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 91 - 105 of 146
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Semester at Sea is the best choice I ever made!

You spend 4 months on an educational voyage to over ten different countries while taking classes taught by experts in their respective fields. You discover so much about the world, but even more about yourself! This is the absolute best opportunity to discover the world and find yourself in it!

How can this program be improved?

Well, my suggestion would be to spend more days in each port, but they announced a few months ago that that is something they will be doing now! I guess I would just encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities and maybe some more partnerships from Semester at Sea with national and international NGOs and governmental agencies.

Yes, I recommend
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Experience of Lifetime

Semester at sea is once in a lifetime. I have made lifelong friends, traveled to countries I never imagined going to, and now have memories to last a lifetime. I have gained experiences that very few will have and even everyday ship life was a blast. If I could go back right now I would.

How can this program be improved?

The food variety is limited and not very good. It is especially hard for those without peanut allergies (which I have).

Yes, I recommend
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Best Experience of My Life!!

Going on semester at sea was the best life decision I have ever made. I was able to connect with people from around the world and make life long friends. All of the professors are more than willing to help and encourage you to not be afraid of trying new things and seeking new experiences. They give you enough freedom to make the voyage your own while giving enough guidance to keep you safe. The ship becomes your home, and everyone becomes your family. This is more than an academic study abroad program but something that you will take with you for the rest of your life. It is like a way to start new and, for me, was a great way to end my undergraduate career and get a jump start on life in the real world.

How can this program be improved?

Offer more science/environmental/zoological courses and field programs

Yes, I recommend
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Best Decision of My Life

By far the greatest experience Ive had! Everything from ship life to being in port to the classroom experience was Incredible, 10/10 would go right now if I could. Highly recommend SAS to anyone and everyone who wants to not only see but experience the world

How can this program be improved?

You say no program is perfect? Well this one is

Yes, I recommend
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Experience Multiple Cultures and Make Lifelong Friends All While Living on a Ship

It's a ship, not a boat. It's starboard, not right. It's port, not left. Dock time, pre-port, post-port, A days, B days, port days, pasta, potatoes, 2230 snacktime. These are all terms that become part of a "SASers" vocabulary. There are students, lifelong learners, professors, professor's families, and the crew. Everyone becomes a family. It is an experience of a lifetime in which you get to live on a 590 ft ship renovated to serve as a floating university. You will make friends from all over the world while experiencing over a dozen countries. Over a year later and there's not a single day that goes by that I don't think about my experience on SAS and wish I could have those same adventures again. Do yourself a favor and apply to have the best abroad experience of your life.

How can this program be improved?

I would give students more opportunities to apply for scholarships/work study.

Yes, I recommend
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All Around the Atlantic in 100 Days

I was lucky enough to do the Semester at Sea program during my junior year of college. I loved the sense of adventure and community everywhere I went, both in countries and on the ship. As a WOC, I wish I got more support in that sense since people of my ethnicity and socioeconomic background don't typically get the chance to travel abroad as often. We had limited time in each country so we really did try to make the best of it! I wish I and the program itself tried our best to really build community and connections in the countries we were in, rather than just doing a quick few volunteer projects (that seemed a bit White Savior, esque) or just simply trying to do everything at once. I wish we just soaked in the culture and the city.

How can this program be improved?

More support to different demographic groups
Interactive faculty selection
More insight on each country (less superficial)

Yes, I recommend
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IF YOU WANT TO LIVE, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! - 4 Semesters Abroad with Semester at Sea

You are probably here because you desire to Experience The World, Undergo A College Experience Unlike Any Other, Find your passion, Meet Amazing Individuals, Actually Learn And Retain What Your Studying, Get Away From Reality, Get Transferable Credits, Be Able To Afford To Study Abroad, Get The Best All Around Study Abroad Program, Make A Positive Change In The World, Become More Of A Global Citizen, and Live Life To The Fullest! I was in your shoes four years ago seeking to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime by attending a study abroad fair on campus. I now am a FOUR SEMESTER ALUMNUS (4 Voyages) of Semester at Sea (SAS) and have attended TWO of their Enrichment Voyages ever since to try to keep living the dream of what it was to be on that ship during a semester in college!

