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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Semester at Sea's LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009
10:45 pm
Summer 2010
Is there anyone here who is going to enroll for Summer 2010?  I noticed there have been no postings for a while, but I just wanted to check.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
3:50 pm
woah, guess I'll crack the five-month-old ice here!

I would really like to do SAS Fall 08. I have a few questions (figures that I'd have them only after the int'l studies office is closed :( ) I think it's going to be obvious that I'm a greenhorn when it comes to studying abroad (The furthest I've been from home is Guatemala)

--The $1,000 deposit. I'm really confused as to WHEN that is due, exactly. (I have not completed my app yet, because I don't want to get a notice a month from now saying OH HAI U R 'CEPTED, GIMME MONEYZ NOW!! And then not have it.)

--How do you arrange for your FAFSA aid to be put towards the SAS tuition? Is that kind of a given for anyone getting aid, or do you have to be super-special?

--Did anyone just do a private student loan? How did that work out?

--Exactly what is covered in tuition? Is it just tuition and room/board?

--How long are you in port, on average?

--I saw a lot of people discussing the landtrips and their costs--how much extra moolah should I have with me when I go?

Like all of you, I have been bitten by the travel bug, but I am never able to take care of it--just recently I had to cancel a trip to Thailand, and it about killed me (emotionally and financially--I lost $515 after getting the maximum refund!). A little while ago I decided to spend a whole semester abroad (more expensive, but easier to manage while I'm in school), but I couldn't pick where. Then I remembered hearing about SAS, and decided to check it out. It just feels right to me--it's expensive as hell, worth three semesters of school here, but I don't think this is something I can pass up.

I would totally love to have an SAS-buddy! Especially anyone trying to get in on Fall 08, so we can keep each other on track!

Current Mood: hopeful
Thursday, April 26th, 2007
10:49 am
I'm interested in doing Semester at Sea but I'm a grad student... does anyone know if they allow grad students or if it's undergrad only? Do you know anyone who's done it as a grad student, either as a student or in a faculty/TA position? (Ive taught undergrad geology and astronomy, but i don't have a ph.d. or "real" faculty experience yet.. so maybe I don't qualify for staff positions, i dunno..) This program looks so cool and hope there's a way I can do it!

Current Mood: bouncy
Saturday, March 10th, 2007
1:01 pm
Question about phones
Hey guys,
I have a couple of questions:
1) Did any of you carry cell phones with you? Did any of you get service and which provider did you use?
2) If you did not use a cell phone, how did you call out (from the room phone with a calling card, etc.) and what were the fees like for doing so?
Friday, February 2nd, 2007
3:16 pm
a few questions
Hi, I'm currently in the process of applying for Fall 2007, and I have a few questions that I would be incredibly grateful to receive answers to (thanks in advance!!!)

1. what kinds of people did you use for your "personal reference" on the application? Could I use my college advisor for that (since he knows me pretty personally) if I'm using another professor for the academic reference, or should it be someone like an employer or a close friend?

2. When is the financial aid deadline? Do they not give you information about applying until you've already been accepted? (just want to make sure I don't miss any deadlines, as financial aid will be essential to my being able to attend the program!)

3. I've started getting really freaked out about not having my application in yet, after reading about people getting waitlisted and the program filling up by march... I still have to meet with my study abroad advisor next week so I won't have the application in until around February 10th or so. Do you think this is enough time? *paranoid! needs reassurance!*

One last thing that's not a question: I've been reading a lot of peoples' SAS blogs while trying to decide if this program is right for me, and I just want to thank everyone for sharing those online, because they've been truly amazing to read and I'm so pumped up for this experience now, I hope I am able to go on it! (if anyone wants to leave a comment with a link to their blog or a blog they're particularly fond of, I'm still hooked on reading as many of these as I can! Thanks!)

Current Mood: excited
Saturday, December 16th, 2006
11:53 am
mmmkay more questions, now that I'm sitting in my living room talking to my mother in person instead of in my dorm room trying to converse over the telephone. Sorry if I sound like a little kid with all my questions, but I want to know more before I decide if I'm doing this. I need details!!

What are the trips you can take in port cities? Do you have different options or does everyone do the same one?

How do they work? Do they cost a lot extra? (How much extra?) How are the trips arranged? Do you have to do it yourself?

Do you have class while in port? How does that work if everyone is doing a different little trip?

