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Health and Safety - Our # 1 Priority


Risk Management Overview

The health and safety of program participants, employees and crew is prioritized above all else through every layer of decision-making at ISE. Over the course of our 58+ year history, we’ve continuously refined our health and safety protocols, implemented progressive preventative measures and developed vital partnerships that enable us to make informed decisions and take quick action when needed.

Our unique program model combining multi-country study abroad with travel by ship situates us at the confluence of higher education and the student travel and cruise industries. As a result, our holistic approach to risk mitigation and management includes key partnerships across each industry and integrates each industry’s preferred practices for managing for participant health and safety.

Multi-faceted Risk Management Across Multiple Industries

Travel by ship allows for the ability to make real-time changes and agile decision-making to adapt to dynamic world events. Additionally, no matter where positioned in the world, the ship serves as a familiar “home-base” for voyagers where freshly prepared meals, clean drinking water and western-trained medical professionals are available 24/7. Semester at Sea partners with VIKAND, the leader in global maritime medical operations and healthcare solutions, to run the medical clinic on-board the MV World Odyssey. Learn more about ship health services here.

Semester at Sea partners with industry experts at Cruise Management International (CMI) to oversee all vessel operations, crew hiring and training, itinerary planning and implementation. Through this partnership, Semester at Sea is in compliance with all regulations set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Maritime Labor Convention, the ship’s flag-state regulations and insurance provider requirements. Additionally, the ship’s management company works closely with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to benchmark best practices with the broader cruise industry.

To assist with routine itinerary planning and incident response, Semester at Sea is a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), routinely communicates with U.S. State Department officials, and privately contracts Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to provide insurance coverage for all voyagers. Through CISI and their contracted partners AXA and Crisis24, Semester at Sea voyagers receive 24/7/365 worldwide assistance services – a resource for everything from a lost passport to coordinating an emergency evacuation. Additionally, these partners provide ISE administrators with regular security and intelligence briefings and medical capability reports for each voyage destination.

As an institute of higher education, Semester at Sea works closely with academic partner Colorado State University to collaborate across all departments and to share resources. ISE is an active member of The Association of International Educators (NAFSA) and The Forum on Education Abroad.