semester at sea

Semester at Sea: Study Around the World

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A semester at sea offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the world while studying aboard a cruise ship and taking in the constantly shifting landscape. You can choose from 70–72 courses in a variety of subjects when you travel on our seven-deck, 590-foot ship, the MV World Odyssey. You will travel more than 20,000 nautical miles, see more than ten different countries on five continents, and receive 12–15 credits from Colorado State University in just one semester.

Take in the sunset over the Indian Ocean, gaze up at the stars over the Mediterranean, or attend class while sailing the sea. You’re never far from friends, the ocean, and a worldview—whether you’re in class, studying, or participating in activities on board a ship.

semester at sea

Financial Aid & Scholarships for a Semester at Sea

Scholarships, need-based grants, and merit grants are provided by ISE and SAS each semester to enable more students to embark on their journey and become part of our living and learning community. Every trip, 60% of travelers receive financial assistance and scholarships on average. Through Semester at Sea, financial aid may be available to students even if they are not eligible for it at their home colleges or universities. Furthermore, a lot of students can use Semester at Sea to apply the financial aid they receive from their home university.

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Between $500 and $10,000

World Campus Afloat / Semester at Sea

Before the program was renamed to Semester at Sea in the spring of 1975, I was a student on the old World Campus Afloat program. After traveling for roughly 25,500 miles and 107 days, SP75 left Florida and headed east, stopping in 13 different counties and ports before arriving in Los Angeles.

Three professors I had were one exceptional professor, two excellent professors, and one who never should have been a teacher. With one notable exception, the experience, environment, and academics were all excellent.

Living in the ship’s accommodations was very similar to dorm life. During our first week on board, we all learned that you need to have tolerance, respect, and patience for your fellow crew members in order to survive.

Even though this semester’s experience ended 47 years ago when the ship sailed, it continues to have a profound impact on people’s lives. It unintentionally altered my career path, undoubtedly altered my viewpoint on how the outside world sees the United States and Americans, and gave me the opportunity to see the country from the outside looking in with the goal of improving both the United States and the rest of the world. Additionally, I continue to speak with and stay in contact with SP75 classmates.


  • Scholars
  • exposure to multiple cultures
  • Experience That Changes Your Life


  • Not one

The most amazing educational and cultural experience of my life!

I’ve never experienced anything like taking college classes on a ship, which also taught me how to be a global citizen.
I visited thirteen countries and encountered thirteen distinct cultures during my semester at sea. I took part in structured field classes during my in-country days, which enabled me to apply concepts from my coursework to real-world interactions with local organizations and experts.

These in-country experiences taught me things that will always be relevant to my learning.
I learned how to be adaptable, resolute, open-minded, and globally conscious on Voyage 129. I am appreciative that I was a part of such a fantastic program, and I urge any college student to do the same!


  • Several nations were visited
  • The best life is aboard a ship.
  • Meet individuals from around the globe


  • Not at all

An Exploration Journey

My life was profoundly impacted by my semester at Sea. I had traveled to fifteen countries and taken part in three study abroad programs by the time I boarded the MV Explorer, but even as a seasoned traveler like me, SAS impressed me.

Few programs can match SAS’s roughly twelve ports of call, more than 100 days of sailing and world exploration, numerous classes covering a wide range of subjects, a floating campus with extracurricular activities, and an unparalleled global community. You can’t afford to forgo this investment in your future, even though it comes at a high cost.

For some, the price is similar and, in certain instances, less than what some colleges charge for a semester. As they did for me, financial aid, scholarships, and careful budgeting may be helpful to others. Even though it took me ten years to pay off my SAS student loan, the experiences, insights, viewpoints, and friendships I made were invaluable.

What did or what did you see that surprised you the most?

The fact that we departed India on the day the US declared war on Iraq is the most unexpected aspect. With the spread of SARS, we had no idea where we would be sailing for the next fourteen days, so we left India.

In the end, we decided to add an additional stop in Japan and Seward, Alaska, and omitted Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. My favorite part was flying in a helicopter to hike on a distant glacier! SAS has the ability to change course and organize safe, responsible, and enjoyable travels regardless of global events!

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The journey is the destination

I went on an adventure of a lifetime in 2016. I had the opportunity to travel to 26 different cities in 12 different countries, all of which had a profound effect on my education and future aspirations.

I strongly advise you to seize the chance and enroll in a semester at sea as soon as possible if you want to participate in a multi-country study abroad program. You will be able to learn more about the world around you and gain a deeper understanding of each place you visit during this 106-day journey around the globe. You stop being a tourist and start traveling in earnest.

Forevermore, I will treasure my friendships and memories. You truly won’t regret this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Which nerve-wracking situation did you face the most, and how did you handle it?

Choosing to take the risk and go on a solo trip to join Semester at Sea. I didn’t know anyone and was really anxious, but the benefit outweighed my anxiety! There’s nothing that I would trade for it!

Semester at Sea Spring 2010 Voyage

A well-facilitated program with an intriguing model! It’s such a unique educational opportunity to study about a location in your classes and then travel there by ship to see it for yourself. One must plan carefully how to spend the time at port because it can range from a few days to a week in each nation. The alumni community is still very strong, just as the shipboard community was.

While the trip was enjoyable and educational, I wouldn’t suggest it to those seeking a fully immersive cultural experience.

What guidance would you give upcoming participants in this program?

This program has a rigorous travel and educational schedule and moves quickly. It can be tempting to jam as much as possible into your itinerary during port time. There’s no need to complete every task in the tour book! Spend some time relaxing and paying attention to the host cultures and the experience.

semester at sea

Only Once in a Lifetime

I knew that Semester at Sea would be an experience of a lifetime for me the moment I heard about it. Who else can say they have taken classes on the MV World Odyssey and visited 11 different countries? That’s what my voyage gave me. It took a lot of work to get there, and naturally, I wasn’t sure it would live up to my expectations.

But it went above and beyond! You cannot experience the community on the ship through any other program. The best option for college students to study abroad is unquestionably this.

If someone is thinking about spending a semester at sea, I say go for it. Simply go; everything will fall into place and, most importantly, you will have the trip of a lifetime. Don’t overthink it.

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A Transformational, Life-Changing Experience

A semester at sea offers cultural immersion, a fresh outlook on the world, and a truly global comparative experience by taking you to 11 countries on 4 continents. It truly changed my life, in my opinion. In a single semester, I gained more knowledge about the world and myself than I had ever known. It really is experiential learning that is hands-on.

It goes beyond just reading material from a textbook and then forgetting everything after a month. I will always remember all of my SAS experiences.

SAS made me realize how much we still don’t know about the world. There is still so much to discover. While some study abroad programs leave you thinking, “That was fun,” Semester at Sea leaves you thinking, “What’s next? “What steps can I take to improve the world?” You really feel inspired when you leave.

Consider Semester at Sea if you’re searching for a study abroad program that will push your boundaries and introduce you to new experiences. Find out what is not taught in the US educational system. Observe what the American media fails to cover.

Act as opposed to merely observing. Make connections with people from different cultures around the world to start comprehending our place in this vast world.

More students looking into Semester at Sea is what I hope to see. Since I would not have this chance again after I graduate and start working, I made the decision to take advantage of it. Many people have the desire to travel the world, and Semester at Sea makes that dream attainable.


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Questions and Responses

Do you teach master’s level courses?

No, we only provide courses for undergraduates.

During a semester at Sea Marketing

Does Semester at Sea have any age restrictions?

Although there is no minimum age to participate, you must have completed high school.

During a semester at Sea Marketing

semester at sea

If you’re not American, are you still able to participate?

Indeed! Just be mindful that the price is in US dollars, so be mindful of the exchange rate in your country as it may be costly!

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