Semester at Sea: Study Around the World
98% Rating
(146 Reviews)

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 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!

Fall 2018 Semester Voyage

  • Dates: September 9, 2018 - December 23, 2018
  • 107 Days, 11 Countries, 13 Cities, 4 Continents

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

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

Cape Town
Ho Chi Minh City
Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Creative Writing
Cultural Studies
English Literature
International Business
Liberal Arts
Marine Biology
Women's Studies
Some Activities
Online Application
Price Details
Our program fees include up to 15 academic credits, housing, buffet style meals, medical insurance, one in-port field trip for each course, and a full-time shipboard residential and student services team. We have full scholarships, service and journalism fellowships, need and merit grants, and skill based work study financial aid awards available. We award $4 million in financial aid each year!

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!
Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until you're enrolled at an accredited university / college. Hope that helps!
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.

Program Reviews

based on 146 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 76 - 90 of 146
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Semester at Sea Review

It was the best summer I have ever had. I would do it again if I could. I highly recommend it. It was amazing. I met so many people that I am still good friends with today. It was so fun. I got to experience so many things that I otherwise wouldn't have.

How can this program be improved?

I would change the price.

Yes, I recommend
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Having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world...

Semester at Sea has changed my life by making me comfortable with the uncomfortable. At first, the idea of spending an entire summer with complete strangers is nerve wrecking, but by the end of the voyage, the SAS community became a lifelong support system in itself. There is no one way to explain what SAS is and no one will understand what you experienced. For me, the best thing that SAS offered was opening my eyes to my future career. While visiting a small village in Bulgaria, I realized that I wanted to be an occupational therapist. When asked why OT? I immediately am brought back to that one day in Bulgaria, a day that would not have happened without SAS. At the same time, its very assuring to know you have met life long friends who you may not see everyday or talk to everyday but you know you can count on them. You immediately have a unbreakable bond because they understand what you've experienced. Semester at Sea also changes you as a person. What you think you believed in, your values and opinions change or develop even more so when experiencing different cultures. You become more appreciative and caring and more globally driven.

How can this program be improved?

I would of loved to have the opportunity to take a variety of classes. I know one of the reason's why I did not do a longer voyage was because of courses offered. As a science based profession, having more opportunity to participate in SAS would be a great benefit for more students.

Yes, I recommend
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Enrichment Voyage! Short Term Study Abroad

I was so lucky to have had the chance to experience a study abroad! As a nursing student, it's difficult to take a whole semester away from studying, but Semester At Sea offered a short term abroad program over the winter break to travel to 8 countries over 23 days. I absolutely loved the ship life and the voyage of meeting new people, learning new things, and seeing many different cultures. Unfortunately, the program is discontinued now but I'd recommend the full semester to anyone who has the strong desire to travel and experience the world and has the head and stomach for a rocking ship every now and then. The support of the ship was a family and the experience to study while away at sea was breathtaking and serene. The professors were incredible speakers and the students were invested in learning and exploring. I dream of returning one day soon!

How can this program be improved?

As someone who has a major that has such a structured and rigorous program, the short term abroad gave me an opportunity I never thought possible.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester at Sea was by far the most amazing experience I have had in college. I studied on a cruise ship with 600 other college students, and every few days we arrived in a new country, where we explored!

Yes, I recommend
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Best Semester(s) of My Life

I have been fortunate enough to sail with two Semester at Sea voyages. Each of the voyages were absolutely phenomenal experiences leaving my with a changed perspective and broadened mind. While I have had the pleasure of traveling to over 40 countries (with more trips currently in the works), I can honestly say that no adventure has impacted me in the intimate and incredible ways that Semester at Sea has. The academic environment and students only compliment this incredible program. I am a proud alumnus of the program and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone!

How can this program be improved?

The program is fairly expensive for participants, which can certainly be a limiting factor. Additionally, the Semester at Sea program is a large financial burden and this can lead to complex issues such as internal finances and academic affiliation/sponsorship.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester of a Lifetime

Semester at Sea was the best semester, and experience, of my life. It allowed me to do what I love, travel, on a way that met my specific needs and interests. Any major can be incorporated into the program because there are so many lectures, guests, clubs, or trips that incorporate every interest available. In addition, it was an endless learning experience because everything I learned in class, I was able to apply in the places we visited, and vice versa.

