Cost & Financial Aid

Student Program Cost

Semester at Sea is a study abroad experience like no other, and our program costs reflect the unique value of this investment in your future as a global citizen.


Semester at Sea Cost

Traveling the world aboard a floating campus. Taking classes from award-winning professors, and enjoying a lively conversation over breakfast the next morning. Building lifelong bonds with a unique living and learning shipboard community. Taking part in academic Field Classes that extend your education in the countries you visit. These are just some of the amazing benefits Semester at Sea’s program fees help provide our voyagers.

Student program fees vary depending on voyage and cabin type.

Select your voyage below to find program fee details. Program fees are subject to change. All cabin categories are subject to availability.

What’s Included

Semester’s Tuition & Travel

Earn 12-15 college credits from Colorado State University (CSU) that you can transfer back to your home institution. Study and travel during your 100+ day voyage to more than 10 countries!

Housing, Meals, and Amenities

Cabins are included in the program fees, as well as access to the gym, pool, spa and salon (services not included in program fees), and more. Prices vary by cabin. Crew gratuities ($2 per day) are included with your program fees.
All meals aboard the ship are included — even on days in port. Meals are served buffet-style three times a day. Vegetarian options are made available at every meal. A late-night snack for a quick study break is also available most evenings at sea.

Academic Field Classes

Each Semester at Sea course, except for Global Studies, includes a day-long, in-country Field Class. These instructor-led, experiential programs are uniquely designed to bring course concepts to life. Students are automatically enrolled in their course-connected Field Class upon registering for their courses.

Email Account

All participants have a shipboard email account, “Seamail,” that they can use to send and receive email messages on and off the ship.

Starter Internet Package

The MV World Odyssey is equipped with a satellite dish that allows internet access while at sea in most parts of the world. All students will have the Starter 50 internet package, which includes a specified allotment of megabytes usage per day. Upgraded packages can be purchased as a discount pre-voyage, or throughout the voyage.

Comprehensive Travel Health Insurance

All participants are automatically enrolled in a comprehensive travel health insurance plan for the voyage. This includes access to the shipboard medical clinic, mental health center, and treatment for in-port emergencies.

Pre-Voyage Advisement and On-site Residential Student Services Staff

To help you prepare for your voyage, ISE staff will give you step-by-step guidance to register for courses, apply for visas, gain medical approval, and complete all other pre-voyage requirements.
Throughout the voyage, students will have the shipboard support of a Student Life team, including Resident Directors, Academic Dean, Executive Dean, Field Office Director, and a medical team.

Fuel Fee*

The anticipated fuel fee, based on our initial cost projections, is included in your program fees. However, Semester at Sea reserves the right to add an additional charge or refund a portion of the fuel fee, with notice given no later than 30 days prior to departure.
*Expenses are subject to change depending on global cost fluctuations.

Additional Student Expenses:

  • Flights to embarkation/from debarkation
  • Overnight stay prior to embarkation
  • Travel visas and costs associated with passport renewal
  • Textbooks
  • Any appropriate vaccinations and boosters
  • Between-meal food and beverages aboard the ship
  • Laundry
  • SAS Field Programs and personal travel in-country
  • Fuel surcharge (if applicable)

Understanding SAS Program Costs

The program cost is what Semester at Sea spends to educate an individual participant. This includes operating our shipboard campus; significant quantities of bunker fuel and oil; faculty, staff, and crew salaries; insurance premiums; and academic program enhancements.

Student Cabin Types
All student cabins are equipped with a closed-circuit TV, mini-refrigerator, closets and drawers, a restroom (shower, toilet, shelf space), and a safe shared between cabin mates. Linens, towels, and cabin cleaning are provided daily by cabin stewards. Although all cabins have the same amenities, cabin designs can vary across the ship.
Faculty, Staff, and Crew Salaries
Semester at Sea faculty and staff are an amazing resource. Almost all faculty members hold doctorates or other terminal degrees, and many have received awards for teaching. All have international experience and expertise in one or more of the regions you’ll visit. Our faculty is supported by a group of 30-35 dedicated staff members, and our ship is run by a team of roughly 200 professionally trained and licensed officers and crews members.
Insurance Premiums
Health and safety are our top priorities. As a member of the inter-organization task force on health and safety, the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) assumes a leadership role in forming the standards of health and safety for study abroad. We go to great lengths to ensure everyone has access to excellent medical care by providing premium travel health insurance to all participants as part of their program fee. The policy offers $100,000 in emergency illness and accident medical coverage, in addition to other coverage.
Semester at Sea partners with Colorado State University to develop and administer our world-class academic programming. We work closely with CSU to maintain and enhance standards and programming. Ensuring that our academic offerings remain best-in-class requires significant funding. Program fees help defray the cost of improvements to our global and comparative studies curricula, stipends for special scholars and lecturers, special field experiences, and service projects.
Co-curricular Programming
Enjoy yoga on the deck, foreign language practice clubs, evening seminars to prepare you for traveling at one of your many destinations, and much, much more. Program fees include access to a wide variety of co-curricular activities to engage your mind, body, and spirit.