Experience The World

The word "study abroad" should not limit you to one country, as the word abroad should indicate the exposure to the world you can obtain from studying outside of your country. With traditional study abroad programs you select a country in efforts to try to immerse yourself and become a part of that culture and country for that semester. In your spare time you may visit surrounding places, areas, countries and cultures within your capability and budget. Now, with Semester at Sea you select from the available itineraries that depend on the semester, political issues, fuel planning, safety, and educational opportunities for being in those places at the time of your study. Common itineraries have been The Mediterranean & North Africa, Northern Europe & The Atlantic, Central & South America, Asia & The Pacific, and AROUND THE WORLD! You travel anywhere between 8 to 15 countries countries during the semester, averaging about 3 days in them, and live onboard of a Cruise Ship reconstructed to create a university atmosphere and community. I underwent most of their itineraries, encompassing a total of 50 different countries in 6 voyages, amounting to about a total of 1.25 years of travel time. Now, being in a country for minimum of a day or a maximum of a week of course does not compare to an actual semester in one place, however, the culture shock that you receive from constantly traveling to new places every couple of days truly gets you out of your comfort zone and forces you to adapt and experience the world, enhancing your overall global perspective. This allows for students to visit and experience an array of places, out of which they can ultimately decide if they ever wish to return to any of those countries, perhaps on their second semester abroad. I mention this because as a student in mostly all universities, you are allowed a year of studying abroad, not including summers. WIth all this said, my favorite semester itinerary was the Around The World, since you truly got to see most of the world and its diversity within those three and a half months living and studying at sea.

Undergo A College Experience Unlike Any Other

One of the main reasons your probably wanting to study abroad is to undergo such a unique adventure because maybe your college life lacking something, or you feel there is so much more in to college than what your presently experiencing. I know this was a strong influence for me, and Semester at Sea is by far the BEST COLLEGE EXPERIENCE I've had! There are so many factors that contribute to your ultimate semester with SAS. You live amongst a range of between 500-800 students, 100-200 Faculty and Staff, and about 200 Crew Members. You literally are on a floating campus and you are inclined to interact and create some of the best friendships of your life due to the atmosphere and lifestyle you are to live and study in for the semester. You are always traveling which is what studying abroad should be about, especially since you are spending all that money. Your meals are included (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), although sometimes repetitive, in a buffet method, which for a college student is heaven since you don't have to worry about cooking or spending money. Your classes are spread out between A and B days, minimum of 4 classes maximum of 5 in a Fall or Spring semester, which gives you ample time to catch up your movies and tv shows, sleep, tan, physical fitness, artistic projects, port planning, social life, and of course homework and studying :) You honestly have so much freedom on board the ship, with so many meeting areas and hang out spots, and there is even a nightly event called Pub-Night that allows 18 year olds and over to enjoy a maximum of three beverages (beer, wine, wine cooler) per night. The lifestyle you have on the ship is definitely not as technologically dependent as it is in our modern world, since you are only given 2-4 hours of free internet time during your semester, mainly used for research projects, and its expensive to buy minutes. However, if you have the money and need the internet, it is there, but not strong enough for skype or anything that consumes heavy bandwidth, yet there is unlimited free emailing. But in all honesty, it is this seclusion of the technological world and introduction into the real world that makes this program what it is. You'll have enough time later for catching up with friends and family, posting pictures, and keeping all your followers updated on your travels. Your time on Semester at Sea is so unique in its atmosphere with so much free time on your hands that you'll decide to try out new things you didn't have time to do before. You might learn how to make video projects, play an instrument, learn a workout routine, become involved with a philanthropic organization on board, and actually have time to be involved in school organizations onboard the ship. Lastly, the accessibility you have to people onboard the ship is insanely awesome, since you can hang out as much as you want without having to drive or travel far to reach them, they are a a phone call away, and you live with your professors and their families. This is by far one of the best things of the programs since the professors are experiencing what you are experiencing and can relate that into the classrooms, they are also always there to assist their students due to their proximity to them, and they cater their courses to the itineraries and that which is happening throughout the voyage. You have all the basic necessities and departments on board the ship, like doctors, phycologists, snacks, a library, a computer lab, IT, an auditorium, a spa, a gym, a pool, campus store, etc.

