The best four months of my entire life Past Review

By (Marketing, Vanguard University of Southern California) - abroad from 01/07/2015 to 04/29/2015 with

Semester at Sea Study Abroad: Make the World Your Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My time with Semester at Sea was the most incredible thing I have ever done - I made the best friends I have ever had, saw the most beautiful, unknown places, fell in the love with the most unexpected countries, realized that people are people and love is love no matter where you are in the world, have a never ending itch to keep exploring, my heart belongs to many corners of the world and with many people that impacted me as much as we were able to impact them during out short stays, and I have never felt more comfortable or confident in myself than I have because of Semester at Sea.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Program realizes you are traveling the world and balances school and traveling quite well - I never felt incredibly overwhelmed with school and it was definitely a breeze of a semester academic wise. It is easy to fall behind which can be overwhelming but as long as procrastination is not too great, school should not be a concern. My one complaint about how academics are run with Semester at Sea is that it is not as hands on as it should be being a multi-cultural study abroad program. I think that yes, grades should be given obviously, it is still school, but it should be much more application and seminar based, involving what we learn into a discussion after each port to integrate learning and experience, rather than reading out of a textbook, countless pages of homework and papers/tests. Presentations and reflective projects would make more sense for a program like this.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Incredibly repetitive, but I understand there is only so much that can be done in the middle of the ocean.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I spent a lot of money, more than I ever thought I would, on personal things and experiences while in port, and even on the ship between the campus store, snacks, services, etc. I have absolutely no regrets and it was worth every penny but it is definitely not a cheap study abroad option between the initial cost of tuition/housing/misc. paid directly to SAS and then personal spending added on top.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300 (in port, not on the ship)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't have limits because you will just get down on yourself when you go over that limit/budget because it will happen. Save, save, save, be smart with what you need versus what you want, and remember experiences last longer than material goods.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Countries visited
  • Length
* What could be improved?
  • Community - focus on the fact that this is a college semester abroad, not about the kids/families/life long learners
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't do field programs unless ready to be tied down - if you enjoy flexibility and spontaneity, keep your semester wide open because you will create relationships and want to travel with your friends in countries, not a SAS group.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.