Admissions

Contact Admissions

Semester at Sea welcomes curious, engaged students of any sex, gender identity, race, disability status, veteran status, nationality, or ethnicity to apply to travel the world as part of our living and learning community.

We are excited for you to take this step, and we are happy to help.

Our admissions counselors are located in regions across the U.S., and we have a dedicated counselor to support international students. Please contact your appropriate counselor by the region in which your school is located. If you are not currently enrolled at a college or university, please contact a counselor based on your current address. 

For general questions regarding the application process or program, contact the Office of Admission by calling 1.800.854.0195, emailing admission@semesteratsea.org, or contacting an admissions counselor directly (see below).

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Come visit us during a study abroad fair!

Come chat with a SAS representative to learn more about sailing on an upcoming voyage! There will be plenty of free merch available.

Student Admissions and Enrollment Team

Regional Directors

TJ Hill
Regional Director of Enrollment and University Relations (Central)
TJ Hill
Regional Director of Enrollment and University Relations (Central)

Admissions Region: Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin
*EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PACIFIC ISLANDS

TJ embarked on his journey with SAS in 2017, sailing on the Fall 2017 voyage as a student. Having had a truly memorable experience on the ship, he returned to ISE in 2023 to join the Enrollment team. Having embarked on various international adventures and experiential learning, TJ is passionate about building strong relationships with institutional partners and supporting students in their study abroad journey. In his free time TJ enjoys working out, playing video games, watching football (Go Chargers!), working on his travel blog, and spending quality time with his family and friends.

  • Home Base
    Texas
  • Education
    TJ earned a BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Spain and Japan
Amy Lepp
Senior Regional Director of Enrollment and University Relations (West)
Amy Lepp
Senior Regional Director of Enrollment and University Relations (West)

Admissions Region: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
*CANADA

Amy embarked on her journey with SAS in 2018, sailing on the Spring and Fall 2019 voyages as the Assistant Director of Field Programs. Having had the best experience on the ship, she returned to ISE in 2021 to join the Enrollment team. Amy’s love for international adventures and experiential learning has taken her around the world, from facilitating service-learning programs in Tanzania, England, the Galapagos, and Alaska; working at international events like the World’s Fair and U.S. Open; leading wine tours on the California Central Coast; and making magic at the Walt Disney World resort. While not working, Amy enjoys hiking, singing, tennis, line dancing, spending time in nature, and snuggling cats. And traveling of course!

  • Home Base
    California
  • Education
    Amy earned her MS in Counseling from California State University, Fresno and her BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Montafon, Austria
Marin Maxwell
Regional Director of Enrollment & University Relations (Southeast)
Marin Maxwell
Regional Director of Enrollment & University Relations (Southeast)

Admissions Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina,Tennessee
*LATIN AMERICA

Marin (she/her) first learned about SAS while completing her degree at Colorado State University and was immediately intrigued. While she was unable to sail as a student, she did complete a study abroad program in New Zealand and experienced firsthand (though on a smaller scale) the value of immersive international study. She has been with ISE since 2023, but prior to ISE, Marin worked in International Admissions for a local Florida college. She has worked a handful of other unique jobs including working at both Disney World and Universal Studios, working on a dude ranch in Colorado, and guiding wine tours in Washington State. In her free time, Marin enjoys visiting her family in the Seattle area, eating her way through Central Florida with her husband, and loves spending time with their two rescue cats!

  • Home Base
    Florida
  • Education
    Marin received her B.S. in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University, and her M.A. in Global Community Engagement from the University of Denver.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Lofoten Islands, Norway or Queenstown, New Zealand
Christine Weiler
Senior Regional Director of Enrollment & University Relations (Northeast)
Christine Weiler
Senior Regional Director of Enrollment & University Relations (Northeast)

Admissions Region: Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey,New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, 
* AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, ASIA

Christine began her career at Semester at Sea | ISE in the fall of 2023. After spending a semester abroad in Meknes, Morocco she knew that she wanted to help students go on these life-changing experiences. Previous to joining SAS, she was Assistant Director of Education Abroad at Temple University, responsible for overseeing an inclusive and holistic approach to pre-departure advising. She has spent the last 8 years in a variety of positions at both providers and universities helping to prepare students for their study abroad experiences. Christine will be based in the northeast region engaging with university partners and students to share the incredible journey that is Semester at SEA.

  • Home Base
    Pennsylvania
  • Education
    Christine earned her BA in International Studies from College of Charleston.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Definitely a tie between Morocco, Norway, and Spain!

Enrollment Team Leadership

Kelly Wilkinson
Director of Enrollment and University Relations
Kelly Wilkinson
Director of Enrollment and University Relations

Kelly Wilkinson has been working in the field of Education Abroad since 2004. He has worked for ISE previously and has made his triumphant return in 2022 and could not be happier to be back. After sailing as a student in Fall 1999, Kelly was inspired to live abroad. He realized this by spending 2.5 years in Chile, Bolivia, Honduras, and Mexico. Kelly is passionate about building strong relationships with institutional partners. So if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact him. Outside of work, Kelly is enjoying life with his wife and son. He plays the guitar and will often just sing whatever random lyrics come to him. He’s always planning his next adventure, and is currently eyeing the Azores, so once he visits, perhaps he will be updating his bio.

