Semester at Sea: Plan Ahead for 2009

October 23, 2008

Semester at Sea

Yes, I know you’ve just barely settled into your new semester and classes and teachers and friends and roommates, but it’s time to start looking ahead to next year.

If you’re thinking about doing a semester abroad, now is when you should be gathering information, requirements and applications for Summer and Fall 2009. Maybe you aren’t sure whether Semester at Sea is right for you. Maybe you’ve never even heard of it. Or maybe you’ve had your heart set on a semester in Paris or Tokyo or Sydney. That’s fine. But give yourself the chance to explore other options, if only because it will make you that much more confident that your final choice is the right one for you.

What is Semester at Sea? It’s a program that lets you visit a dozen countries during your semester instead of just one, and earn just as many units (although you should always consult with your academic counselor to make sure the units will be honored).

The Semester at Sea program has been around for decades, and it’s a great way for a student to travel around the world while working toward a degree. There are programs for teachers and seniors as well, so even if you’re out of school you can still do a sail around the world without paying the outrageous price that most cruise lines would charge for the same itinerary.

Some financial aid is available for students and you can use any federal aid or loans that you receive, such as Pell Grants and Stafford loans, as well. Talk to your academic adviser to find out more about how you can make a semester sailing the high seas work into your graduation plans, then get your passport and visas, and your ISIC. (It’s good all over the place!)

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