Semester at Sea: Study Around the World

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About

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

Popular Programs

Fall 2020 Voyage

Embark: Sep 9, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Disembark: Dec 22, Tokyo, Japan
Itinerary: Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea

Spring 2022 Voyage

Embark: Jan 5, Tokyo, Japan
Disembark: Apr 20, Bremerhaven, Germany
Itinerary: China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Mauritius, South Africa, St. Helena, Brazil, Morocco, Spain

Questions & Answers

There is no age requirement, but you must have graduated from high school in order to participate.

Yes!! Just be aware the cost is in American Dollars so be aware of your countries conversion rate as it can be pricey!

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

9.75 Rating
based on 153 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 17 - 24 of 153
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Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best 4 months of my life

This was an epic experience and I had some of the best times of my life while on this study abroad program. It was eye-opening, inspiring, exciting and made me see the world in a different light. I would highly recommend this program to anyone!

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Hayley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester at Sea: The Best Decision I've Ever Made

While traveling to 13 different countries in 4 months is incredible in itself, it is the unique shipboard community of Semester at Sea that makes it one of a kind. I will never forget the ship cutting the lights in the middle of the Indian Ocean so the on-board astronomy professor could captivate us with the legends and stories of ancient gods and goddesses, all while underneath a captivating night sky that words will never truly describe. There's no feeling like being in the middle of the ocean with the nearest humans hundreds of miles away, and the stars are just the beginning.

What would you improve about this program?
The price is the obvious setback for most potential SASers but it is to be expected when the cost of tuition, multi-country travel and fuel is considered. If I could truly change one thing, then I would want to find a way to reduce this somehow, or find sources to provide more students with bigger financial aid packages.

Truthfully, I have sat here and racked my brains. I don't think I would ever want to change a thing about Semester at Sea. It changed my life.
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Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning about other cultures enriches our own lives.

It is incredibly fun to travel the world, on a ship, with over 600 students from around the world. Every day is a new adventure, both in the ship and in ports. Most of the time we did not speak the native language of a country and it was very hard to communicate, but we were always able to figure out a way to express our feelings and needs in each country.
We were a group of six friends in Myanmar and we had the opportunity to get in touch with relatives of my aunt's friend. They were three and they took us sightseeing, took us out for dinner, and they invited us to the pool at their condo. It was a beautiful experience because we got to connect with locals and see their life styles. We were able to ask any questions and they were also interested in learning about our culture.
Even though we had never heard about each others, we did not make plans ahead, and we are from different continents and have different likes and dislikes, we had a great time, and it was a very valuable and enriching experience I will always remember.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great if the program was cheaper for students. I know SAS always tries to get more funding to give out more scholarships to students, so it would be great if more alumni, schools and programs can contribute to make many more students achieve their dream of going on Semester at Sea.
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Brian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester at Sea Summer 2014

An incredible summer, visited 9 different countries around Europe all while living on a ship with other college students. The classes were well structured and the teachers excellent, but the real fun was being able to explore different countries and cultures with people who had been complete strangers just days before. I still stay in constant contact with several of the friends I made on the trip, and it has allowed me opportunities to travel all around the United States to visit them in the last couple years. I could not possibly recommend semester at sea more highly than anything to a student interested in travel.

What would you improve about this program?
Better food, but there were very few complaints
Lindsay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester At Sea: Exceptionally Unique

Semester at Sea really was an exceptionally unique experience. I was convinced that if I didn't study abroad in college I would be missing out on a huge opportunity, but I was having difficulty deciding on just one country to go to. I was initially attracted to the idea that Semester at Sea traveled to multiple countries but that was just the beginning of its uniqueness. I found a "home afloat" in my ship accommodations which gave me a comfortable home base to decompress and familiarity that became so important to my mental health among all the new locations and culture shock. Semester at Sea took its time in picking the best of the best staff and faculty, so my education came from people I would normally not of had the opportunity to learn from. An overall theme of sustainability gave us a global lens to view all our lessons and experiences through, and something very applicable to take home and unique to put on my resume. Finally the in-country excursions set up by the program were absolutely once in a life time experiences I wouldn't find anywhere else, such as canyoning through the mountains in Spain, seal watching on rib boats in Sweden, and kayaking through the Fjords in Norway. If you are on the fence about doing this program I hope my review has convinced you to go. This is something you don't want to miss out on.

What would you improve about this program?
I was very saddened to hear that Semester at Sea is no longer offering Summer semesters. The summer semester was so appealing to me because I had obligations at home that couldn't be left for longer than the two and half months I was gone for. The summer semester was also a more affordable option than the spring or fall semester which was also very appealing because this program is certainly on the pricey side. I didn't have my parents to help me with finances, I had a job that was important to hold on to, and a family that I had already built a home with so the summer semester was my only realistic option. Bring back the summer semester SAS!
Kaiulani
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Family in India

