Semester at Sea
Semester at Sea circumnavigates the globe on a floating campus-the MV Explorer-during customized fall and spring semester voyages. Students pursue academic courses on board the ship while participating in land field work activities in a variety of ports of call as part of each class.
Global, comparative education is the element that distinguishes Semester at Sea from other study abroad programs. The nature of the shipboard campus allows diverse learning communities to live and learn in close quarters as they travel the world, and provides opportunities for intensive engagement, reflection, interaction, and exchange. Semester at Sea curricula provide examples of countries and cultures in varying stages of economic development, contrasting political systems, and great diversity of religious and cultural values. The Global Studies core courses provide the foundation for the academic work, and several alliances with internationally focused research and cultural outreach groups complement in-classroom and field learning.
The University of Virginia is the academic sponsor of Semester at Sea. As the academic sponsor, the University provides collaborative leadership in the selection and cultivation of deans, faculty, curricula, library resources, and educational programming.
Students must take one of the Global Studies core courses as specified by Semester at Sea (different every voyage).
Please note that course offerings change with EACH VOYAGE, so the previously approved courses may not be available during your particular voyage. It is likely that you will need to select some new courses and submit them to the Bentley Office of International Education for approval. We STRONGLY suggest that you plan on filling "elective" spots and not necessarily taking major, minor, or even business courses.
Students are housed in double or triple occupancy cabins on board the ship. Each cabin has its own bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower. There are no desks in cabins, though there are study spaces available throughout the ship. While there is ample closet and drawer space, there is limited storage space. Meals are eaten in shipboard dining halls with other students.
Program prices vary quite significantly based on the level of cabin assigned. Students should be aware that the least expensive cabins are most popular and tend to fill early.
20% of the grade for each course is based on field work conducted off-ship in the 10-12 ports of call visited throughout the semester.