Lifelong Learners

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The Semester at Sea Lifelong Learning Program invites adventurous adult travelers to grow, experience, and explore on our academic voyages.

Interested in learning more about the Lifelong Learning Program?

Watch Now: Vera Nicholas, Fall 2022 Lifelong Learner

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact your office?

You may email or call (800) 854-0195 if you have additional questions.

Want to talk to a former Lifelong Learner?

The Lifelong Learner Council is a group of dedicated Lifelong Learners who are happy to answer any questions that you might have. Email and we’ll match you with someone immediately!

What is the application process?

You can begin your journey by selecting a voyage, and then choosing a cabin type. Once you’ve made those two important decisions, fill out the online reservation form. Once it’s submitted, you will receive a follow-up email from the Director of Lifelong Learning with instructions on completing an online background check (required of all adult passengers on our voyages). Once that comes back, you’ll need a $2,500 per person deposit to hold your cabin. Once you’ve paid your deposit, you’re confirmed for the voyage! Full payment is due 90 days prior to the start of the voyage.

Do I need a passport? What about visas?

Yes, if you do not already hold a passport, you should apply for one now. If you do have a passport, you should check its expiration date. Your passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the end of the voyage. We advise purchasing the largest passport book available. Specific passport requirements are available for confirmed Lifelong Learners via the voyage prep portal.

Visa requirements vary depending on the countries included on the itinerary. Typically, you will need to secure two or three visas individually. Some of the group visas will be obtained by ISE.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine required to sail?

Fall 2023: As all ports on our current Fall 2023 itinerary have lifted their COVID vaccination requirements (as of March 2023), voyagers are strongly encouraged, but not required, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Voyagers who sail without vaccination may be barred by local port authorities should those requirements be reinstated.

Spring 2024: As of March 2023, Semester at Sea requires that all voyagers on the Spring 2024 voyage be vaccinated against COVID-19, as two of the ports on our itinerary continue to require vaccination (Ghana and Kenya). In keeping with those local requirements, voyagers must show evidence of initial vaccination (no boosters required).

As we travel to 10+ ports of call during each voyage, we and our passengers must abide by existing requirements related to testing, vaccination, and more. Please be aware that these may change at any time. As a result, we strongly encourage all voyagers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The medical team will continue to offer testing to symptomatic voyagers and assist with limiting the spread of all air-borne illness through proactive and reactive measures. While procedures may change, as of Spring 2023, voyagers sickened by COVID-19 receive meal service in their rooms but are allowed to participate in all ship activities (including classes) provided they are cleared by the shipboard medical staff and follow masking protocols during their infectious window.

Can I maintain my business while on the ship?

That depends on what you hope to accomplish while at sea. The internet on-board is fairly reliable but can also go in and out, depending on the ship’s location. The most reliable internet will always be in port, at hotels or restaurants. Generally, you can send and receive emails or text using WhatsApp while on board. However, streaming of any kind is prohibited, which includes services like Netflix, YouTube, Zoom, Pandora, and more.

How do I keep in touch with friends and family at home?

Most Lifelong Learners will send group emails or upload photos and updates to social media websites or apps. Some prefer to keep a written blog, or simply send “check-in” emails to family and friends as needed.

May I audit an undergraduate course for credit?

Unfortunately not. Our Lifelong Learners participate in a course by attending class periods, completing the readings, and participating in the discussions. Lifelong Learners are not expected to take exams or complete assignments or papers.