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Vicarious Voyage

Voyage Volunteers

As a Voyage Volunteer you have a special opportunity to share your upcoming adventures with young students back home, all while you sail around the world with Semester at Sea.


In a Partnership, you can adopt an elementary, middle or high school classroom and enrich their education by sharing your travel experiences with them through emails and photos. In doing so, you will help students discover new cultures and peoples.

There are two ways to be granted a partnership:
  • You Seek: If there is a classroom that you’d like to work with, please seek them out and establish a partnership before enrolling. These partnerships are the most successful for all those involved.  If you have a partner already in mind, please enroll using the form below.
  • We Provide: If you do not have a partner in mind we have relationships with teachers who are always seeking voyage volunteers to partner with. Although we try our best, we cannot guarantee that we will match every request for a partnership.
You can partner with:
  • Inner city, rural, and suburban towns in any state
  • Kindergarten through high-school seniors
  • ESOL (English as a Second/Other Language) learners
  • Art, science, language, social studies and many other disciplined classrooms
  • Teach for America schools
  • Gifted Education programs

Responsibilities of a Voyage Volunteer:

  • Introduce your self to your teacher and classroom at the beginning of the voyage and discuss any specific curriculum needs
  • Pay a visit in person (preferred) or by skype to the classroom prior to your voyage
  • Email a description of your port experience with photos to your teacher during or after each port
  • Respond to any questions your teacher or classroom might ask in a timely manner
  • Summarize your experience for the teacher and classroom at the end of the voyage either through writing, skype, or by appearing in person (preferred).

The classroom you are partnered with will expect you to communicate, so please weigh the decision to volunteer carefully. Your participation will allow you to contribute your global fingerprint toward children’s lives while enhancing your own experience. While you have a multitude of decisions and preparations to make for your voyage, please take a moment to consider volunteering with Vicarious Voyage.

Enroll below to volunteer for the Spring 2019 Voyage:

Already have a partner classroom? Enroll here.

Volunteer Enrollment - Partnership Established

Need help finding a partner classroom? Enroll here.

Volunteer Enrollment - Partnership Needed

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to communicate to my Teacher/Class?

You need to send an email at least after each port describing your experience and including photos. If you would like to email more often, you may.

How do I communicate? Can I blog? Is Skype possible?

To communicate, you are expected to send emails from your Semester at Sea email address. As a Vicarious Voyage volunteer, you are allowed to send photos (though small in resolution) under 2MB through your email. Bandwidth is limited, so you may need to ask for help from our IT team on board when sending photos.

Blogging is currently not supported from the ship due to restricted bandwidth. If you are interested in blogging about your voyage, you will have to do so during your time in port when you are connected to reliable internet.

Skyping is not possible on the ship because of the limited bandwidth. However, some volunteers have sent brief videos to their classrooms during their time in port.

What if I want to work with a school in my hometown or near my university? Will you find one for me?

We do not currently recruit schools, however we do have a database of teachers that we already have a relationship with. These teachers, many of them SAS alums, are spread all over the country. We consider where a volunteer lives/studies when partnering with one of our teachers, however close proximity though ideal, is not guaranteed.

If you want to work with a school from a specific area, we suggest you seek a relationship with the school on your own. Although we will not recruit a contact for you, we will provide you with any information necessary for this introductory meeting. Just contact Kayla Rivers, the Vicarious Voyage Coordinator, for more information at

What should I say in my communication to my teacher/class?

The purpose of your correspondence is to enhance your teacher’s curriculum. Therefore, we suggest that you discuss with your teacher prior to the voyage what content your correspondence should focus around. For instance, your teacher may simply want you to share your experience like a pen pal. Or, your teacher may prefer that you focus on one aspect specifically (art, building structure, history of the area) as much as possible.

Am I allowed to partner with more than one classroom?

Yes, you are allowed to partner with as many classes as you wish. Please keep in mind that your schedule on the ship will be demanding. For this reason, volunteers who partner with multiple classrooms will copy correspondence to multiple teachers to save time. We suggest that you discuss this arrangement with your teachers before the voyage.

What if my teacher wants to communicate more often than every port?

Partnerships should be mutually beneficial. It is important that if you want to communicate only once after each port that you decide that at the beginning of the voyage so that your teacher has the proper expectations of you.

Likewise, if you want a closer relationship with your class and welcome communicating more often, you should let your teacher know as well.

Will I be working with one teacher's class or multiple teachers?

Unless otherwise requested by you, you will be assigned one teacher/class. You may indicate on your enrollment form if you are interested in working with multiple classrooms.