How can this program be improved?

I cannot think of something I would really like to improve. If I had to pick something, maybe a variety in the food selections. Although the food is based on the ports of call and what's available there, try to switch up some recipes more.

Yes, I recommend
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Life changing experience

semester at sea was a once in a lifetime, life changing experience. By traveling to so many countries you really develop a world view and appreciation for others and their cultures. It was a fun, difficult, and exciting challenge to try to communicate with the locals in each new country and new language. Ship life was equally as amazing. The community of students, staff, crew, families, and lifelong learners was one I have never experienced before. Everyone is so kind and caring and you are never afraid of being who you truly are.

How can this program be improved?

This program could only be improved by more students signing up for it and the program then receiving some more of the needed funding to run it.

Yes, I recommend
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Awesome opportunity

Great way to see so many different places. Ship life wasn't my favorite, but there are fun aspects to it if you make the most of it. There is definitely no better way to travel to three different continents in less than four months, but the trip is not cheap. My biggest complaint was the food. Overall, there are pros and cons - some people loved it and some really struggled.

No, I don't recommend
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Open your eyes to the world around you

If you're looking for a different abroad experience and want to really open your eyes to the world around you, than this program is for you. You will have the chance to gain a cross cultural lens and experience first hand a large variety of cultures.

How can this program be improved?

It would be nice to have a longer amount of time in some ports.

Yes, I recommend
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Changed My Life

Choosing to go on SAS was one of the best decisions of my life. I have met lifelong friends, learned more things than I did in all my years at schools, and I met the love of my life. What more can you ask for? The vibe on the ship is like camp, but even better. You are surrounded by amazing people and staff who are adventurous, smart, and passionate about the beautiful world we live in. I am thankful every day for going on Semester at Sea!

How can this program be improved?

This is a really hard question! I would say maybe to be able to stay at ports longer. Oh, and taco day to be more often ;)

Yes, I recommend
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Semester At Sea Changed My Life

Traveling is something that I've always loved to do, visiting many different countries and even living abroad for a year and a half with my family. So imagine my excitement when I realized that I could study abroad with a program that visited 15 different countries on four continents! I saw and experienced people and places that I will never forget, but also built a community unlike any other on the ship itself. The MV Explorer became my home, my safe haven, my sanctuary. Semester At Sea allowed me to open my eyes, and my heart, to the world.

How can this program be improved?

I would add one more port in Africa and one more port in South America.

Yes, I recommend
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Gained a Global Perspective...forever changed!

Semester at Sea is the single most influential experience of my life. I've never learned so much in one summer. If I could wish something for everyone, it's to sail a voyage with this program!

How can this program be improved?

More students to participate! When I sailed we were at capacity, recently it's been a hundred or so less.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester at Sea

Semester at Sea is the time of your life. You will become closer with a group of people than you ever could have imagined. The adventure of being in a new place with new friends every single day is the best part. Do it.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester at Sea - Best 2 Months of My Life!

SAS is the best because you get to travel the world instead of staying in one place! You may not be as immersed in culture but you get to see everything. Lots of rules on the ship, classes are challenging, but it's all worth it because the things you experience off the ship with your shipmates are unforgettable.

How can this program be improved?

The rules and disciplinary system are obviously necessary for safety and efficiency reasons but there needs to be a better review process and bigger review committee. Punishment was very quick to be handed out.

Yes, I recommend
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It will change your life

Life changing is the only thing I can say that encompasses my experience traveling the world with Semester at Sea. The program pushes you out of your comfort zone while allowing you to do things, see things, eat things, and experience things that you never thought you would. You becoming uniquely close to the people living with you on the ship, the people who are experiencing the world around you. No one else will ever understand what you experienced. There is no other program where you can stand under the Eiffel Tower, eat a belgian waffle in Belgium, surf in Portugal, sleep under the stars of the Sahara Desert, watch a lion eat a buffalo in the bush of South Africa, see one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and piranha fish in the Amazon all in the span of four months. The academics are more unique than studying in one location because you are able to live the culture you just learned about. If you want to see the world, expand your mind, understand cultures and people, push yourself, and return a different person then this is the perfect program for you.

How can this program be improved?

Make it longer!

Yes, I recommend

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...