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 it's destinations, but will definitely provide a wide range of cultures and countries to see. Check the SAS website for lists of past trips and plans for the future ones. Hope you have your sea legs ready!

Spring 2019 Semester Voyage

  • Dates: January 5, 2019 - April 19, 2019
  • 102 Days, 11 Countries, 15 Cities, 4 Continents

Destinations: (Hawaii) United States, Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Germany

Fall 2019 Semester Voyage

  • Dates: September 9, 2019 - December 23, 2019
  • 106 Days, 11 Countries, 12 Cities, 4 Continents

Destinations: Poland, Kiel Canal Transit, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Ghana, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama Canal Transit, Ecuador, Costa Rica, (California) United States

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!
One thing to add, gap year students can participate in SAS. It also never hurts to call them to check in with your situation and see what's available!
Yes there are options for people with specific dietary restrictions. I had a friend who had some and you just need to let them know before you begin (you can call the ISE/SAS office too). The chefs work with you to determine your needs. Since the ship picks up food along the way, they do their best to accommodate with what they have. Just know going into it that you may be eating a lot of the same...
All courses are taught in English. To help prepare you for in-port experiences, SAS will give you a cheat sheet of common phrases for the local language in each country. Additionally, sometimes brief language sessions are taught by visiting lecturers prior to arrival in each country.

Reviews

98%
based on 152 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 45 of 152
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Maryum
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Steven
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
Semester at Sea is very expensive.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dylan
9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
This program is too expensive, but it is worth the cost.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Mariah
10/10

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

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

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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Marissa
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Paola
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
Maybe if the costs were lower then the program would have absolutely no flaw.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jay
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
Have more of the administration do consecutive voyages
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dani
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Natali
8/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
Cheaper program adventures - haha. And more scholarship options for lifelong learners :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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Samantha
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Nancy
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Colin
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Carol
10/10

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Semester at Sea (SAS) is the single most beneficial and positive life changing experience I have ever had. If you have major trouble with motion sickness it probably wouldn't be the best program for you. SAS is a sampler platter of the world. Whether you are in port exploring a new culture or sailing on the ship to the next destination you will never be bored. This program is a catalyst for springing people into a world they didn't know existed. SAS has a unique edge over all other study abroad programs. Day to day life on the ship can range from attending class, working out in the gym, sun bathing on the deck, having a prime ocean view while doing yoga, participating in groups/discussions that promote civic engagement and positive change to relaxing all day getting to know friends. I can't stress enough the impact this program will leave on your life!!!

How can this program be improved?
I would offer a better variety of meals on the ship, but it also would not be the same if you didn't have the food to comically complain about!
Yes, I recommend this program

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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...