Find your passion

With so much time in your hands and so many talented individuals around you, you can definitely pick up on a few things by the end of the semester. You may learn an instrument, become politically active, learn about subjects otherwise unknown to you, begin doing service projects, study an elective that will change your life, or like many hope to do by embarking on this program, find who you are and where you want to be in life after college. This seems to be a huge question that students face before going on Semester at Sea, or even college. THey wish to know what they want to do the rest of their lives, and a part of doing that is experimenting and exploring options. It took me a lot of exploration and experimenting to find something I was passionate about, but after my fourth voyage I found what it was. Passions then become careers, and some of them become globally impacting, like Adam Braun, alumnus of 2005, with Pencils of Promise, or Jeff Steitz, alumnus of 2011, with Serengetee. The diverse pool of students allows for an intermix of ideas, projects, and activities that spark passions amongst the students. My passion was traveling before I began this program, and out of that passion surfaced many others through Semester at Sea.

Meet Amazing Individuals

I know it sounds like a cliche to say some of your strongest friendships form on this ship. This is because just like you, there are hundreds of other students looking to have the best experience of their lives during the semester, and for the most part you all experience the same kinds of culture shocks, challenges, cultural events, life on board the ship, and exhilarating traveling scenarios. In terms of student life, the beginning of the semester holds a lot of introductions and networking, as students seek to find their place on board the ship, and meet people with similar interests and aspirations. The student life department facilitates this by hosting an array of events and activities on board to encourage this kind of interaction amongst students. As time progresses though, students begin to form their friend and travel groups, which is good but as a prospective student reading this, you should always aim to meet as many people and travel with as many different groups in order to obtain the most out of your experiences. There are more than 50 campuses that are represented on board the ship, most students came by themselves, and some of them came with their colleagues. This creates a interesting atmosphere because there are different ideals and views from all these students with vastly different backgrounds, and the professors also come from different institutions, so their methods of teaching and hosting a class can vary. Also, there are many opportunities throughout the voyages to meet outstanding individuals, sometimes they live with you for some or most of the voyage. They can range from students to staff, faculty, inter-port lecturers, lecturers, crew, special guests, and life-long learners. Some examples I can think of have been, Desmond Tutu, Bill Nye, Adam Braun (Pencils of Promise), Jeff Steitz (Serengetee), Paul Muldoon, and everyday heroes like professor John Boyer (Plaid Avenger), and many more. This is solely on board the ship, but that is not including the people you meet outside the ship during your travels. You become so intrigued and excited throughout your travels that meeting locals and interacting with them becomes inevitable and some of your classes require those interactions for your coursework or research project. During these interactions you may find yourself meeting some of the most interesting or inspiring individuals or groups. I'll finish this section by mentioning one of the hot topics, being that of dating on board the ship. There are three types of dating scenarios on board the ship: couples before the voyage, couples that form during the voyage, and singles that are ready to socialize. Relationships, no matter what type they are, form a stronger bond between them after being together during the voyage and undergoing life changing events and moments together. I like many, met the most beautiful person inside and out through the program, and went from knowing nothing about her to moving to her city for her because of the bonds we created and the memories that will forever be carried with us.