I'll probably post again soon. :-P

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, December 9th, 2006
12:22 am
I just noticed a flyer posted on campus the other day... it's the first time I've heard of Semester at Sea. I'm now looking at potentially doing the Fall 2008 trip (I know, I'm super early). I don't know yet though. Really I'm only getting support from my mom and my roommate... everyone else thinks I've gone nuts. I'm pretty much obsessed with sociology/culture/etc. I did a European tour with an orchestra, I was a foreign exchange student in high school (to Argentina), and my first semester of college was a 2-month camping-trip field-study around the entire United States. Basically, I find it hard to sit still when there's a whole world out there to be in. Anyway, I'm a freshman at Bowling Green State University, majoring in Early Childhood Education. If I do the trip my graduation will be set back one more semester, beyond already being potentially late because of my field study. Also, I don't know where to come up with the money. I get like this when I find about any new "adventure" opportunity... I do so much research that there's nothing else to look up, and then I get nervous about how to make it all work, and then I freak out until I finally apply... I'm just rambling now... I guess any support/help/encouragement would be REALLY welcome right now. :)

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
3:42 pm
Some Questions
I'm an Oceanography/Biology major at Humboldt State and I've been thinking about applying for the Fall 07 or Spring 08 semesters.

I have some questions that I'm hoping you guys can answer for me:
- What are the science courses like?  If you had a similar major, did you like the classes, field work, etc?

- Looking back, do you think you liked this program (multiple countries, the cruise, etc) better than you would have liked (or did like) a "traditional" program in one country?

- Anyone else thinking about these semesters?

- I've never stayed in dorms, so any advice or comments about the living situation?


Current Mood: curious
Monday, October 16th, 2006
12:10 am
ft. lauderdale/port everglades hotels?

I'm going on the All-Voyage Reunion in January and I'm staying in Ft. Lauderdale the night before. But since I was getting off the ship the last time I was there and going straight home, I have no clue about hotels in the area and my searches have been a little overwhelming, so I thought I'd see if anyone had a good hotel to recommend, preferably close to Las Olas and not too far from the port terminal! Thanks! :)

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006
10:07 am
Post-grad semester?
I know it's possible to do Semester at Sea once one has graduated, but is the program really that willing to accept post-grads? I so badly want to do a semester but it is impossible to do it before I graduate. If I applied to do it a year after I graduated do you think I'd have a high chance of acceptance? Do you know anyone who's done it post-graduation?
Saturday, August 5th, 2006
12:50 am
Pics of fall 2002
Here you go. now there not sorted yet but theres about 4500 shots. You can get a glimps of what you guys have in store. Most these I collected as submisions as webmaster for that trip

Saturday, June 17th, 2006
10:15 am
Hey all, I'm a Spring 07 hopeful and looking really forward to it.

How much spending money do you recommend I bring for food/souvenirs/etc? I'm starting to budget out the 06/07 school year and would like to see how much money I can put into other areas after the necessities like SAS/school.
Thursday, June 1st, 2006
12:27 am
When you went on SAS, which countries did you have to get visas for and how long did it take to get them?
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006
4:34 pm
Madonna in Japan + Blackberries
i know this is a REALLY random question, but is anybody that is going on the fall 2006 trip interested in seeing Madonna in Osaka, Japan? it just so happens that she's going to be performing the same night the ship is going to be in Kobe (which is very very close to Osaka) and I think it'd be really hot to see her there. the tickets are from ¥11,000, which at current rates is about $95US. (That's actually cheaper than it costs to see her in the US!) Let me know if you'd be interested! I think it would be such an awesome experience! Tickets go on sale in June.

In an unrelated matter, has anyone here tried bringing a Blackberry phone/email device with them on the trip? Some phone companies (like Cingular and T-Mobile) tell me that it will actually get a phone signal even in some parts of the Pacific Ocean and it will definitely work everywhere we go (except Japan). I think this would be a great way to have email/phone service no matter where we go, and not have to pay too much. Can anyone share any experiences with this? Thanks!
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006
1:15 pm
I know it's a little early.....but I'm super excited anyway....Spring 07 anyone??
Monday, April 24th, 2006
12:30 pm
fall 06?
so... anyone here planning on going fall 06?
Thursday, June 9th, 2005
8:06 am
Tuesday, June 7th, 2005
11:28 am
Semester at Sea and the University of Pittsburgh
This e-mail was just in my Inbox after I read the article posted on this LJ group...

You may have heard or read news reports about the Institute for Shipboard Education and the University of Pittsburgh
concerning the University sponsorship of the Semester at Sea program. We have been in discussions with the
University’s senior administration regarding the future of our partnership. It had been our hope that this long-standing
relationship would continue and that we would work together to make Semester at Sea an even stronger program.
However, it is with sincere regret that we must share with you that the University has decided to discontinue
sponsorship of the program. The terms of the separation are currently being negotiated.

