Payment and Financing

In-Country Finances FAQs


Where may I purchase foreign currency?

You may wish to obtain local currency of the places you are visiting prior to departure, especially when port arrival coincides with a weekend. To obtain foreign currency please consult with a financial institution, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or your personal bank, who can better serve you. Be sure to know which countries you are traveling to as obtaining foreign currency may not be possible for all the countries on your itinerary.

How much money should I budget for each port?

The amount of money you spend in each port with depend on your overall budget. The average voyager budget is $2,500-$3,000 in spending money for the entire voyage. Keep in mind that currency exchange rates vary from port-to-port so you may spend more money in some countries than others.

Are ATM’s available in port?

ATMs are widely available in most worldwide locations. ATMs distribute local currency and exchange rates are typically better. Please be sure to consult with your bank before using your ATM card abroad and alert them of your itinerary. Many banks place daily limits on ATM/debit cards. Be sure to check with your bank to see if you are subject to a daily limit.

Can I use my debit/credit card in port?

Visa and MasterCard are accepted in many worldwide locations and offer advantageous exchange rates. Be sure to alert your credit card provider of your itinerary as charges in several different countries could trigger a hold on your account.

Many European countries have transitioned to accept only cards with a microchip (including businesses and ATMs). It is recommended that you bring at least one card with a microchip. If your bank does not offer cards with microchip please plan to bring foreign currency as a backup.

For Debit and Credit card use, it is highly recommended that you research institutions that waive the international transaction fee, such as Capital One, military banks, and some credit unions.

How many credit cards should I bring?

You should plan to bring two credits cards for your voyage in case one is lost or stolen. When traveling with ATM/debit cards and credit cards, be sure to safeguard them and use them in legitimate establishments. You may want to periodically check your account online to verify usage. In the event your card is lost, stolen, there are fraudulent charges or you need to contact your issuing institution, write down phone numbers to use when calling from abroad.

SAS Field Program Finances

Please make sure you have read the Field Program Terms and Conditions and Cancellation Policies here.

Shipboard Accounts FAQs


How do I purchase items on the ship?

The MV World Odyssey uses a cashless system and a shipboard account is required for each participant. Any transaction or purchase onboard the ship such as field programs, snacks, bottled water, phone cards, Internet minutes, campus store, laundry, etc., will be billed through the participant’s shipboard account.

How do I set-up my shipboard account?

Participants will establish their shipboard accounts at the beginning of the voyage by registering a credit card with the ship’s Pursers Office or by providing the third-party credit card authorization form, which will be emailed to you two weeks prior to embarkation. The shipboard account balance will be charged to the registered credit card approximately once a month throughout the voyage.

We strongly encourage you to register a card that is different from the card you plan to use while in port. In the event that if the card is lost or stolen, you will still have access to your shipboard account. An itemized statement will be provided to the student at the end of each voyage segment. This statement will not be provided to parents. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the documentation to the parent if they request it and to make them aware that they will not be receiving statements.

Can I use a debit card for my shipboard account?

While we strongly discourage the use of debit cards and cash, they are acceptable options to fund shipboard accounts. If a participant prefers to settle their shipboard account in cash, then the participant must maintain a $500 credit balance on their shipboard account for the entire voyage. Registering a debit card for use on a shipboard account is not recommended because of the daily transaction limits required by banks. With additional field trip sales and other shipboard purchases, the participant’s monthly charges will likely exceed the debit cards daily limits and result in a declined transaction. If this is your only option, please contact your bank for an increase to your daily limit prior to departure.

What happens if the form of payment on my shipboard account is declined?

Non-payment of Shipboard Accounts, or declined credit card transactions will result in the participant’s shipboard account being frozen until payment is rendered. If a participant’s account is frozen then purchases aboard the ship are not possible (this includes registering for Field Programs) If the balance-owed reflects unpaid Field Programs, participants are given a 14 day grace period to pay the balance before they will be cancelled from the program(s). On day 15, participants WILL be cancelled from all registered (but unpaid) Field Programs and not allowed to participate. Standard cancellation fees still apply (this means a participant could still be responsible for paying for some or all of a program he/or she is not allowed to participate in.). If there is an unpaid shipboard balance at the end of the voyage, students’ transcripts will be held until payment in-full is received and the bad debt will eventually be  reported to the credit bureau. ISE does not accept payments for shipboard accounts in their home office. All shipboard account payments must be made on the MV World Odyssey.

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) reserves the right to close a student’s shipboard account for reasons including, but not limited to: unpaid shipboard account balances, delinquent tuition account payments, or disciplinary issues. Should you have any questions regarding policies and procedures regarding shipboard accounts please feel free to contact the ISE business office at 1.800.854.0195.