I met so many beautiful people in India. One of those people was my tuk tuk driver. He made me and my friends feel comfortable and safe from the moment we went into his tuk tuk and who knew we would end up such great friends. He took us anywhere we wanted. We went to shops where we bought spices and a sari. After I bought my sari and went to another shop he told us he would be right back and when he came back he had a string of jasmine flowers that he put in my hair making me look like a beautiful Indian princess. I loved it, at that moment he felt like my father and although I come from somewhere on the other side of the world we had a connection and I trusted him. After I bought and immediately wore my sari we went to get some local Indian food. At this restaurant the waiters helped us order the foods we must try not he menu and we did. While we waited for our food I looked up and noticed an older Indian woman looking at me and smiling. I smiled back and she pointed to her sari and then at mine and gave me a thumbs up gesture. This was another amazing moment for me. This older Indian woman just approved my Indian outfit which meant more to me than just looking good. I felt that with her approval I was culturally acceptable and didn’t look like a tourist wearing an Indian outfit because it was cool. I was falling in love with India, the people, the culture, and soon enough the food. When the food came I was awestruck. It was amazing! So amazing that we ordered another plate of it. It was some type of masala but it was so different than the ones in the United States. After eating our driver asked us if we wanted henna tattoos and when we said yes he explained to us about his mother in laws where they can do it for us. This day was getting better and better. We got to the house and immediately neighborhood children and aunties came over. They were so nice and reminded me of my family back home. They wanted to make my hair, give me chips, and tea. It was one of the most memorable moments for me. We sat down and they started doing henna’s on us. While they did henna’s they were talking and asking us questions all while laughing because most of the time we had no idea what they were saying. Although there was a language barrier our body language and laughter was more than sufficient. We stayed there until the sun was going down. We had so much fun that they invited us to a Hindu celebration in Kerala where there would be food, elephants, music, and fireworks. That was an automatic yes! Our driver took us back to the ship where we showered and got ready then came back out and went with our driver to the event. It was a unique experience. We were the only people not from India at that event especially because most of the Semester At Sea students were at the Taj Mah Hall. As we walked through the crowds with our driver all eyes were on us. It was different but I knew our driver had our backs and he reminded me so much hot my father that I knew if anything would happen he would step in. It was amazing. We watched the elephants all dressed up march through the area with loud music, It was so exciting to witness for the first time. After we met up with his family and watched the fireworks together. I loved being with this family. We loved them so much that we pretty much went with the same driver everyday where we went to his families house about 2 more times. I am so thankful that I met a wonderful tuk tuk driver who I built a relationship with. He was more than our driver he was our father, bodyguard, and friend. After the last day in India when we had to say our goodbyes I got his mailing address and I am currently working on a package to send to him and his family with toys for his kids, books, and pictures of our time in India. One day I will make it back to India and reunite with this amazing family.

What would you improve about this program?
It should be longer.
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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing Experience

Semester at Sea was by far the best experience of my life thus far. It's been over a year and a half since I embarked on my Summer voyage, but I still bother my friends and family with stories and allusions back to the trip. Honestly, I don't even know where to begin the praise. Instead of telling any specific story that won't fully capture my experience I will describe what I was thinking the day I arrived back in the US after the voyage: I wasn't sure how I could acclimate back to my normal life after experiencing so much in such a small amount of time. I came out of the trip with friends from not just all over the country, but also the world. I learned more in those 66 days then I ever could have expected. Not only were my classes intellectually stimulating and fun, but I also got to apply what I was learning to the countries I was visiting. Whether I was discussing the possibility of Scotland voting for its independence with locals at a highland festival and writing about it in my Economics of the European Union class or learning how to start and run a franchise from the head of franchising for all of the Hard Rock Cafes in Scandanavia. I learned how to travel in a smarter, cheaper and safer way. Lastly, I never stopped having fun. I got to surf in San Sebastian, eat dinner elevated above all of Helsinki, Finland with Dinner in the Sky, watch the US play Portugal in the World Cup while in Lisbon, and sit on the edge of massive cliffs on Aran Island off of Ireland (to name a few of my favorite memories). All in all it was the trip of my life and I will forever recommend the trip to anyone interested.

What would you improve about this program?
The food could have been better on the ship, but food can only be but so good for college kids on a massive ship (so I don't really have a problem with it).
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Jackson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Traveling Big and Small

There is something to be said for having almost 700 other travel mates. Semester at Sea gave me the opportunity to find any one to travel with, or no one. Being in port, surrounded by a foreign country there was a safety net of a community around us. I could always find a fellow SAS-er if I needed to. One time in Vietnam I had found myself on an island get away in ha long bay, which turned out to be an Aussie filled booze cruise of havoc. Not my scene. I had to leave early the next morning to catch my flight so with less than 50 dollars worth of Vietnamese dong I had to find my way, 5 hours from Ha long bay to Hanoi. Along the way I would face hard ships, like that one cab driver that almost assaulted me, but when ever it was most needed a familiar face from the ship would pop out of no where and bring a deep sigh of relief to me. I am grateful for the experiences I could have while traveling to such a diverse number of ports, but also the people I met along the way. Semester at Sea aloud me to have all of the self discovery, independence and adventure that comes with solo travel but also the connectedness and community of our ship.

What would you improve about this program?
The ship did have its issues. Some issues that we faced are facing many land colleges campuses as well. A sweeping wave of uber political correctness and extremely hostile anger towards proclaimed dominate cultures. I my self being a white male felt there was a lot of anger towards me strictly for being a white male. The staff did little to address this and even stoked the flames of this anger with inappropriate rhetoric. Also the staff at times took their rolls too liberally and scandals, such as having our Dean sleep with the married wife of a professor, did not contribute to a healthy and trustworthy environment.