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An Amazing Community

Life at Sea
Alumni often describe shipboard life as one of the “most remarkable communities” they have experienced and what they miss the most when the voyage is over.

People From All Walks of Life

Each voyage brings together a new, diverse group of people from all different walks of life. Our community represents all ages, races, cultures and sexual orientations, and our 200 multi-national crew members representing 50 nationalities adds to this rich mix. We pride our program on its ability to connect people from various parts of the world. Our community supports all individuals and respects diversity of viewpoint.

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ISE Diversity Initiatives

Lifelong Friendships

Our community bonds quickly as we embark on this adventure together. From spending time on deck, staring out into the ocean, to catching a tuk-tuk in India, the friends you make during your voyage are going to stay with you for the rest of your life.

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Our Alumni Community

An amazingly connected academic community

Semester at Sea cultivates an engaging and diverse learning community of undergraduates, faculty and staff, interport lecturers, international students and lifelong learners—all of whom live and learn on a passenger ship outfitted as a globe-exploring university.

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Who's on board?

  • Undergraduates

    600 undergraduate students representing majors from 270+ Colleges & Universities.

  • Faculty & Staff

    Nationally renowned, award winning faculty members. The staff includes the administrative, field program, communications, medical teams and more.

  • Special Guests

    Interport students, lecturers, ambassadors and other guests will join for various periods of the voyage to serve as experts and resources.

  • Lifelong Learners

    Lifelong learners are adult learners who are just like students and eager to share this experience with you.

  • Resident Directors

    The RDs lead and bring together the “seas” and help ensure that we are creating best living, learning community.

  • Captain, Senior Officers, and Crew

    The captain and his officers manage ship operations and voyage execution to ensure the safe passage and health of all participants.

Voyage Community Values

The Voyage Community Values are the bedrock of every Semester at Sea voyage. Together they encapsulate the culture we aim to foster and the organizational vision we aim to achieve: to be an internationally recognized leader in forming global citizens who positively impact our interconnected world. This vision being realized is dependent upon every voyager embracing and enacting these values while on the ship and in port.

By choosing to participate in Semester at Sea, I understand I have a responsibility to uphold the following values:


We commit to the health, safety and well-being of ourselves, all members of our voyage community, and members of the communities we will visit.


We understand our actions and attitudes have an impact locally and globally. We always seek to positively affect the planet and the people around us near and far.


We honor the inherent dignity of all people with an abiding commitment to freedom of expression, scholarly discourse and the advancement of knowledge. We have the right to be treated, and the responsibility to treat others, with fairness and equity.


We ensure inclusive environments that welcome, value, affirm and embrace all people within the shipboard community and in each country we visit.


We are honest and ethical in all of our interactions, including our academic work. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions.


We model the highest academic standards of preparation, inquiry and knowledge and consistently seek to understand complex issues and express informed opinions with courage and conviction.

The Responsible Voyager Guidelines

The MV World Odyssey will be your home for the semester. All participants are expected to follow the Responsible Voyager Guidelines.

A Responsible Voyager will:

Demonstrate Care and Respect

  • For your ship home: Treat your ship home with respect. Keep the MV Odyssey safe and beautiful. Only eat in designated areas, keep your shoes on at all times, conserve water and protect the furniture.
  • For your community: You now represent the proud heritage of Semester at Sea. Be thoughtful and compassionate to your cabinmates, your classmates, your faculty, the staff and the crew.
  • For yourself: Bring your whole self, the stories that make you who you are and what you dream of becoming. Make choices that support your health and wellness. Be kind to yourself.

Challenge yourself

  • Be okay with being uncomfortable: To grow, learn and see the world from a new perspective is not always easy. At times, you will be uncomfortable. At times, so will everyone else. Reach out if you need support.  
  • Try something new: Be curious, get involved, attend evening seminars and programs. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to stretch yourself. Meet new and different people throughout the voyage.
  • Seek to understand: Genuinely listen to others, learn each other’s stories, recognize the multiple identities and perspectives we each hold.

Take Responsibility

  • Know the rules: And abide by the rules. The rules are there to ensure the best possible learning-living community for all members of the voyage community.
  • Seek advice and help. Talk to a counselor, to your RD, to your faculty members, to your fellow students. Ask questions. Seek support. The community is here for you.
  • Hold yourself and others accountable: if you witness someone doing something that is outside of our voyage values, address it with them directly in a constructive way. Be open to others sharing concerns with you and know we are all here to learn and grow.

Responsible Travel Best Practices

​​Semester at Sea is committed to responsible and sustainable travel. During all travel, voyagers are expected to follow the Semester at Sea​ *Responsible Travel Guidelines:​

  1. Honor your hosts
  2. Protect our planet
  3. Support local economies
  4. Plan ahead and make informed decisions
  5. Be self-aware & respectful

​​*Guidelines adapted from the “Tips for a Responsible Traveler” developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics.