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Learning Opportunities & Programs


Semester at Sea Lifelong Learning: Educational Tours Abroad

As a lifelong learner you have many opportunities to be involved with activities both on and off the ship. The Lifelong Learning Program is coordinated by a staff member who serves as a liaison with the crew, faculty, staff and students. The coordinator assists the lifelong learners with their needs before and during the voyage. The coordinator is also there to help organize educational tours, and activities specific to their voyage. Lifelong Learners get to chart their own course!

Extended Family Program

Lifelong Learners, faculty, staff and students have the unique opportunity to join the “Extended Family Program” on each voyage. The program allows lifelong learners to “adopt” a group of students, with the intent of serving as mentors, providing support and establishing an extended family on ship. The lifelong learners, faculty and staff create, organize and initiate “family activities.” For example: meeting as a family for meals, games nights, ice cream socials etc.

The Extended Family program has resulted in many long-standing friendships and areas of support long after voyages have concluded.

Field Programs

Field programs are SAS-sponsored in-country excursions. The Semester at Sea home office collaborates with well-known, trusted, and insured in-country providers to offer field programs in each port stop at an additional cost. Visit the field programs webpage for more information, or view our Sample Field Guide for Lifelong Learners.

Pre-Port Sessions, Interport Scholars, Post-Port Reflections

Prior to arrival in port and again at departure, the entire shipboard community attends various sessions and briefings to ensure successful and safe visits within each country.

  • Global Studies: All members of the voyage community participate in the Global Studies course which is taught daily while at sea. This course offers an interdisciplinary perspectives on peoples, cultures, and geography in the countries and regions visited. Following each port, participants will have an opportunity to share reflections on their experience within small groups in Global Studies.
  • Logistical Pre-Port: This session is an exclusive evening seminars the evening before arrival. The Executive Dean works with select staff to brief participants on health and safety concerns, matters pertaining to disembarkation and immigration, in-country program logistics, transportation options, etc.
  • Interport Scholars: Representatives from the local government or universities spend time on the ship prior to arrival in port to provide participants with further understanding and context of the country about to be visited.  You have the opportunity to visit with them one on one or attend their presentations and class lectures.

Audit University Courses

Lifelong Learners can informally sign up to participate in a course after student registration closes. Course availability depends on the amount of open seats left in the class after students register, but Lifelong Learners are typically able to participate in their first choice courses. Lifelong Learners do not receive any academic credit for their involvement.

Available courses will be sent out to Lifelong Learners in an email approximately one month prior to the start of the voyage.

Fun Stuff!

Have fun while you sail the world! Join in our Neptune Day festivities when we cross the equator. Participate during the talent show, holiday festivities and dances! What are you good at?  Teach a class to others related to your career or hobby. Volunteer your time to help the school aged “ship kids” with school work or arts and craft activities.