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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; At Sea, At Sea; Busan, South Korea; Cape Town, South Africa; Casablanca, Morocco; Cochin, India; Hamburg, Germany; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Honolulu, HI, United States; Jamestown, Saint Helena; Kobe, Japan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; Mumbai, India; Port Louis, Mauritius; Salvador da Bahia, Brazil; Surabaya, Indonesia; Takoradi, Ghana; Tema, Ghana; Tokyo, Japan;
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Program Website: Click to visit
  • Cost Sheets: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
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Program Description



Semester at Sea

Photo courtesy of Semester at Sea

   Quick Facts

  • Travel more than 24,000 nautical miles to as many as 13 off-the-beaten-path international destinations
  • Voyages available for fall and spring semesters and are open to any major
  • Semester at Sea introduces students to global & comparative studies by focusing on structural and social changes taking pace in the world today
  • Professors are internationalists who integrate course content with field practice
  • Itineraries focused on the non-Western and developing world
  • Early application is encouraged. Cabin space on each voyage is limited. 


MV World Odyssey 2

Semester at Sea
Photos courtesy of Semester at Sea

Location Details

Semester itineraries traverse the globe and make port in interesting and diverse destinations that allow students to experience local culture. Port stays provide engaging learning opportunities through in-country field programs and labs as well as independent excursions that bring to life the historic, political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects of each country. Check out planned voyage itineraries here.

Your primary home away from home will be the MV World Odyssey. Semester at Sea's passenger ship is outfitted as a globe-exploring university; a living-learning community that provides a platform for discussion, coursework, and deep connections all while traveling to new locations. Every aspect of the shipboard learning experience encourages discovery and growth.

Complete with a student union, wireless Internet, library and many of the amenities you would find on a land-based campus, the ship functions as both a traveling university and residential home to more than 1,200 participants each year.

Visa Information

U.S. citizens may require one more multiple visas depending on the voyage itinerary.* For Semester at Sea, please make sure to follow up with Semester at Sea directly for recommendations and requirements related to visas. Limited information about the visa application process may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office and/or your host institution, but it is your sole responsibility to research, apply, and secure a visa. Failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas.  If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.

*At the time of writing. This information is subject to change without notice; students should independently confirm this requirement with the relevant consulate/embassy.


Academic Program & Courses

Add a truly global semester to your college education. Operated by the non-profit Institute for Shipboard Education, Semester at Sea's worldwide itineraries offer rigorous coursework coupled with field assignments, service learning, and the skills necessary to complete in today's rapidly globalizing world. Semester at Sea generally offers up to 75 courses around several disciplines of study each semester. Course syllabi reflect the expertise of the faculty member and the itinerary.

Available courses vary by voyage. Choose the voyage in which you wish to participate, then view the 'Courses & Field Classes' tab for your voyage. Click on the course title to see a course description/syllabus for the course.

Please note, certain courses may carry the same prefix and number, but a different title. In order for an approved course equivalency to apply, the course prefix, number, and title must all match. About 2/3 of courses are offered consistently on voyages while the remaining 1/3 of courses are unique to that voyage. Access a list of courses other ASU students have taken and current course equivalencies.

The Core Course - Global Studies
The core course for the voyage, Global Studies, is required of all students and provides an integrated, interdisciplinary introduction to each of the countries visited on a given itinerary. The course examines the traditional and changing systems and values of a country and its cultures, while providing the fundamental knowledge necessary to prepare students for field activities in host country. Global studies is designed to help students deepen their understanding of specific features of contemporary life & culture. This common course is also designed to take maximum advantage of the opportunities for students to think critically about their own societies and global change. Specifically designed pre- and post-port class sessions examine patters of cultural interaction and communication to promote intercultural competency & self-awareness.

Field Classes
Faculty design one Field Class, or in-country educational trip, for each of their courses. A Field Class constitutes an additional day of class and the same expectations are placed on a Field Class as placed on a class day at sea. Field Classes and their respective assignments are required part of each course and constitute approximately 20 percent of a student's grade. The cost of required Field Classes is included in voyage tuition.

Course Levels, Credit & Grades
Semester at Sea follows U.S. grading and credit standards. Attendance requirements are strict and missed classes may impact grades.

  Semester at Sea ASU
Course Levels 100 & 200 level courses Lower division
300 & 400 level courses Upper division
Credit 3 credits* 3 credits*

*Courses offered may vary in credit amount. SAS classes will convert to ASU credit on a 1:1 basis.

About 2/3 of courses offered on each voyage are considered upper division credit (300- and 400-level courses) and 1/3 are lower division (100- and 200-level courses).

Semester at Sea - Classroom 2

Semester at Sea - Experience
Photos courtesy of Semester at Sea


Semester at Sea - Bunk
MV World Odyssey
Photos courtesy of Semester at Sea

Program Housing

The World Odyssey is the sixth ship in Semester at Sea’s storied 51-year history. The new ship, like its predecessors, will serve as a traveling home and campus that brings approximately 600 undergraduate students to the farthest reaches of the globe every semester, giving deeper meaning to education, experiential learning, and community.

The ship has a similar feel to a college or university with her architecture and design, and meets all SAS requirements including safety, program features, and efficiencies. Offering the necessary qualities of a Semester at Sea shipboard campus, some of the World Odyssey’s features include:

  • Reception and Administrative Offices
  • The Union
  • Classrooms
  • Library
  • Fitness spaces
  • Pool
  • Dining areas
  • Cabins

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus.

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. 

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. 

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. 

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

Partnership program participants will NOT pay ASU tuition for the courses completed abroad. Instead, participants will pay a Program Fee as a condition of participation. Partnership program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the published Program Fee. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student.

Be sure to reference the Fall Semester Cost Sheet or Spring Semester Cost Sheet for information on any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sightsee or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

Confirmation Deposit
Academic admission to Semester at Sea does not automatically provide students with a confirmed space on the program. Upon notification of acceptance to the program, a $1000 deposit is request to reserve a cabin space. Further processing, such as awarding of financial aid and academic registration, cannot take place without the deposit, which is fully refundable up to 90 days before the departure of a fall or spring voyage.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. Review the Considering Costs Table for a general overview and cost comparison of popular programs.
  2. Be sure to reference the Fall Semester Cost Sheet or Spring Semester Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  3. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  4. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  5. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  6. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  7. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program



Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2021 03/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.
Spring Semester 2022 09/25/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.