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Admission

Semester at Sea Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should I apply?

Semester at Sea operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning there are no application deadlines for specific semesters. However, it is recommended that you begin the application process 12 months before the semester in which you would like to participate. Applications will continue to be accepted until approximately one month before the start of the voyage.

Is the program open to students in all majors?

Yes, students from all majors regularly enroll in Semester at Sea. More than 40 majors are typically represented on any given voyage.

What are my chances of gaining admission?

If you are in good academic standing and have a good record with regard to behavior on your home campus, you will be given every consideration. Semester at Sea operates with the philosophy that all undergraduate students should study abroad. We will work with you to help make it possible.

Do I have to apply for a specific semester?

Yes, however, you can transfer your application to a different voyage without reapplying. You will be required to provide updated transcripts, to be considered for admission to the later voyage.

How long will it take to hear about my admission?

Once the Office of Admission has received your completed application, you will receive a reply in about 7-10 business days. It is advisable to follow up and verify that all components of your application have been received.

I am a first semester Freshman. How do I submit my academic record?

You should follow the Traditional Undergraduate application process for admission to your voyage. You will need to upload your current course enrollment on the application, under transcript and email your high school transcript to your Admission Advisor.

When should I submit the $1,000 deposit to reserve a space?

As soon as you are academically admitted, please submit your deposit within 30 days of admission. The deposit is applied against the tuition and fees for the semester. It is refundable up to 90 days prior to the start of the semester should you decide that you are unable to attend.

When do voyages fill?

It varies. Voyages typically fill one to four months prior to sailing. We encourage you to submit your application early but please contact our offices if you have a last-minute opportunity to join our program for the semester.

Do I need a passport? What about visas?

Yes, if you do not already hold a passport you should apply for one now. If you do have a passport you should check its expiration date. Your passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the end of the semester in which you enroll.
Visa requirements vary depending on the countries included on the itinerary. Typically, students need to secure two or three visas individually, with the remainder group visas obtained by ISE. Detailed information regarding passport and visa requirements are emailed to all deposited participants approximately 5 months prior to embarkation.

What if I need to cancel from the program?

SAS is committed to making the voyage possible for all students. If you are considering cancelling we encourage you to talk with your Student Support Advisor to discuss options.

Please click here to view our full cancellation and payment policy.

Can there be a fuel surcharge?

Semester at Sea, like any company, sets up a yearly budget based largely on estimates of fixed and variable costs with some room for variation.  We are directly impacted from time to time just as everyone is the travel industry in general, and the maritime industry in particular, with periodic and significant overall increases in our fuel prices. Depending on each port’s regulatory and environmental requirements, we have to consider at least two different types and grades of fuel, each with significantly different price points. Political unrest in certain parts of the world, as well as periodic natural disasters, also can contribute to increasing and unpredictable volatility as well, which in turn lends to overall instability and unpredictability in fuel prices.

Fuel charges remain a material component of our overall cost structure. We make every effort to contain fuel costs through enhanced itinerary planning (which we conduct one to two years in advance), and through the use of standard advance fuel purchase commitment arrangements when appropriate. However, it is impossible for us to accurately predict what we might pay for fuel per voyage, port-to-port. Like airlines and major shipping companies, we regrettably must offset these higher costs from time to time with additional fuel surcharges.

In order to facilitate your financial planning, we may invoice you with a “fuel fee,” which at the time is our best indication of what our final “fuel surcharge” is expected to be. In advance of sailing, Semester at Sea may enact a fuel supplement surcharge for all participants, in the event that the average price for the blended types of fuel and related costs during the voyage is expected to exceed a certain budgetary threshold in pricing per metric ton, the amount of which will be offset by advance fuel fee billings/payments. These incurred costs include not only what is expected to be paid in various ports, but also include additional costs for fuel contracts entered into. These fuel contracts are intended to cushion the financial impact if future fuel prices became volatile.  Such surcharges when enacted are necessary to offset the total excess fuel costs that exceed this budget threshold. For more information please review our fuel surcharge policy.