A truly life-changing and eye-opening experience Past Review

By (Cottey College) - abroad from 01/05/2018 to 04/15/2018 with

Semester at Sea Study Abroad: Make the World Your Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was exposed to so many new cultures and experiences that I would have never gotten the chance to have if not for SAS. Through immersion, we were able to not only learn about but LIVE the country while we were there.

Review Photos

Semester at Sea: Traveling - Semester at Sea Photo Semester at Sea: Traveling - Semester at Sea Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved the variety of courses. I had great professors and opportunities on board ship; however, the classes were not extremely challenging and rigorous. On the other hand, though, I had plenty of time to focus on my in-country planning and experiences. SAS also has a decent library for being on a ship and available online sources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program


* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my cabin, I had a great cabinmate, and our steward was wonderful.

* Food:

It's ship food. While it's good, you get tired of pasta and potatoes pretty quickly. BUT we also had a couple ice cream days and Taco Day was amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

SAS does a great job providing programs and opportunities for students to immerse themselves into the local cultures. I had opportunities that I would have never had outside of SAS and its in-country field programs.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Prior to each port, we had a preport session where Health Services would go over potential concerns in the upcoming country. Additionally, there was an on-ship clinic. I went one time, and they were wonderful and took care of what I needed quickly and easily.

* Safety:

As long as students followed direction and were aware of their surroundings, there is no reason that someone should be in an unsafe situation. I never had a single problem with pickpocketing, feeling uncomfortable, etc.

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

Semester at Sea was the most incredible and rewarding experience of my entire life. I know that sounds extreme, but it is completely true.


* 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 didn't have a problem with money. However, the program IS expensive. I was able to get the entire program funded throughout scholarships and work study, and I had been saving for my semester abroad for over a year. I understand that this is not common, though, and the semester-long program costs about as much as one year at Cottey.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On the weeks we were in port, my expenses ranged from $100-$500. On ship, my expenses were probably $10-20.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? - Apply for scholarships!! SAS is very generous with their financial aid. I was awarded over $15,000 from the program, which covered half of my costs. The other half were covered by my Cottey financial aid. - Work and SAVE.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We were given key words and phrases to use in port, and they highly encouraged that we try to use them as much as possible. Obviously, we didn't heavily study the languages, so not much stuck after the voyage, but it was still nice to know how to say "Yes" or "Thank you."

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Get to know the basic words/phrases that are used in the destination countries.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Field programs
  • Ship community and staff/faculty
  • New and various experiences
* What could be improved?
  • N/A. It was honestly perfect.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't worry about the money. Go and DO; it will all be worth it.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.