There is no other
like Semester at Sea.
Fall & Spring
Since 1963, Semester at Sea
has brought college students,
world-class faculty, and international
experts together to travel, learn, and
grow onboard a campus unlike any
other. On the MV World Odyssey,
the shipboard community shares
their expertise and experience with
one another to create an immersive,
inclusive, and boundary-crossing
The World is Your Classroom, and Its People Your Teachers
Learn. Compare. Reflect.
Semester at Sea is a global program focused on the comparative
study of societies and their environmental systems. In their
coursework, students draw comparisons between the multiple
countries on the itinerary and their cultures through experiential,
in-country learning opportunities that spark creative approaches
to global challenges. Courses on Semester at Sea are led by an
innovative and diverse group of faculty hired specifically for their
expertise and experience in the countries on each voyage itinerary.
SARAH PORTNEY, SPRING 2017
On my final day in Vietnam, my professor Dr. Pete Seel (who
served in the 600th Photo Squadron during the Vietnam
War) took my Advanced Documentary Photography class to the
Cu Chi Tunnels, a Viet Cong cemetery, the home of famous war
photographer Hoang Van Cuong, and finally to the Requiem exhibit
at the War Remnants Museum. I realized how little I actually
knew about the Vietnam War, and how much less I knew about the
Vietnamese perspective of the war. It was a powerful and humbling
experience to be able to see the war from their side.
The highlight of this day for me had to be at the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Huyen Van Chaia, a veteran of the Viet Cong, came to speak to us
about what life was like living in the Cu Chi Tunnels. Chaia, who
lost his right arm during the war, lived inside the tunnels for 12
years, starting when he was only 17 years old. Thinking about what
he and Dr. Seel must have seen and went through during those
years is unfathomable to me. It has been a few years since I was
on Semester at Sea and I still think of this day often. On that day
I witnessed a moment of humanity that I don't think I could have
experienced without being a student on Semester at Sea.
Semester at Sea Academic Snapshot
Q: What does a global comparative education look like? companion in-country field class.
• Global Studies: our core course for the entire shipboard community that draws comparisons
between cultures, countries, and the environment.
• Courses: 75 upper and lower division courses across a wide range of disciplines, each with a
• Field classes: in-country, faculty-led programs for each course in which students are enrolled.
Included in tuition, these learning opportunities bring the textbook to life.
• Colorado State University (CSU): Our academic partner, a Research 1, highly regarded state university
located in Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A. All Semester at Sea courses are CSU accredited courses and students
receive a CSU transcript upon completion of the voyage.
• Credit Hours: Global Studies Course + 3-4 three-credit courses = 12-15 total credit hours per semester.
Q: do you ever have class on deck?
MV World Odyssey
welcome aboard your floating university
Semester at Sea’s globe-exploring university is a
retrofitted cruise ship; a living-learning community
that provides a platform for discussion, coursework,
and deep connections all while traveling to new
locations. Our shipboard campus includes many of the
amenities you would find on a land-based campus.
• Program fee includes: tuition, housing, all meals
on-ship, field classes, and medical insurance.
• Additional amenities include: laundry, internet access,
spa and salon, sports equipment, and board games.
The ship offers four dining
areas for voyagers to
choose from, including an
outdoor option for dining
with an ocean view.
Nine classrooms throughout
the ship support our worldclass
includes audiovisual and
education technologies to
support engaged learning.
The fitness spaces include
an indoor and outdoor gym
with free weights, weight
machines, and cardiovascular
equipment. The spacious
sun deck is perfect for
group fitness activities.
Our version of a dorm room includes
a private bathroom, television,
refrigerator, and ample storage
space. Exterior (window) and interior
(no window) cabins available in
double and triple occupancy.
Available to students as a staffed
Academic Success Center, our
floating library is home to a collection
of itinerary-specific academic and
travel resources. Computer and print
workstations are available.
A popular study location, the openair
pool serves as a recreation and
lounge area on Deck 9.
Grill & Cafes
Two cafes (one in the
library; one at the pool) and
an outdoor grill offer snacks
and drinks for purchase
throughout the day.
Health & Wellness
The onboard medical clinic is
among the most advanced medical
facilities on ocean-going vessels
today. The clinic is staffed by U.S.-
licensed health professionals.
The campus store sells a
variety of Semester at Sea
toiletries, and more.
A large and beautifully adorned
union with upper and lower level
seating that accommodates all
students, faculty, staff, and Lifelong
Learners for community programming.
