Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Casablanca, Morocco; Cochin, India; Gdansk, Poland; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Honolulu, United States; Kobe, Japan; Port Louis, Mauritius; Shanghai, China; Various, Germany; Various, Ghana; Various, Spain; Various, Worldwide; Yangon, Myanmar
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • COST (click here): Semester
  • Previously Approved Courses
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2020 01/30/2019
02/20/2019 01/01/2020 05/30/2020
Fall Semester 2019 01/30/2019
02/20/2019 09/09/2019 09/20/2019
Fall Semester 2020 01/29/2020 02/19/2020 TBA TBA
Spring Semester 2021 01/29/2020 02/19/2020 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester program Language of Instruction: English
Eligibility: Undergraduate Credits/Typical Courseload: 12-15
Prerequisite: Either GLS 101, 102, 110, 114, 116, or any ML course Housing: Cabin on ship
Program Advisor: Nicole Chininis Click here for a definition of this term Program Category: Affiliate
Max. Enrollment/ Semester: 6 students
Program Description:

MV Explorer, Semester at Sea

The locations on this brochure are for the current semester. For the most accurate list of future voyages, please go to Semester at Sea's website.

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.  

Accommodations and Meals

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.

Special Program Features

Field-based, experiential learning is a vital component of Semester at Sea. The world is transformed into an academic laboratory. Semester at Sea works with a network of international scholars and local experts to construct the International Field Program- a diverse range of cross-cultural explorations for each country on the itinerary. International Field Programs vary in content and destination, and include some of the following:

Significant Historical, Cultural, and Political Sites
Natural and Manmade Wonders
Elements of Natural History
Community Explorations and Home Stays
First-Hand Interaction with Host Nationals
Service Visits
Exchanges with Students at International Universities

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.