Learn while you burn: spend a ‘Semester at Sea’

By on March 22, 2001

Semester at Sea, administered for Shipboard Education and academically sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, is a program that takes up to 650 students, from colleges and universities across the United States and abroad, around the world each fall, spring, and summer semester. Since 1963, over 35,000 students have studied and traveled to 60 countries around the world through this program.
Semester at Sea’s campus during the fall and spring semesters is the S.S. Universe Explorer, a 23,500 ton ship that has been equipped as a floating university. It includes classrooms with closed-circuit television capabilities, a library, computer lab, theater, student union and two dining rooms. It also includes a swimming pool, basketball and volley court and a fitness center.
Students can choose from over seventy lower and upper division courses in a variety of disciplines. Courses offered are accredited by the University of Pittsburgh and are fully transferable to the student’s home institution. Classes meet daily while the ship is at sea.
The faculty is made up of visiting professors from institutions across the U.S. and abroad. They are internationalists who typically have had resident experience abroad that enables them to integrate course content with countires on the itinerary.
When in port, students can choose from a wide range of structured travel opportunities that are developed by the Institute and faculty. Students may choose to travel independently. Each class has a field component requirement that the student must complete during the voyage.
Activities in port include home stays with families in the countries, visits to universities, travel to place of historic, cultural and religious significance, or simply free travel to experience life in the cities and rural areas. Stays in port are four to five days.
Also included in the Shipboard Community are up to 4non-student adults participating in our Continuing Education Program. Semester at Sea also provides this alternative to travelers of all ages who are attracted to the concept of travel with educational content. Among these seasoned travelers are retirees, teachers on sabbatical, and others seeking personal or professional development. The academic program on board is made available to them, and most participate either formally or informally. They also become very involved in the shipboard community, relating well with the students, faculty and staff on board.
There are two around the world voyages each year, with spring voyages departing in January and returning in May. Fall voyages depart in September and return in December. Spring voyages depart from Nassau, Bahamas and the itinerary typically includes visits to Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Japan. Fall voyages depart from Vancouver and itinerary includes Japan, China, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Croatia, Turkey, Italy and Morocco.
The cost of the semester program for students is $13,750 for standard accomodations, and includes tuition, room, board and passage fare. Financial assistance is available. Students who qualify for aid on their home campus can often use that aid, combined with additional grants from the program.
Furthermore, assistance can be available to those students who have not qualified for the traditional forms of financial aid. The cost for Continuing Education Program participants is $15,750, double occupancy, and $18,750 single occupancy.
A summer program is now being offered. The summer 2001 voyage will be a 65-day regional studies program that begins and ends in Greece, taking students to Spain, Norway, Russia, Belgium, Morocco, Italy, Egypt and Turkey. The program will begin June 13 and end Aug. 17. The cost of the summer program is $8975. Financial aid is available.
Additonal information may be obtained by writing to: Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh, 811 William Pitt Union, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, or call 1-800-854-0195.


About Paul Watson- Director of Enrol