Semester at Sea creates over 200 in-country experiences (field programs) every voyage. Each field program prioritizes health
and safety, responsible and sustainable travel, and deep, meaningful interaction with local communities. Time in-country
comprises approximately 40% of the voyage and plays an important role in your hands-on and experiential academic curriculum.
Q: What is a typical day like
A: There is no such thing
as a typical day in-country
with Semester at Sea.
One day might be spent exploring the townships
of Cape Town while your professor explains the
history of apartheid. Another, you might stop by
a local university on your way to the Taj Mahal
to discuss what it is like being a college student
in India. Or you could spend the day on the
beach with an NGO in Takoradi, Ghana, helping
with an ocean clean-up and learning about
sustainability and environmentalism.
Hands-On Experiential Learning
The Semester at Sea in-country experience
gives students an understanding of varying
cultures and world issues through first-hand
observation. The wide variety of opportunities
for experiential learning in port include:
• Homestays (overnight stays with locals).
• Local community engagement.
• Service projects with environmental non-profits,
schools, human rights organizations, and more.
• Historical, cultural, and political site visits.
• Exchanges with students at international universities.
• Interaction with local business owners.
• Exploration of natural and manmade wonders.
BRIELLE RIDING A CAMEL IN MOROCCO
Stepping off the ship in
Morocco, I really had
no expectation of what
my experience would
be like. We stuffed
our backpacks to the
brim, mounted our own
camels, and set off to
trek to a nomad camp
across the Sahara.
Arriving far past sunset,
we stood at the top
of the immense sand
dunes looking down
at our desert camp.
We had the privilege
of eating the most
food and celebrating
the experience with
traditional musicians all
night long. It was one
of those “how crazy
is my life” moments.
Unbothered by the
absence of cell service,
my heart has never
been so full as when
I was dancing away
under the full moon in
the middle of the desert
with the best of friends.
Q: do you ever get off the ship?
Q: What is Ubuntu?
A: Ubuntu is a Southern African term meaning
‘humanity,’ but often translated to “I am because we are”
and reinforced philosophically to describe the belief in
the interconnectedness of all humanity.
Desmond Tutu, 1984 Noble Peace Prize winner, Semester at
Sea Board of Trustees member, and four-time voyager explained
this concept of humanity and interconnectedness to voyagers
during his first passage in 1984 and it has since become an
essential philosophy of all Semester at Sea voyages. By bringing
together an eclectic and diverse group of students, faculty, staff,
family members, Lifelong Learners, and crew from around the
world, the bonds and sense of closeness that form on board the
ship has become the most surprising and cherished aspect of a
voyage. Because of the life-changing and intense experiences
Semester at Sea voyagers encounter on this journey, the
friendships participants form are powerful, long-lasting, and
full of mutual respect and understanding—the spirit of Ubuntu.
Q: How does the shipboard community come together?
A Lifetime of Alumni Benefits
ANDREW KERN, SPRING 2018
With a history spanning more than 50 years, Semester at
Sea is a unique and valuable educational experience that
results in tangible personal and professional benefits.
The lifelong benefits of being a Semester at Sea alum
translate into all aspects of life.
Circumnavigating the globe seemed like an impossible
feat at the age of 21, but what was even more daunting
was the fact that I knew no one on board going into the
semester. To be honest, I was terrified in the beginning.
After making it through the first few days on board, I
learned that the next time I ever feel uneasy, I just have to
stick it through and wonderful things will come. It’s really
amazing how quickly and intensly friendships are formed
when you’re thousands of miles from land.
It really clicked for me during our sail from San Diego to
Hawaii, right at the start of the voyage. It felt like the entire
ship was out on deck watching the sunset, and everyone
was experiencing the same feeling of awe and wonder
together. I felt connected to everyone on the ship through
this shared experience that only our voyage could relate to.
I don’t know anywhere else in the world where I could have
shared that moment except the MV World Odyssey.
“Because of Semester at Sea I have
learned to believe in myself regardless of
the challenges, and I now fully embrace
differences and view them in a positive way.
SAS was just the beginning of the voyage of
a lifetime for me and how I will impact this world.”
MAUREEN OCHOLLA, SPRING 2017
• Global network of more than 60,000 alumni.
• Lifelong friendships with shipmates.
• Opportunities to volunteer at events on the ship
and home institutions.
• Regional alumni events and reunions.
• Experience for your resume.
• The ability to make an impact around the world
through non-profit and service work.
1. Inquire: Visit www.semesteratsea.org/inquire to fill
out a form so we can send you more information
2. Visit your study abroad advisor: find out if there is a separate
process for studying abroad unique to your home institution
3. Submit your application: www.semesteratsea.org/apply