Actually Learn And Retain What Your Studying

Most people select electives to be taken through this program, but for me out of 16 courses (48 credits) only 2 were electives (6 credits). I chose to do core classes on the ship because you are applying what you are studying to the real world, and you actually get to practice your discipline, making as they say "the world your classroom!" This is one of the reasons I kept coming back since your studies went beyond the textbook, and your classroom was always adapting to its surroundings and making the most out of your experiences and your time in ports. Needless to say, the electives I took were amazing too, and by far the most impacting for me. One of those electives was Geography of Wine, and aside from being an appealing course itself, I can honestly say that this elective has allowed me to find a career path and a desire for further continued education in what I studied on Semester at Sea. Since your education coincides with your memories while traveling the world, the lessons you learn leave an everlasting impression on you that you will always remember and cherish. Some courses even have a philanthropic aspect, almost like service learning, in which your lessons allow for your involvement in a local community and consequently allow you to make a difference while the class makes a difference in you.

Get Away From Reality

Being on Semester at Sea is unreal! I know when I first heard about the program I was like there is no way you can live and study on a cruise ship while traveling the world. But I took a chance and applied and six voyages later am very proud I took that chance. You are like I had mentioned, isolated in a floating campus traveling around the world, and you are facing the world and the challenges of traveling by yourself. An experience such as this enhances your personal independence, allows for you to mature, enables you to become involved in global issues, and expands your global perspective. Many programs suggest they mold students into global citizens through their programs, but in my experience, there is only one program that does that, and it is Semester at Sea. Your reality during your travels and semester abroad is never ending fun, constant learning both internally and externally, and is based on you and what you wish to accomplish and how far you wish to be adventurous.

Be Able To Afford To Study Abroad

The biggest challenge students have of doing this program is primarily based on financial aid. This program can be up there in terms of the price for the semester, however, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THE PRICE! I know it seems like so much money when you first see it, but take it from me, a four time voyager that is more broke than your average broke college student. I'll be upfront and explain my situation to hopefully give you some insight into how you can make your dream of going on semester at sea come true. My mother passed away right before college, her being my sole guardian and financial supporter. I decided to not give up and go to college, worked 2 jobs, was an A/B (3.5+ GPA) student, and had a lot of financial burdens due to the loss of my mother. Nonetheless, I saw the opportunity of sailing with Semester at Sea and decided to apply. I applied with time because there are many logistics to take care of before sailing and I needed time to financially plan my trip. I applied to almost all the scholarships of Semester at Sea, along with about 5-10 outside scholarships per voyage, and received a substantial amount through those outlets, and the remaining amount I negotiated and talked to my campus's financial aid office to transfer any available amount to Semester at Sea. My last resort was loans, but I also obtained those. In total for four voyages I ended up with a 23K loan, so about 6K per voyage. I also took out extra for personal expenses I was to do while traveling. So my advice would be to 1) apply to semester at sea early 2) apply to as many SAS scholarships you can 3) apply to as many outside scholarships as you can (its better to spend a couple of days working on an scholarship than paying off a loan) 4) talk and work with your school's financial aid office to see how much you can transfer to Semester at Sea 5) work your butt of saving money for the trip so you can have as much fun as you can 6) talk to semester at sea about your situation if things come up to see how you can work to remedy it 7) and lastly, get loans if you have to (these loans are going to be the best investment of your life).

Get Transferable Credits

This is a huge topic amongst prospective students since they are wanting to make sure their time abroad counts toward their curriculum. In college I studied International Business, Anthropology, Spanish, and General Liberal Arts Courses, and I was able to find equivalents for all my degrees. There are many different disciplines being taught by Semester at Sea, and students from all kinds of majors find ways to relate a course or find substantial coursework that adapts or qualifies for courses being taught back at their home campuses. Aside form financial aid, this is another one of the biggest burdens of the program since some schools are very particular about their courses and are not as friendly about the idea of their students taking core classes abroad. Nonetheless, it can be achieved, one must just apply themselves to make it happen and find substantial evidence with course syllabi, expectations, goals, and negotiations with department chairs, registrars, and faculty.

