or how I grew as a human to my experiences with SAS.

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Colin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SAS - Travel the World in 4 Months

Semester at Sea was by far the most amazing experience of my life. People are scared by the fact that you have to live with upwards of 500 other students in such close proximity, but that's what makes it so great. You become such good friends with everyone and get to embark on so many amazing experiences with so many different people. What really lured me in was the fact that you get to travel to so many destinations. My voyage started in London then went on throughout Europe, Africa, and South America. We were lucky enough to be the first group of SAS students able to go to Cuba (FA13 represent) which was amazing. The experiences you have, the people you meet, and the places you see make this program one of the best out there. It couldn't be done without the hard work of all of the Semester at Sea employees on the ship and in the states that work so hard to make it this way.

What would you improve about this program?
I really cannot think of anything that could improve the program. Maybe the food (carbs on carbs on carbs), but really it just comes down to what you make of it and nothing is truly holding you back from making it the best experience you can.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

About 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...