Diversity and Inclusion Programming
Every voyage offers unique programs to help promote an inclusive environment for all community members. Programming is developed and implemented by students, lifelong learners, faculty, and staff. Below are a few of the diversity programming, clubs/organizations, and resources we’ve held on recent voyages.
- Men and Masculinity
- Black Lives Matter
- Devils dressed in angels’ robes: African-American Perspectives on Christianity in America
- Reflections on Our Encounters with Buddhism
- Pink Dot Ally Campaign: Understanding & Supporting LGBTQA Communities
- Women of the World: Myths and Reality
- Intervening as an Ally: Addressing Hate Crimes and Incidents
- The Privileged: Race and Class in a Global Context
- Interventions to help Women Worldwide
Shipmate Engagement Activity Cards
Launched in Fall 2016, SEA cards were implemented during our voyages to help engage all voyagers in events, activities and discussion to support inclusion, support and understanding for shipmates.
- Culture Night – Fashion Show, Dances, Poetry performances
- Conscious Traveler Series: Creating conversation about all of our “Big 8” Identities: ability, age, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and socioeconomic status.
- Interport Lecturer Presentations
- Film Screenings and Discussions: Get Out, Zootopia, TedTalk-Danger of a Single Story
Race, Ethnicity and Nationality Resources
While most shipboard clubs and activities are developed and facilitated by participants, we have several traditional affinity groups on every voyage. Each of the groups below will work directly with a Resident Director to organize initial meetings, however most groups are facilitated by students.
- People of Color at Sea
- Asian/Pacific Islander Student Union
- Black Student Union
- Hispanic/Latino Student Union
- International Student Union
LGBTQIA++ and Gender Identity
Voyagers who identify as LGBTQI++ or Ally are welcome and supported on every Semester at Sea voyage. Each voyage organizes a LGBTQ++/Ally affinity group to support participants. Voyagers may also choose to start more specific identity groups.
Gender Identity at Sea
We acknowledge that sex does not equal gender and that gender is non-binary. All voyagers have the option to self-identify with their preferred gender identity within our shipboard community and we encourage and support the use of preferred gender pronouns. However, for customs and immigration purposes, passenger identification cards and all shipboard and in-country program manifests, must match the gender listed on participant passports. Additionally, as we do not own our current vessel, public restrooms around the ship are gender specific. However, private restrooms are available in all passenger cabins and are not far from public areas.
Gender Inclusive Housing
Gender Inclusive Housing options may be available for students who are transgender, transsexual, intersex, and other gender identities and expressions and allies. To express interest, check “yes” within the “Gender Inclusive Housing Options” tab (under Cabin Information) within the MyVoyage portal. (ISE’s default policy is to match roommates of the same sex as indicated on their passport.) Learn more about Gender Inclusive Housing via these FAQs.
Religion and Spirituality
Voyagers from all religious backgrounds are welcome and supported on all Semester at Sea voyages. Each voyage in coordination with a Resident Director in charge of Religion and Spirituality, organizes a non-denominational religious club. Students may also choose to start a specific religious group of their choice. Our floating campus does not have a Mass, Chapel or Temple on board, or any ordained religious officials. However, student groups may reserve public spaces as needed throughout the voyage.
Previous student generated religious groups have included:
- Young Life Bible Study
- Jews on a Cruise
- Muslim Student Association
- Christian Fellowship
Disabilities & Mental Wellness Support
Semester at Sea provides academic accommodations for students with diagnosed learning disabilities. If a participant wishes to request accommodations, the student should request that the appropriate office at their institution email a letter of approved accommodations to the contact listed in the Course Registration Packet on a specific voyage’s Courses and Field Classes page.
Participants should submit these materials as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline reflected in the Packet. Requests for accommodations submitted after this deadline will be reviewed, but may be declined if found unreasonable due to time constraints–some accommodations require more lead time to provide on the ship than they would on a land-based campus.
Students and other passengers in the past with a variety of disabilities have negotiated the challenges of Semester at Sea, including those in wheelchairs. To be sure, it is a challenge, but it is very doable.
Flexibility is the watchword on our voyages. In the past, students using wheelchairs have been accompanied by caretakers who assist them physically, carrying them up and down the gangway, carrying the wheelchair or other equipment, etc., and negotiating similar variables in-port as well.
Participants with physical challenges (crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) need to provide documentation from their physician indicating the level of functioning independence. Please contact ISE for further specific information.
- Mental Health Care: On each voyage, Semester at Sea deploys two licensed clinical psychologists responsible for coordinating, implementing, and evaluating total mental health care and education for all passengers. This includes diagnostic assessment and short term clinical therapy in all areas of mental health. In addition to facilitating on-board support groups (e.g. alcohol/drug abuse, eating disorders, etc.), voyage psychologists execute educative programming and outreach to the shipboard community and are contributors to pre-port briefings. Counseling is available by appointment.
- Health and Wellness Programming: The Student Life Team is tasked with providing resources for health and wellness. They design, implement, and evaluate prevention, education, and wellness programs, services, and initiatives designed to advance the health of students and the entire shipboard community in an effort to enhance student learning and create a strong learning environment. On recent voyages, activities have included Peer Health Educator organizations, activities to disseminate health related information (e.g. nutrition/healthy eating, alcohol and drug abuse, stress management, time management, overcoming homesickness, etc.), friends of Bill W meetings, and games and contests to further health education and healthy lifestyles.
ISE seeks to provide a welcoming and inclusive shipboard environment for all participants regardless of sex, gender identity, race/ethnicity, disability status, veteran status, or religious identity. We also understand that some participants may need additional accommodations (in regards to cabin placement, in order to be successful throughout the voyage. These accommodations may include but are not limited to students who identify as transgender, students with physical disabilities or limited mobility, students needing religious accommodations for the academic schedule, or students needing additional mental health support.
If you identify with any of the special circumstances listed or you need any other special accommodations, please log in to MyVoyage and agree to the Special Accommodations Acknowledgement. You may also directly contact Laura Roth, Director of Student Life, at email@example.com. Laura will be in touch with you to discuss our ability to accommodate your requests for your upcoming voyage.
First Generation and Veterans
We are continuing to look for resources and programming to support first generation students and their families as they prepare for their upcoming study abroad voyage. Starting with the Fall 2019 voyage, our shipboard community has supported an affinity group for First Generation students to provide a space for open communication and support with peers.
We welcome all academically eligible veterans to sail on a Semester at Sea voyage to help supplement their academic endeavors. Semester at Sea is listed by the Office of Veterans Affairs as a faculty-led program at Colorado State University. This allows students to utilize their GI Bill or Veteran’s Benefits towards Semester at Sea so long as they meet eligibility criteria.
Semester at Sea is pleased to work in collaboration with the student and the CSU Veteran’s Benefits office to determine whether their benefits can be used toward the cost of Semester at Sea. Since the program is listed as faculty-led at Colorado State University, Veteran’s Benefits will be assessed and awarded based on the rate of CSU tuition. Students attending a Direct Bill institution may not be eligible. For more information and to get the process started, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dining halls on board the MV World Odyssey will have a variety of options for each meal, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options. Each meal will also have a sign posted above it indicating if it contains any dairy, nuts or wheat/gluten. While this is sufficient for those with light allergies or sensitivities, it should not be your only resource for those with severe food allergies.
If you have any medically diagnosed dietary restrictions, please speak with a dining room steward so they can properly prepare meals. View the video below to learn more about vegan eating options on our shipboard campus!