About the Program
Since 1963, Semester at Sea has offered students the opportunity to visit many countries on a semester-long voyage around the world. Voyages and academic themes change every semester, but a standard Semester at Sea program may include stops in such countries as Brazil, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Singapore, Vietnam, China, and Japan.
Note: Locations listed above are reflective of multiple semester programs. To find the locations for your specific semester, visit the Semester at Sea destinations page.
Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, Colorado State University is Semester at Sea's academic sponsor. As the academic sponsor, CSU appoints the academic dean for each voyage, approves all faculty and syllabi, and issues transcripts. Faculty on Semester at Sea come from institutions throughout the US.
The core course for the voyage, Global Studies, is required of all students and provides an integrated, interdisciplinary introduction to each of the countries visited on a given itinerary. In addition to the core course, students select three additional electives. While some courses are offered on a regular basis, many elective courses vary, drawing on the the locations visited and the expertise of the faculty teaching them.
Each course includes a Field Class in one of the ports. A field class constitutes an additional day of class and the same expectations are placed on a field class as placed on a class day at sea. Field classes and their respective assignments are a required part of each course and constitute approximately 20 percent of a student’s grade, as well as 20 percent of the course’s required contact hours. The cost of field classes is included in the billed program cost.
- Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
- Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis, regardless of the host institution's policy.
- To see course listings for upcoming voyages, visit the Semester at Sea website. Be sure to select the appropriate voyage. Additional information about course equivalents for this program is available on the Course Planning Registration for Study Abroad and Study USA page.
General Program Dates
Fall semester – early September to mid-December
Spring semester – early-January to late April
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.
For cost information for this program, please see the budget sheets:
- Optional field programs while in port are not included in the billed cost of Semester at Sea. Students should expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 to Semester at Sea for excursions over the course of the program.
- The billed costs listed on the budget sheet are based on outside double cabins.
Need-based scholarships are available for Elon semester programs through the GEC. For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Funding for Study Abroad page.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
Scholarships are also available through Semester at Sea. Visit the Semester at Sea Admission & Aid page for more information.
Students live in shared cabins for the duration of the voyage. Cabins include beds, one small desk, limited closet and drawer space, and a private bathroom with a shower. Breakfast , lunch, and dinner are provided in the dining room on the ship. Additional food and snacks can be purchased at different locations on the ship.
Students must complete online the Elon University study abroad application by the published deadline and before submitting an application to Semester at Sea. See the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. Applications to the Semester at Sea program are accepted on a rolling basis.
Initial approval is granted by Elon, and final acceptance is granted by Semester at Sea. Final acceptance by Semester at Sea will not be granted until after SAS reviews the Disciplinary Clearance Form. Students with judicial sanctions which will be in effect during the time of the SAS voyage may be ineligible for admission.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in a series of mandatory orientations during the semester prior to studying abroad. These orientations will address issues of academic, cultural, logistical, financial, and personal preparation, as well as health and safety. Failure to participate in the required orientations will result in dismissal from the program. Any financial losses incurred by this dismissal, including program fees and international airfare, are the student's full responsibility.
Visit the Orientations for Study Abroad Programs page for more information on pre-departure orientation schedules.
Additional Information and Links
Connect with the GEC, global engagement alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal!
Contact Global Ambassadors to learn more from global engagement alumni. Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more Study Abroad or Study USA programs and have been trained to help you prepare for your own global engagement. They are looking forward to hearing from you!