By (Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 09/10/2016 to 12/22/2016 with

Semester at Sea Study Abroad: Make the World Your Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent, I learned how to be a traveler and not tourist, I learned how to communicate inter-culturally, I learned a lot about globalization, I learned to get out of my comfort zone, I learned about 12 different countries and cultures, I learned that the world is truly a great place.

Review Photos

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Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Semester at Sea offers courses relevant to the countries you're visiting. This makes each country your classroom. It means that you read about a country one day and see it with your own eyes the next. Each class is taught by professors who are experts in their field and this can sometimes feel intimidating but it is worth it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Every staff member was always willing to help with anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living on a ship was definitely an awesome experience. My cabin was nice and spacious, my clothes were washed and my trash was taken out for me.

* Food:

The food was buffet style everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While it was delicious at first, it got tiring having to eat the same thing everyday. Bread rolls will become your best friend and you will ironically miss them after the program. I would recommend to take snacks for your voyage. You are allowed to eat in each country you visit so you really only have to eat bread and pasta for half the voyage (the days on the ship).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since you're only in each country for 4-7 days, you don't always have the opportunity to fully submerge yourself in every culture. You do however, get a little taste of it which leaves you yearning for more. Semester at Sea will make you a traveler even after the voyage is over. It will leave you curious about cultures to the point where you have to visit them again. Despite that, it is definitely possible to get a better taste of each culture by doing the field programs that allow for more local interactions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Yellow fever vaccine was required for me and malaria pills were recommended. The nurse on the ship was only available at certain times during the day and there was no medication for flu or viruses. I'd highly recommend you take your own medication in case you do get sick.

* Safety:

Safety on the ship was always important. Knowledge about safety in each country was always available during pre-port orientation. Some people did get mugged but if you follow all the advice given to you, you will be fine.

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

Semester at Sea is possibly the best program out there for wanderlusters and people who love adventure. Every day was a new experience, it's like Suite Life On Deck. The classes are all interesting, the ship life is wonderful, and each country is breathtaking.


* 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)

If you want to get the full experience Semester at Sea has to offer, you need more than $200 per country (note how I say per country and not per week, this program is amazing though). However, it is possible to simply stay in the port city and return to the ship every night to eat and sleep, I have a friend who spend $20 in one country; it all depends on your budget and what you chose to do in each country.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Since each country varies in prices, I spent anywhere from $300-1,000 per country (not week).
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Apply for all the scholarships possible, work before the voyage begins, and make a go-fund me to get as much as possible before the voyage. Make a budget for each country. Remember that you can always stay on the ship in ports. Field programs are always more expensive than doing things on your own, I suggest you plan your own trips if you can.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • ship life
  • friendships
  • traveling
* What could be improved?
  • global studies
  • food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack lots of snacks and take your sandals.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Issues in Hispanic Culture

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Sophie Esch
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Dr. Esch is an amazing professor who was always prepared for class and made each day interesting. Her passion for Latin American cultures was seen in the way she taught her class. This class offered a field trip in Peru where we learned about transculturation first hand and spoke with local college students. Every homework assignment prepared you for the next class day and her exams were challenging but graded fairly. I learned more in this class about my own culture than I learned in my entire life.
Credit Transfer Issues: