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Health and Safety - Our # 1 Priority


#1 Priority:
Participant Health and Safety

Above all else, the health and safety of program participants, employees and crew is the highest priority for all of our planning decisions.

ISE continuously assesses all risk factors for traveling and studying abroad. Our long history and the collective experience of our senior management team and partners enable us to have a clear understanding of all potential risks and we take all possible mitigating steps to ensure a safe experience for all participants and employees.

Participant Wellness Resources

Health Insurance Coverage

All voyage participants are  enrolled in a World Class Coverage Plan through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), a world leader in travel insurance. This plan is included as part of participant program  fees, and  is in effect upon arrival to the ship through disembarkation at the end of the voyage.  Full policy coverage can be found here. This policy offers the following:

  • Medical and evacuation insurance for all participants
  • Assessment of medical facilities in each country
  • Itinerary-specific medical evacuation plan
  • Advice, resources and support to the onboard medical team
  • 24/7 Emergency Response Center

The policy supplements any coverage that a participant might already have. Do not cancel your primary insurance coverage for the voyage. If a Semester at Sea participant does not have primary health insurance coverage, the policy acts as primary insurance. Coverage commences upon arrival to the ship for embarkation and concludes upon disembarkation at the end of the voyage.

Accidents and injury caused by the following activities are NOT covered by your Voyager’s Travel Medical insurance.  Emergency medical care and repatriation home will not be available through this policy should voyagers make the poor decision to engage in these activities: mountaineering, hang gliding, parachuting/skydiving, parasailing, bungee jumping or racing by horse or motor vehicle/motorcycle.  Anything not covered by insurance is considered a policy violation in the Voyager Code of Conduct.  Review your insurance coverage and limitations.

Students with serious known medical conditions, such as asthma or anaphylaxis, have an increased need to create a plan with their physician to address the limited availability of resources and immediate emergency medical response in some destinations.

Medical Clinic

The clinic aboard the MV World Odyssey is staffed with U.S. licensed health professionals and is equipped to handle common emergencies, urgent cases, & provide short-term follow-up for exacerbation of chronic conditions.  The facility is most consistent with that of an urgent care clinic.  The clinic is not established to take the place of a primary care provider & participants are instructed to bring ample supplies of the home medications with instructions for appropriate use for the entire voyage.  If evolving medical conditions cannot be adequately addressed at the clinic, we work with numerous health care partners to meet the medical needs of the voyager in port.  Occasionally there are emergent needs that require a voyager to return home for additional medical care to ensure their safe recovery.


Semester at Sea has partnered with SAFEY Emergency System to provide voyagers with an app for their voyage to participants informed of critical incidents and connected in the case of an emergency.

The SAFEY app will allow voyagers to:

  • Receive alerts and text messages regarding any high-level threats or security events currently happening in while in country, and advice on what to do. Less critical events will appear in the app and via phone notifications.
  • Call or send an SOS to a Semester at Sea administrators’ emergency number, showing your exact location.
  • Contact local police, ambulance services, or Semester at Sea administrators, from any country in the world.
  • Allow Semester at Sea to locate voyagers during an emergency and communicate directly with them via phone or text.


Mental Health Care

On each voyage, Semester at Sea deploys two licensed clinical psychologists responsible for coordinating, implementing and evaluating total mental health care and education for all passengers.

Physical Health

Participants may use strength-training equipment, free weights, aerobic equipment (e.g. stationary bikes, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, etc.) in the fitness facilities. The sports court, an outdoor basketball/volleyball court, is available for pick-up games on all days at sea and in port, weather permitting.

Pre-port Seminars

Pre-port seminars help to prepare students for both  logistical and cultural aspects of arriving in a new country with health and safety being the primary focus.

Resident Directors and Staff

Student life staff are trained and well equipped to handle any issues that arise on a voyage around the world.