Get The Best All Around Study Abroad Program

This program has been around for more than 50 years, and is becoming more and more well known around the world. It has surfaced in our pop culture through such outlets such as Buzzfeed, as well as in movies like 22 Jump Street, and TV Shows like MTV's The Real World. You are never going to regret going on Semester at Sea as it is a program that has so much to offer to you personally and academically. The program takes you to popular destinations as well as destinations you'd never thought of going but are glad you got to witness and experience. Faculty and staff are top notch, lecturers are phenomenal, student life is bar-none, housing and meals are all taken care of for you, and living at sea is something so amazing and beautiful that cannot be easily described. Just imagine a serene sunsetting afternoon outside feeling the breeze while reading a book relating to your next travels in port, all while the whistling waves crash against the ship and at a far distance dolphins chase the MV Explorer (the ship), and you pause to take a deep breath and admire the view while snuggling in your cozy Semester at Sea hoodie and blanket and drinking a delicious hot tea, all while being excited that tomorrow you reach the port of Cape Town, South Africa. This is just one of those everlasting memories that will linger in your mind after undergoing the program.

Make A Positive Change In The World

Many people come on board with projects to help communities in need around the world, others are looking into aspects of foreign service and global politics, some just came for the free donuts and coffee. But no matter what you do in the program you will be given many opportunities to make a change in the world, and its up to you to take advantage of them. Semester at Sea is a gateway into finding opportunities of getting involved with local communities revolving around the areas the ship visits, as well as other programs for students seeking more of a political aspect, such as visits to the United Nations, local embassy home-stays, or lectures from globally influential individuals inclined toward social or political change. The most important aspect, I believe, is to know about the issues that are being faced by the people of this world, and discuss ways in which to address and solve them. Knowledge is power, and through the lectures, opportunities and exposure given to students on Semester at Sea, it is more likely that as a student you will feel inclined to make a positive change no matter how small that change may be. From my experience, about 70% of students who do Semester at Sea continue to do projects abroad, or continue to travel avidly after the program finding ways to make an impact in the communities they visit.

Become More Of A Global Citizen

The only way you can be an active global citizen is by traveling and learning about the places you are traveling to. Semester at Sea is the only program that truly allows for the individuals undergoing the program to become global citizens. There are many ways to get involved in the communities you visit even after you have left and your travels there have ended. On board you learn about the issues the countries you are visiting face, and you first handedly experience them. You are exposed to the beauty and sometimes harsh realities of our world, but travel amongst many moved individuals whom wish to make a positive change and actually go on to do so.

Live Life To The Fullest!

No matter what you do or seek from this program your goal should be to live life to the fullest and try to find a passion you can continue to foment. No matter how lost you are in a port, chances are you'll run into one of the 800 or more Semester at Sea students, staff, or faculty. Safety is a top priority of the program, and students tend to always travel in groups, allowing for support of each other during their stays in ports. You are going to take the program for granted once you are on board, but it will honestly be the one experience you can never seem to describe yet always imagine and wish to relive every day of your life. So just to recap, with this program you will travel the world, live on board a cruise ship, meet amazing individuals, encounter good life-changing moments with others, eat so much amazing food, see breathtaking views, monuments, and natural environments, see a world unlike anything you've ever seen, learn from exciting and interesting professors that care and understand, live a low stress life, hike majestic trails, swim in crystal clear waters, learn so much about different disciplines, be a part of a unique college experience, shop till you drop in ports, enjoy nightlife with others with Semester at Sea, eat healthy, sleep healthy, live healthy, and make the best memories of your life!

There is so much to tell you about the program, so please feel free to contact me and I can help answer any of your Semester at Sea questions. Also, if you wish to have a small peek into my travels look up Dance the way I feel - DJ L3opard on Youtube and you will see me dancing around the world with Semester at Sea. You can also email me at [email protected] or call me at 956-212-7848 and i'll assist in the best way that I can!

I hope this helped you a bit on your decision and process in studying abroad and I hope you one day also experience what I experienced and continue to help others achieve their dreams and allow for them to witness this world we all share and live in.

How can this program be improved?

The program is amazing, the only thing would be to bring back the Summer Voyages as well as the Enrichment Voyages, but understanding their financial situation allows for me to understand the inability to do so at the moment. Hopefully in the future! :)

Yes, I recommend
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Be the change you want to see in the world!

This trip was hands down the trip of a lifetime! It expanded my mind culturally as well as intellectually! Plus it was pure fun! I have made lasting friendships from this journey. Some of my classes were life-changing, whereas a few others were less memorable. All told, I learned more than I ever have in a 3-month period of my life! Learn to grow with your peers and see the world in a way that you will never have the opportunity to do elsewhere! Start your journey as a tourist and end as a world traveler :)

How can this program be improved?

The only thing that I would change is the screening process for professors. Some were outstanding and really worked to help us grow, whereas others seemed as though they just came for the trip and did not care about our learning potential.

Yes, I recommend
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Incredibly Rewarding Experience + Great Alumni Community

I spent 100 days on Semester at Sea - 50 days at sea, 50 days on land. You just can't get more value for your money. I spent the same on semester at sea as was the cost of my private inner city college for a semester and I got to literally see the world. SAS did a great job of adjusting the curriculum so you would learn about a country before you arrived. It was incredible to go from one country to the next and see the contrasts. It really changes your world perspective.

I've also made a lot of life long friends from this program. I keep in touch with friends I was close with on the voyage, and have made a lot of new life long friends through alumni meet ups and reunions. Go Fall 05!

Yes, I recommend
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Changing Perspectives

Any abroad experience should change our perspectives, but SAS allows students to experience so many countries, take in so much difference that students spend the next year processing their experiences. Even months after I left the ship I hadn't know exactly what had changed about me. Joined the Peace Corps and spent an additional two years living abroad, and journey I never would have had if not for SAS.

How can this program be improved?

More scholarships for students who can't afford the experience would be very helpful. And having a better variety of classes on board would have been enjoyable.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester At Sea--journey of a lifetime, circumnavigating the world

Living on a ship with hundreds of college students, international guest speakers, world class faculty from the USA, life long learners and the ship crew is the most amazing indescribable experience and I would pay millions of dollars to be able to send my sisters and children on this in the future. My trip was a spring voyage traveling the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, crossing the equator to stop at 12 amazing countries. The excursions with the Semester at Sea program were amazing as well as the freedom to travel alone in the countries. My trip started in San Diego to Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and London. After I had the experience of traveling alone in Europe for a few weeks before returning to the states. I saw and experienced the greatest things that I would never have done on my own without SAS. I met lifelong friends and connections that will travel with me into my future. I could go on for days. Just look up people's go-pro youtube videos! The classes always related to the upcoming country visits and the best part ended up being living at sea.. not even stopping in country! Sitting on the pool deck, being rocked to sleep by the sea, star gazing and watching the waves splash the porthole in my room while 10 new friends pile in to watch movies. Best experience of my life.

How can this program be improved?

I would have stayed for longer!

Yes, I recommend
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I'm on a ship!

Experience the world while sailing on your own floating campus! Deciding to take a Semester at Sea was the best decision I have ever made and I honestly wish I could have studied on the ship for all four years of my college career. From August-December 2012 I traveled to 16 different countries on 4 continents and was able to gain a truly global perspective. On board the ship were not only 500 other college students but professors, staff, their families, Life Long Learners (people who are retired who are auditing classes while traveling with us), and the ship's crew. Semester at Sea offers many courses that fit with multiple majors, on my voyage there were over 60 courses offered to students and each course is tailored to the specific countries/continents that will be visited over the course of the semester. While the ship is docked there are no classes or class requirements (outside of the odd field trip) and you are free to travel around the country as you wish. Semester at Sea offers many planned trips and experiences you can participate in or you can travel on your own or with friends. Classes are taken while the ship is sailing, though there are some fun days thrown in to celebrate crossing the equator or playing in the Sea Olympics. Additionally, there are many clubs, sports and activities available and the freedom to create a group for almost any interest you may have. Semester at Sea is a unique and rewarding program for anyone who wants to travel and truly experience the world.

