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How to Apply for Semester at Sea

From one Semester at Sea student to another:

Applying to Semester at Sea is the first step to the voyage of a lifetime. Although I completed everything within a month, completing the Semester at Sea application requires some pre-planning, and allocating your time responsibly is crucial.

The first step in applying to Semester at Sea is selecting your ideal voyage. I would recommend looking at voyages that are occurring at least a year from your research date. Keep in mind: a $50 application fee is required for SAS along with a 2.75 GPA. Occasionally, there will be promotions for an application fee waiver; take advantage of it!

Once you decide on your voyage, schedule time to speak with your home school’s study abroad office. They may be able to put you in contact with someone who has done a Semester at Sea voyage in the past. The study abroad office may also be able to inform you of scholarships that you can apply for and which scholarships from your home institution will transfer to Semester at Sea.

If you are a gap year student wishing to sail with Semester at Sea, try asking friends about the program or calling the Institute for Shipboard Education office for additional advice.

The application consists of multiple parts:

-A short essay

-All college-level transcripts

-Disciplinary Clearance Form

-Letter of Recommendation from a current professor (suggested, but not required)

Upon completion of your essay, it may be valuable to have someone else check it. For example, if your school has a writing center, there are tutors there. A friend can also look over your essay

Most importantly, plan on establishing a budget in advance. Begin saving up as soon as your acceptance letter comes. And once you have saved up enough money for your spending budget…double it! Do not be afraid to fundraise. This is a voyage of a lifetime and people want to help you out.

Semester at Sea is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will truly change your life. I know it’s changed my life.


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