Time out for reflection in Cambodia

Educational and Field Travel FAQ

What are Field Programs?

Field Programs are Semester at Sea organized trips to popular cultural, historical, and recreational sites led by qualified and licensed local guides.   In addition to providing engaging learning opportunities, all field trips bring to life the historic, political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of each host country and provide the opportunity for meaningful engagement with local residents.

What are Field Labs?

Field Labs and their respective assignments are a required part of each course and constitute approximately 20 percent of your grade in a given course, as well as 20 percent of the course’s required contact hours. Field Labs are in-port programs developed by faculty to complement your coursework on the ship. They present unique opportunities that you could not generate on your own. Field Labs are full-day programs that fall on the first or last day in port and are included in the cost of your tuition.

How and when do I sign up for Field Labs?

When you register in a course, you will be automatically registered in the co-requisite field lab.  Do not make any other plans on your field lab days.

Do I have to participate in Field Labs?

Yes, you must participate in Field Labs in order to fulfill your course requirements.

How and when do I sign up for Field Programs (not Field Labs)?

Approximately 8-10 weeks prior to the start of your voyage, an electronic copy of the Final Field Program will be posted on our website. This Field Program will list all the Semester at Sea trips available for your voyage. Read through these files carefully, select the trips in which you wish register, and send your request to us before any indicated deadlines.

Does financial aid cover any Field Programs?

First and foremost, financial aid will be applied to your tuition balance, which includes the cost of Field Labs required for your classes. Once the bill for your tuition is paid, you can usually request that excess financial aid be transferred to your other field trips. We must have confirmation in our financial aid office that these funds are approved.

What are Service Visits? Are they different than Service Projects?

Service Visits and Projects are trips that encourage involvement with local people and their community. They are hands-on, interactive experiences that allow you to give back to the local community. Past Service Visits have typically included visits to orphanages, schools or hospitals. Service Projects make direct contributions to the community such as building a Habitat for Humanity house in Cape Town or cleaning and repairing school grounds in Chennai.

Are homestay Field Programs available?

Yes, in certain countries

There are a few trips that I definitely know I want to register for and a few I will need some more time to think about. May I register online for the trips I definitely want now and then again later for the others?

Yes, you may register multiple times through your MyPassport page.  Registration for overnight trips may close early so we can secure airline tickets and hotel rooms.  Any registration deadlines for trips will be clearly noted in the Field Program.  Requests received after the deadline are subject to availability and possible price increases.  Most day trips will remain open for registration on the ship

I’m trying to log onto the MyPassport page, but I can’t access it. What’s wrong?

Your MyPassport username is firstname.lastname.voyage (i.e. john.smith.sp14).  The first time you log in, your MyPassport password is in the format “pw” followed by your date of birth “MMDDYY.”  For example, if you were brown on January 1, 1991, your password would be “pw010191.”

You will be prompted to change your password the first time you log in.  If you have changed your password in the past and don’t remember it, you must email Techsupport@isevoyages.org and they will assist you.  For specific questions about Field Programs, or if you are having difficulty maneuvering through your MyPassport pages, please email Field@isevoyages.org and they will be happy to help.

Can I still sign up for Field Programs on the ship?

There will be a limited list of trips for which you can register on the ship. They will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not wait until you reach the ship to sign up for a trip that you want as most will be closed by that time. Overnight trips in particular require more planning and usually involve hotel accommodations, travel within or outside of the port country, and tickets purchased in the student’s name. For these reasons, registration for many overnight trips will be closed by the start of the voyage.

Might new Field Programs be added while I am on the ship? How do I pay for these?

The trips listed in the Final Field Program are the trips scheduled for the entire voyage. Occasionally a trip will be added during the voyage, but this is not a frequent occurrence. If a trip is added during the voyage, information will appear in the Field Program Addendum or in the onboard Dean’s Memo.

How many Field Programs does the typical participant sign up for?

The number of trips a participant takes depends on the travel preferences of that individual. There are extremes that go both ways; some people take an overnight trip in every port, while others take only day trips. You must take into consideration how much money you have available, what trips truly interest you, how much independent travel you would like to do, as well as many other factors. Basically, it is up to you. It is your voyage and your decision. The average number of trips (day and overnight combined) taken by participants over the course of the entire voyage is between 10 and 15.

