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Frequently Asked Questions About Shipboard Employment

What are some of the perks of sailing as a faculty or staff member?

Our faculty and staff not only receive an amazing opportunity to sail around the world, but also:

  • A travel allowance (details are covered during the interview) to help defray the cost of travel to and from the ship
  • Free room and board
  • The opportunity to bring a companion and dependent children for an additional fee, subject to availability
  • The opportunity to apply to be a Trip Liaison, and receive ISE in-country field programs for a free or reduced price
  • Emergency medical coverage

How much do faculty and staff get paid?

This is a great question that comes up quite often. Generally (depending on the voyage) faculty members are paid $12,000 for teaching three courses, as well as a travel stipend to help defray the cost of travel to and from the ship. More details are provided during the on-boarding process.

Staff are paid based on their role and voyage. Each position has a different pay grade, so it is difficult to generalize the staff pay. Stipend details are discussed during the interview. Staff members receive a travel stipend to help defray the cost of travel to and from the ship. More details are provided during the on-boarding process.

Can I bring my child along, and do you have a babysitter on board?

We define dependent children as “children” who have not yet graduated high school. Due to safety protocol, children must be at least 24 months old to sail on a voyage. Faculty and select staff may elect to bring their dependent children for a nominal fee. Please contact our Human Resources department for details on this policy.

We do not have a shipboard “babysitter”. However, we do have a Dependent Children program during our Semester at Sea voyages. This program helps to engage children into the shipboard community. The morning program is a 2-3 hour study hall that facilitates the individual success of each dependent child. The afternoon program is a 2-3 hour enrichment program that features a diverse array of engaging activities and programs for the dependent children.

Non-working adult companions of sailing faculty and staff members are considered the primary caregiver for their dependent children. Please contact Human Resources for further details on our companion policy for your voyage.

Are faculty and staff allowed time to do personal travel while in port?

Yes, although some staff positions may require you to remain within a certain mile radius of the ship for a portion of the time in port in case of emergencies, and faculty may choose to lead a field trip with students as a part of the learning objective.

How long is the employment term for faculty and staff positions?

Faculty and staff members are considered temporary employees for the duration of the voyage. For Fall voyages, this term is from September through December and for Spring voyages, this term is from January to April. We typically do not hire candidates for consecutive voyage terms.

I am still an undergraduate student; can I apply to work for Semester at Sea?

Most of our staff positions require a minimum of a Master’s Degree and  3-5 years of professional experience. We encourage current students to apply once they have graduated and gained some professional experience.

I am interested in a position as a crew member on board the ship, what do I need to do?

We do not hire for crew positions. We utilize the services of an international ship management company called CMI to staff our crew positions. You may visit their website (link below) if you are interested.

My spouse and I are interested in sailing together, is this possible?

Yes, an adult companion of a faculty or staff member can sail and are charged a nominal fee for room and board.

I am not a U.S. citizen; can I still work for Semester at Sea?

We are an international program, and international applicants are welcome to apply for our positions.

Can I apply to more than one position and/or voyage?

Yes, we encourage you to apply for any and all positions that you are interested in and that for which you qualify. This can only help and not hinder your chances of being selected.

What are the “internal” or “not open to the general public” positions that are listed in the job postings?

There are a few internal positions on each voyage. You have to be the companion of a sailing faculty or staff member for that voyage in order to apply to these positions. This requirement is due to limited cabin availability on the MV World Odyssey. More information on these positions is sent once the majority of the faculty and staff team are hired for the voyage.