Skip to Content

### NIU Students Can Embark on a Cruise for Studying Abroad

DeKALB–Students residing on a floating campus not only tackle their academic responsibilities but also navigate the challenges of the open sea, drawing inspiration from the popular teen series “Suite Life on Deck.”

The allure of a distant voyage looms large as approximately 600 young adventurers embark on a maritime journey, embarking on a week-long excursion spanning over 10 countries while accumulating 12-15 credit hours. The vessel hosts a diverse array of courses catering to disciplines such as business, social sciences, art, engineering, and more.

This distinctive educational venture is an integral part of the Semester at Sea initiative, offering a nearly 100-day multicultural study program aboard a cruise ship. Participants, comprising college and graduate students, not only engage in academic pursuits during the voyage but also revel in amenities like a pool, gym, grill, and social gatherings.

“When the ship docks at each port, students usually have the freedom to disembark and spend approximately a week in each location,” mentioned [Regional Director’s Name], the regional director of Semester at Sea.

During these port visits, students are not bound by academic obligations and are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the local culture alongside their peers.

In a departure from the routine onboard activities, students are provided with the flexibility to plan their own itineraries or opt for additional excursions and activities offered through the program, with costs ranging from \(20 to \)200.

Hill, a past participant of Semester at Sea in 2017, reminisces about his experience.

“When I wanted to explore activities like scuba diving, having that support system in place provided a sense of security,” shared Hill.

Reflecting on his time aboard, Hill warmly recalls forging lasting friendships.

“The most memorable aspect for me was the ship’s community. Some of my closest friends today are individuals I met during that voyage,” Hill expressed. “For instance, my former roommate, whom I befriended onboard, honored me by asking me to be his best man at his wedding last year.”

Semester at Sea emerges as an unparalleled escapade for those seeking an enriching educational journey intertwined with diverse cultural encounters. It fosters a supportive community that accompanies participants throughout their odyssey.

Nevertheless, with a price tag hovering around $30,000 covering essentials like accommodation, meals, tuition, internet access, international health coverage, and fuel surcharge, the expedition might appear daunting for students at NIU, renowned for its generous financial aid and cost-effective tuition.

On average, in-state students at NIU pay around $13,000 per semester, as reported by [Source’s Name].

By juxtaposing the $17,000 price disparity between a Semester at Sea program and a semester at NIU, one can discern the financial challenges that may deter many students from embarking on this distinctive study abroad venture.

Notably, Semester at Sea accommodates all federal grants and scholarships. In the spring semester of 2023, 305 students received approximately $2.85 million in financial assistance, as disclosed by SAS’s [Source’s Name].

For the fall semester of 2024, successful applicants are required to travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands, commencing a voyage that spans Portugal, [Country Name], Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand before disembarking, as outlined by Hill.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and can be submitted through the SAS website.