Are meals included in the cost of Field Programs?

Meals are frequently included. If a meal is included in a trip it will say so in the Final Field Program or in the Field Lab itinerary that your professor shares with you. For overnight trips this information can be found at the end of the trip description.

Do I have to sign up for Field Programs? What else is there to do while in port?

You will be automatically registered in your Field Labs when you register in your courses, but it is your decision whether to participate in any other Semester at Sea trips. Once the ship arrives in port you are free to travel about the country as you wish. There are many resources onboard such as guidebooks and a collection of independent travel recommendations for each port. Students and faculty also post travel suggestions. There is never a lack of things to do in port, whether you’re on a Semester at Sea trip or traveling independently. However, when traveling independently we suggest you do so in a group to reduce safety concerns.

Is sign up for trips first-come, first-serve?

Yes, but our goal is to accommodate as many of your trip requests as possible.  If demand is high for a trip, we will try to request more space from the operator.  However, some trips do have space constraints such as overnight trips with hotel and airfare or service visits with facility limitations.  If a trip is already filled to capacity, please fill out an Expression of Interest form by following this link:  You will be notified if more space opens up.

I read through the different programs and noticed that some trips had OOPEX listed with the price. What is OOPEX?

OOPEX stands for Out-Of-Pocket-EXpenses. There are times when a trip does not include all costs. Day trips will list when this occurs so you may prepare for that trip accordingly.   Whenever possible, we will list what the anticipated costs will be.

I just don’t feel comfortable or want to register online. Do I have to register online?

All registration is done on your MyPassport account.  However, if you are having difficulty with this process, please contact the Field Office by email (field@isevoyages.org) and they will be happy to assist you.

Is it possible to cancel trips? Will I still be charged?

All field programs are considered final sale and cancellation may result in a full or partial penalty. The minimum penalty for cancellation is as follows: If 45 days or more prior to arrival in that port the cancellation fee is 50 percent of the price of the trip, if 30-44 days prior to arrival the fee is 75 percent, if 29 or fewer days prior to arrival the fee is 100 percent.

Why do SAS planned trips seem so expensive?

When you compare costs, please know that, unless otherwise indicated, all official In-Country Excursions include all transportation starting and ending at the ship, all meals, accommodations, licensed guides, airfare, admission fees to various sites, airport transfers and gratuities.  In addition, standard practice for many tour operators (such as in China, India, Morocco, and Russia) is to build in shopping trips in their tours which will directly profit the guides.  SAS pays our operators extra so that such additions do not occur and you get a more authentic in-country experience.

If I decide not to go on a trip can I sell it to someone else?

You may sell your tickets for most day trips to other passengers on the ship. Overnight trips have arrangements such as hotel accommodations and airline reservations made in your name. For these reasons, as well as other administrative issues, you cannot sell overnight trips or those day trips requiring manifests (as indicated in the field program).

What happens if I miss my trip? Can I get a refund?

No. If you miss your trip, you will not receive a refund.

If I have two trips on the same day, how far apart should I space them?

The times a trip leaves and returns to the ship are approximate and there is no guarantee that you will return at the scheduled time. Therefore, we recommend leaving two hours between trips.

My friend/family member is meeting me in one of the ports. Can they go on a field excursion with me?

Yes. Friends and family who are meeting you in port are welcome to join any Semester at Sea field trip on a space-available basis. However, the shipboard community has first priority.

How much money do most students spend on Field Programs?

Once again, there are extremes. Some students spend thousands, while others spend a few hundred dollars or less. Over the past several years, the average has been around $2,500 per student.

What should I be aware of when traveling in-country?

Cultural assumptions about North American’s can lead to compromising situations.  Make sure you dress modestly and conservatively especially in rural areas (i.e. cover shoulders, wear long pants, do not expose belly button or cleavage).  Moderate your behavior: smoking, drinking and loud behavior can result in unwanted attention especially in countries where this behavior is not normal particularly among women.  The internet is a resource: look up what is customary in the countries where you will be traveling before you leave.