Field Programs

Semester at Sea Field Programs are co-curricular, in-country experiences built on strong relationships with local partners.

Semester at Sea Field Programs

While prioritizing participant safety, Field Programs provide voyagers with exciting opportunities to get to know their port city and country better. In addition to engaging exploration of important and popular sites, Semester at Sea Field Programs generate awareness, build deeper understanding, and facilitate meaningful action in important areas like environmental stewardship, community and family engagement, social equity and access, historical understanding, and human expression and the arts.

  • Field Programs can be one day or last multiple days.
  • Programs are available exploring both the port city as well as various rural and urban areas throughout the port countries.
  • All transportation, accommodations, and most meals are included.
Watch: Study abroad in Croatia, Spring 2022 Semester at Sea Voyage


Field Programs

Voyagers can choose from a catalog of up to 200 available Field Programs per voyage

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Voyagers Participate in Field Programs

3 out of 4 voyagers participated in at least one Field Program during the most recent voyage


Months Pre-Embarkation

Field Programs start to become available ~3-4 months pre-embarkation


Average per Voyager

Voyagers spend an average of ~$2,500 on Field Programs during their semester

Access to a Diverse Catalog of In-Port Experiences

Planning what you want to do, see, and experience in 10+ countries can be overwhelming. With Field Programs, voyagers have access to a diverse catalog of programs in every port country, allowing them to choose experiences that align with their interests, spark their curiosity, and complement their personal and academic goals. A few of the key benefits of participating in Field Programs include:

A few of the key benefits of participating in Field Programs include:
  • The ability to “be here now.” SAS does the planning, and voyagers get to stay engaged in their coursework and ship life.
  • Peace of mind. Safety is always our top priority. If there is an itinerary change or delay, Semester at Sea makes every effort to reschedule Field Programs.
  • Access to SAS-exclusive experiences that would be difficult to create on your own. Through close relationships with established in-country partners, we often have access to more unique, local experiences.
  • Opportunity to travel with and get to know other voyagers. Field Programs are a great opportunity to make friends and meet other members of the shipboard community.
Watch: Life in Port, India 2018 Fall with Semester at Sea
Watch: Spain Study Abroad 2018 with Semester at Sea

Hear From Past Voyagers

Headshot of Wendy Waltrip

Semester at Sea showed me that, despite my anxiety, I am brave, strong, and independent. From swimming with sharks in the Galapagos, to fishing for piranhas in the Amazon Rainforest to traveling completely by myself from Portugal to Spain, I never would have realized how capable I am without Semester at Sea. Without a doubt, the four months I spent living on a ship and traveling the world were the most influential–and the best–months of my life.

Headshot of Kristen Sew

Semester at sea has genuinely been one of the greatest highlights of my life. Not only was I able to circumnavigate the globe in the span of 3.5 months, but I was able to create unforgettable connections with myself, the world, and others around me. Living on a ship with 500 other students and waking up to the ocean waves everyday was one of the coolest things I’ll ever do. Getting to have experiences like walking across the Great Wall of China, wandering around the Taj Mahal in India, and sleeping under the stars in the Sahara Desert of Morocco was just icing on the cake. Although I went into the voyage not knowing a single person beforehand, I came out of it with lifelong best friends from all over the country, a new perspective on the world, and an impact that will last forever.

Budgeting for Field Programs

  • Each voyage will have a variety of different program options to accommodate various interests and budgets. Programs can range from as low as $25 to upwards of $3,000. On average, a voyager spends around $2,500 on Field Programs during their voyage.
  • Field Program fees are not included in voyage program fees.
  • Students receiving additional financial aid or scholarship funds in excess of their program fees may be able to use these funds to defer the cost of Field Program registration.

Timeline and Registration

Every semester, the Field Office works to refresh, update, and finalize a catalog of ~200 Field Programs.

  • Programs are usually live for viewing and registration ~3-4 months before embarkation.
  • Registration takes place through the online portal pre-embarkation. After embarkation, registration will take place within the ship registration portal or at the Field Office on Deck 5.
  • Some programs will sell out quickly while others will remain open for many months. Voyagers should prioritize their must-see/must-do experiences and register for those first.

Health and Safety

Participant health and safety is the number one priority; every decision is made through this lens.

  • All Semester at Sea Field Programs have at least one faculty or staff member serving as a liaison with the ship and local partners.
  • All Field Programs are developed in conjunction with and facilitated by contracted local partners, many of whom have been working with Semester at Sea for 10+ years!
  • Local guides fluent in English and one or more local languages accompany every program.
  • Clean drinking water is provided.
  • While every effort is made to reduce and mitigate risk, there are inherent risks in international travel. Every participant and their family should always do their research, know and understand the risks, and choose programs accordingly.

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.