A Study Abroad Experience Like No Other

The Value of a Semester at Sea Voyage

Unlike traditional immersion programs, we cultivate a unique academic community of college students, Lifelong Learners, faculty, staff, and international scholars who live and learn in a shared environment while exploring as many as 12 international ports of call, so participants experience multiple points of view.

Global Experience
Unlike traditional single-destination study abroad programs, you will gain a comparative understanding of international cultures and the critical issues facing our world.

Academic Benefits
You will earn a full semester’s worth of college credits toward your degree while engaging with world-class faculty in an intensive live-learn environment on our ship and in destinations around the world.

Career Enhancements
Semester at Sea offers unique benefits for your post-college job search, from improved leadership skills to an invaluable global perspective on the challenges of tomorrow.

Personal Transformation
Semester at Sea voyagers return from their semester abroad as confident citizens of the world, ready to embark on a life of learning and adventure.

Funding Options

Financial Aid for Semester at Sea

We work to make the life-changing experience of SAS accessible to a wide range of students, regardless of financial circumstances. A variety of grants, scholarships, and other financial aid is available to help make your dream of seeing the world a reality.

Hear from SAS Voyagers

When I began to consider Semester at Sea, I did not think it was a possibility because of how much the program costs. I started to do research at my home institution to figure out ways to fund this opportunity and I found out about the Pell Grant Match! This is an opportunity for Pell Grant recipients to receive additional funds; it matches what a student would receive per semester at their institution by providing additional grant money to make this program accessible.
I knew that I would have about a fourth of the program covered if I secured a lower cabin rate, so I decided to make a deposit and secure my cabin early. Additionally, I recommend people take a look at the scholarships that are online and speak with their home institution to see if there are any university-specific scholarships or grants available.

Semester at sea changed my life! The whole experience felt like a dream come true and I still have a hard time believing I was apart of such a wonderful program! I met the most amazing people on my voyage and two of my best friends who I still keep in touch with! If you are worried about cost, Semester at Sea has their own scholarships you can apply for and the pell grant match! Check with your home college as well to see if their scholarships can be applied towards the program. Semester at Sea is possible for students who come from a low income background!

Semester at Sea was an investment in myself. Nothing has come close to this transcendent experience. When I got off the ship my parents asked if the high price tag was worth the cost. I told them if it was double and I had to pay for it all myself it would be worth it. Now as the mom to a teenage daughter I joke that she may be on her own for the cost of college, but her Semester at Sea fund is fully funded.

Frequenty Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about program costs for Semester at Sea

I’m working very hard to put the financing together. What deadlines to I need to keep in mind?

Payment is due 90 days before the voyages. This due date may be extended with verification of financial aid and disbursement information.

When should I submit the $1,000 deposit to reserve a space?

As soon as you are academically admitted, please submit your deposit within 30 days of admission. The deposit is applied against the tuition and fees for the semester. It is refundable up to 90 days prior to the start of the semester should you decide that you are unable to attend.

Does Semester at Sea offer financial assistance?

Yes. ISE offers a variety of need-based financial awards. Students who qualify for federal aid and loans can also receive ISE assistance. Students who do not typically qualify for federal aid/loans will also be considered for ISE assistance.

Can I use my existing financial aid on Semester at Sea?

Use of any federal aid or loans that you receive, such as Pell Grants and Direct loans, are dependent upon the policies of your home institution. The use of any institutional aid you receive from your home school or from another source must be determined by that source. You must check with the financial aid office at your home institution to determine if your financial aid will transfer.

How do I apply for financial assistance?

For federal aid and loans you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on your home campus. The information that this process generates will be used both for federal aid and loans and for ISE assistance. For international students, please complete the ISE International Student Aid form, found in your student portal. Semester at Sea financial aid deadlines are typically 3.5 months prior to voyage embarkation date. Visit the ISE Scholarships page for applications and deadlines.

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.