What Is a Sea Semester?

Understudies on this drifting grounds have the chance to visit somewhere around 10 nations during their concentrate abroad.

For most understudies, concentrating abroad commonly involves being drenched in the way of life, history and dialects of one country. Be that as it may, for devoted voyagers and understudies hoping to spend a semester visiting places all over the planet, there is another choice: Semester at sea.

What Is Semester at Sea?

Semester at Sea, which is managed by the charitable Organization for Shipboard Instruction, is a multi-country concentrate on abroad program where understudies travel, live and take classes on a boat. Journeys regularly last around 100 days and members can visit something like 10 nations. The spring 2024 excursion schedule, for example, incorporates Germany, Portugal, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, India and Thailand.

“They see several different continents,” says Blair McElroy, senior international officer and director of study abroad at the University of Mississippi, which participates in Semester at Sea. “They have experiences that might be shorter than someone studying for an entire semester in one place, but they have a diverse perspective based on the coursework that they’re doing while they are on the ship and getting to these places. And then they are getting off the ship and experiencing what they’ve just learned.”

Visiting Jordan – and having the option to drift in the Dead Ocean, travel to Petra and take a Jeep ride around Watercourse Rum – were champion minutes during Bella Scutti’s Semester at Sea experience the previous spring.

This program allows understudies an opportunity to see places they may not typically visit, specialists say. Moreover, understudies approach administrations on the boat like their home organization, including advocates and understudy life staff. There is an exercise center and pool, and understudies can likewise partake in different clubs and go to addresses by visiting researchers to keep occupied while at Sea.

“It’s really kind of like a small liberal arts campus that floats around the world,” says Laura Strohminger, VP of understudy undertakings for Semester at Sea.

The most effective method to Apply to Semester at Sea

Online applications are accessible on the Semester of Sea site and are available to college understudies from any foundation or major. To be qualified, candidates should be selected full time at a degree-giving foundation, have basically a 2.5 GPA, be in great scholarly standing and have finished at least 12 school credit hours.

What’s more, candidates whose first language isn’t English should accomplish a specific score least on an English capability test, ideally TOEFL, Duolingo, IELTS Scholarly or PTE Scholastic.

Semester Adrift likewise offers choices for understudies taking a hole year, late school graduates and “lifelong learners”- individuals who are as of late resigned or on proficient leave.

Acknowledgment choices are delivered on a moving premise, up until a month prior to the beginning of the semester. However, it’s recommended that understudies begin applying to the program a year prior to their picked journey. An extra application is regularly expected by an understudy’s home foundation.

Once acknowledged into the program, members are expected to put down a $1,000 store to hold their spot on the boat. Each journey has around 500 understudies, notwithstanding employees and other staff.

“Take the leap of faith,” says Scutti, a senior at Ole Miss. “It’s a very different study abroad program, but it is so rewarding. You get to experience so much and so many different cultures and just get to meet some really incredible people. There are so many different schools represented. It’s not just limited to students in the U.S. It’s just really an all-around incredible experience that doesn’t just end when you get off the ship.”

Financial Aid Options

For some understudies, taking part in a concentrate abroad program can appear to be far off given the expense. For fall 2024, for example, Semester at Sea is charging somewhere in the range of $32,900 and $36,100, contingent upon whether an understudy picks the norm or premium lodge choice. The cost incorporates educational cost, lodging, feasts, conveniences, scholastic field costs, starter web bundle, travel medical coverage, understudy benefits and projected fuel charge.

Understudies may likewise be expected to pay different expenses, including trips to and from the docking port, travel visas, course readings, clothing, immunizations and individual travel.

In any case, there are monetary guide choices accessible for understudies. Semester at sea, for example, grants more than $5 million in reserves yearly through legitimacy and need-based grants and awards. The program additionally matches one semester of subsidizing for all Pell Award beneficiaries. Understudies might fit the bill for grants and other financing through their school.

Course Credit Move Interaction

Semester at Sea offers three-credit courses in different branches of knowledge, like business morals, public talking, prologue to theater, oceanography and world religions. Starting in fall 2024, two designing courses will be advertised.

All understudies partake in the center course, Worldwide Examinations, which talks about the set of experiences, political environment and culture of every nation where the boat will moor. Understudies can procure somewhere in the range of 12 and 15 credits during a semester.

“Students choose from a list of courses SAS has available but primarily fill their general education requirements or unrestricted electives because SAS doesn’t offer too many of their major-specific classes,” Melissa Matsubara, head of the concentrate abroad and global trade program at Hawaii Pacific College, wrote in an email.

Web access for individual use is restricted, however there is an interior framework for understudies to finish coursework.

“That was definitely a challenge, but also kind of nice to disconnect and just really engage with the people that I was with,” Scutti says. “But it was definitely hard with trying to book travel plans and everything.”

Semester at sea presently cooperates with Colorado State College, meaning understudies are viewed as visiting visitors at CSU, with true records shipped off their home foundation.

“The courses are a U.S. system, so we don’t have to worry about equating a foreign transcript to the University of Mississippi’s credit system,” McElroy says. “So that’s a benefit for us, of course.”

Strohminger encourages understudies to meet with their house establishment’s scholastic consultant prior to applying “to see how this fits in with their academic program and what courses might transfer.”

Guidance for Understudies Thinking about Semester at Sea

Semester Adrift may not be the best fit for each understudy, particularly those searching for language inundation or a temporary position insight, specialists say.

“All the courses are taught in English,” McElroy says. “Learning a language is being immersed in the culture, and the language is essential to learning another language. And so for a student like that, with those kind of goals, I would certainly recommend one for a longer period of time in one country.”

There likewise should be a degree of solace with being on a boat for quite a while.

Prior to applying to any program, understudies ought to consider their concentrate abroad objectives, Matsubara says.

“Students can also contact Semester at Sea directly and ask for contact information from past students that studied abroad on their program,” she wrote in an email. “They should speak with more than one student and read multiple evaluation forms, blogs and resources since every student’s experience is very different.”

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