  • Home Base
    Texas
  • Education
    Kelly earned a MA in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    The next one.
Maria Kopnitsky
Director of Enrollment and Marketing Systems and Insights
Maria Kopnitsky
Director of Enrollment and Marketing Systems and Insights

Maria (she/her) has been fascinated by Semester at Sea since several of her former colleagues participated in the Spring 2022 Voyage. She has held various roles throughout her career in higher education, most notably in international enrollment management. Maria is passionate about using technology to guide and support students in their study abroad journey. She currently serves as the Upstate New York Representative in her local NAFSA region, and was selected as the NAFSA Region X Rising Professional in 2021. In her personal life, Maria is a dog-mom, a language nerd, and an avid traveler.

  • Home Base
    New York
  • Education
    Maria earned her MA in Spanish from Binghamton University
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Argentina
Jason Hughes
Vice President of Marketing & Recruiting
Jason Hughes
Vice President of Marketing & Recruiting

Jason oversees marketing, communications and recruiting for Semester at Sea, working alongside Kelly Wilkinson and the Regional Directors to build strong relationships with study abroad offices, universities, and prospective students and parents. Prior to joining ISE in July, Hughes was the Chief Marketing Officer at Colorado School of Mines and has held similar roles at the University of Northern Colorado and Beloit College. In 2008, Hughes sailed aboard our previous ship, the MV Explorer, while serving Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

  • Home Base
    Colorado

Chat With Student Alumni!

Do you want to learn more about sailing on Semester at Sea from a fellow student? Connect with student alumni through our Global Ambassador program.

Student Support Services and Student Affairs Team

Once a student has confirmed their spot on an upcoming voyage by paying their deposit, our Student Services team will help with course registration, passport and visas, medical clearance, and more. Students will find their assigned advisor in their deposit confirmation email.

Lisa Chesson
Student Support Services Advisor
Lisa Chesson
Student Support Services Advisor

Lisa has been with ISE for almost five years. Prior to working here she had not heard of Semester at Sea before. She sailed on the Fall 2016 voyage and was excited to join the team after sailing. Being part of a team that creates these life changing voyages is inspiring. Lisa works with students to help them prepare for a journey of a lifetime. She knows what it takes to prepare for one of these voyages. There are always a lot of questions that come up and that’s where she can help. When not working with students she spends her time daydreaming about her next travel adventure.

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Lisa has a degree in Hotel and Resort Management.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Any place that has a warm sandy beach!
Carlos Vazquez
Student Support Services Advisor
Carlos Vazquez
Student Support Services Advisor

Carlos sailed with Semester at Sea during the Fall 2019 voyage and current advisor with the Student Support Service department. During his voyage, Carlos was selected as an Inclusive Engagement Scholar and member of the Impact Cohort. It is with this experience and his extensive experience working with undergraduate students, Carlos is passionate to ensure students can receive the opportunity to participate in Semester at Sea. Outside of work, you can find Carlos actively following the NBA, taking a hike, or hanging out with his cat.

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Carlos attended the University of Idaho.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Mexico!
Kate Lilly
Director of Student Support Services
Kate Lilly
Director of Student Support Services

Kate Lilly has been a part of the Semester at Sea team since 2019. Her connection and love for the program started back on the Spring 2007 voyage. Her experience as a student sparked her career in international education and she returned as a staff member in the Field Office on the Spring 2018 voyage. Kate is passionate about helping students access transformative experiences through travel, and enjoys photography, and hiking with her dog Dax in Colorado!

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Kate earned her BA in Psychology from University of San Diego.
  • Favorite Travel Destonation
    Urubamba, Peru
Kayla Reed
Participant Success Coordinator
Kayla Reed
Participant Success Coordinator

Kayla began working with ISE/Semester at Sea in April 2023 and is thrilled to have joined such a life-changing organization. She’s incredibly passionate about international education and cultural exchange and couldn’t be happier helping students from across the globe embark on this transformative journey. Although Kayla has yet to be on the ship, she studied abroad in Antibes, France as well as lived and worked as an English Teaching Assistant in Metz, France. She is eager to travel to as many countries as possible and is honored to help make this dream a reality for voyagers too! In her free time Kayla enjoys all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer, singing, playing the piano, doing yoga, and snuggling with her cat and dog.

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Kayla earned a BA in International Studies from Colorado State University with a minor in French Language.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Antibes, France or Boquete, Panama (impossible to choose only one!)
Whitney Grist
Director of Participant Success
Whitney Grist
Director of Participant Success

Whitney (she/her) is a two-time alumna of Semester at Sea, having sailed on the Spring 2006 Voyage as a student & the Spring 2015 Voyage in a staff role as the Advancement Coordinator. Following the Spring 2015 Voyage, Whitney began working for the organization as the Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement and then transitioned in 2018 to be the Director of Lifelong Learning. Whitney is passionate about the mission of the program and believes that Lifelong Learners are a critical part of the inter-generational shipboard community. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, she now resides in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, son, and two dogs.

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Whitney earned her BA in Sociology from the University of San Diego.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    Tokyo, Japan
Laura Strohminger
Vice President of Student Affairs
Laura Strohminger
Vice President of Student Affairs

Laura Strohminger has been connected to the Semester at Sea program for over 20 years, sailing as a Resident Director on the Fall 2001 Voyage. The experience transformed her life and led her on a path of exploring the world and the role she plays in it as an educator. Laura served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia and lived in northern India for a year. She returned to sail as the Assistant Dean of Student Life on the Spring 2010 Voyage and the Dean of Student Life on the Fall 2016 Voyage. She joined the ISE team in June of 2016.

  • Home Base
    Colorado
  • Education
    Laura earned a MA College Student Personnel.
  • Favorite Travel Destination
    India

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.