How can this program be improved?

If I could make one change to Semester at Sea I would lengthen the amount of time spent in each port of call. Understandably, there needs to be a designated number of class days where students are focused on academics. However, it can sometimes be difficult to truly experience a country if you are only there for two or three days. Overall, we were in each country an average of 4 days but it does vary from voyage to voyage and country to country.

Yes, I recommend
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This will change your life.

If you are thinking about doing Semester at Sea, do it, don't look back, and do anything you have to do to make it happen. Your eyes will be opened the beauty and realities of the world. You will forever have a connection with anyone who ever went on Semester at Sea, whether they are from your voyage, or a voyage 40 years ago. 4-5 days sounds like a very short time to be in a country, but you'll be amazed by how much you can see, experience, and learn in such a short period of time. No one else can possibly understand the experiences you will have, and this will be frustrating, but you'll be forever connected to your shipmates. The staff is also unbelievable. It's an amazing community that cannot be duplicated.

How can this program be improved?

Can they offer a 4 year degree program? :)

Yes, I recommend
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SAS Changes Lives

Semester at Sea was literally a chance and opportunity to leave my comfort zone and experience cultures of the world. It was a learning experience culturally on ship as in country and the most significant semester of college I experienced. I learned to cook new foods, speak new languages, dance, laugh, and so much more. In 107 days I was able to travel and experience fourteen different countries and cultures as well as learn to live life as a college student at sea. I made friends around to world and was forever changed into a global citizen with wanderlust in my heart.

How can this program be improved?

I think it would be great to open the program up beyond undergraduate and life long learns after they obtain a certain age. I think this program could be beneficial to graduate students as well.

Yes, I recommend
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If you don't do SAS, you will miss the opportunity of a lifetime

Well, well..

having grown up in Europe, traveling to foreign countries isn't new to me.In Europe you just jump in a car and drive a couple of hours and voilà you're in a different country with a different culture. When I learned about SAS I awe. This was probably the coolest thing on earth and exactly what I wanted to do, but I wasn't sure if I could financially afford to make this trip. Fortunately, SAS offers financial aid to everyone in need - even Non-Americans - which I will be forever grateful for because it made my trip happen. (So dear Non-Americans reading this, please do not hesitate to apply!)

Well, the traveling part was obviously the best part. We went to places I've always wanted to go (Japan,South Africa, India) and places I had never dreamed I'd be able to see (Mauritius) and I loved every second of it, even if not everything went smoothly. You will grow so much during these months, learn things you could never possibly learn back at home, and just do crazy things that will make your friends jealous.

The thing I was most surprised about is the quality of education.We all had those teachers who are seemingly bored of their (career) life and simply drag their students through their classes. However, on SAS I felt like that the teachers were more than 'just teachers' - they were all professionals who worked in their field for quite a while and therefore had more to tell you than just what your school book said. The staff was really friendly and helpful,especially when you needed help.

So honestly, why,why why would anyone ever consider doing a different study abroad program if you're able to see so many countries,cultures, world wonders, blue oceans, dolphins, sunsets and sunrises and meet the most awesome, helpful and generous people?

I am still blown away by what I've seen, done and experienced. I wish I could put it into words without writing War-and-Peace-length novel, but let me tell you: Do not look any further, SAS is the best that will ever happen to you.

How can this program be improved?

Make it even longer??? I loved every second, even the bad moments (in hindsight haha.) Just be aware, this isn't a luxury skiing trip to Switzerland. You can make the best memories of your life, but only if you want to. I've experienced that it is humans nature to complain, but why not focus on the awesome opportunity that is ahead of you? I would always choose to do it again if I could.

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...