Please rest assured that the program remains strong and will continue into the future. Students participating in our
upcoming summer voyage will be enrolled in University of Pittsburgh courses and their academic credit will be granted
by the University. We are in discussion with the University to grant academic credit for subsequent voyages.
Regardless, we do not anticipate any disruptions to any of our upcoming voyages.

We were very disappointed to read references in some news reports commenting on safety concerns. Please know
that the safety of our program has always been, and will continue to be, our top priority. If you have any questions
related to the safety of the program please call us.

As you may know, ISE and the University of Pittsburgh have worked together for the past 25 years. Pitt became the
academic sponsor of Semester at Sea in 1981 under the leadership and vision of then Chancellor Wesley W. Posvar
and colleagues in the School of Education who, collectively, were committed to advancing international education at
the University. Together, ISE and Pitt have collaborated to make Semester at Sea the most dynamic study abroad
program in higher education today. Under the academic sponsorship of the University of Pittsburgh over 25,000
undergraduate students, from colleges and universities across the country and abroad, have studied and traveled
around the world on Semester at Sea. Included among them have been more than 1500 Pitt students. Additionally,
more than 150 Pitt faculty have taught on Semester at Sea. Our shared alumni are global citizens who are making a
world of difference in all walks of life.

The search for a new academic sponsor for Semester at Sea is currently underway. The Institute has strong ties with
many colleges and universities across the country, and we will seek to develop new relationships with institutions that
share our mission and vision. As we look to the future, we will do so with an appreciation of what has been
accomplished over the past 25 years. We are proud to have worked closely with our respected colleagues at the
University of Pittsburgh in bringing global studies and remarkable international field experiences to thousands of
undergraduate students. The University as well as its faculty, staff, and students, has been an integral part of the
history of shipboard education, and it is our sincere hope that it will be a part of our future.

While we are saddened that our long-standing relationship with the University will not continue, we are very excited
about exploring new opportunities that will further advance the mission of shipboard education and ensure our
continued long term success.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-854-0195.


John P. Tymitz, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Institute for Shipboard Education

Current Mood: busy
10:33 am
Pitt cuts ties with Semester at Sea
Pitt cuts ties with Semester at Sea
Breaks off 24-year deal in dispute over governance, safety

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
By Sally Kalson and Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The University of Pittsburgh has abruptly severed its 24-year sponsorship of Semester at Sea, citing concerns about safety and governance of the ship's operation. In response, Semester at Sea's parent company, the Institute for Shipboard Education, on Friday filed a court action to stop Pitt's withdrawal, claiming contract violations and irreparable harm to the program.

"We found ourselves in the position of a frustrated spouse who has tried to keep the marriage going but in the end has to accept that it's over," said Pitt spokesman Robert Hill. Hill said a joint statement might be forthcoming after further discussions.

No one from Semester at Sea could be reached for comment and there was no mention of the upheaval on its Web site.

It was uncertain yesterday if the dispute would have an impact on the summer 2005 voyage, slated to depart June 17 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on a nine-week trip. Hill said Pitt faculty members who chose to go would be paid by Semester at Sea instead of the university, and that Pitt would still grant academic credit to the students on this last trip.

"The University is NOT saying that the upcoming voyages will be unsafe," the Pitt statement said, before adding that the institute has not provided sufficient risk-assessment information.

Since 1980, Pitt has been the academic sponsor of the "floating university" that takes college students around the world as they earn credits toward their degrees. The operator of the program is a nonprofit educational corporation with offices in the university's William Pitt Union.

In a letter dated May 2, 2005, Pitt Provost James Maher told John Tymitz, the institute's CEO, that the school was cutting its ties. He cited unresolved claims from the deaths of five program participants in India almost 10 year ago; concerns about the process used in acquiring the new ship that sustained storm damage in January; and the program's decision to visit Kenya on its most recent voyage despite a State Department travel advisory.

Hill attributed many of these problems to Semester at Sea's decision to end its long affiliation with the Seawise Foundation, which until a year ago supplied the ship that housed the program and also furnished "a level of proven maritime management expertise on which the university had come to rely."

The institute's lawsuit counters with these claims:

The contract between the institute and Pitt requires 24 months notice before termination unless both parties agree on a compressed time period, but Pitt shortened that period unilaterally after negotiations broke down.

Pitt has refused to enter mediation as required by the contract.

The school sent a letter to faculty and staff who were scheduled to sail on the summer 2005 voyage, telling them that if they go, they would have to take an unpaid leave of absence from Pitt. This has caused irreparable harm to the program, "in that some, if not all, of the faculty and staff committed to the upcoming voyage will no longer be able to afford to participate." As a result, the summer 2005 voyage may not be able to take place.

In violation of their agreement, Pitt gave the institute an ultimatum: notify all students registered for the trip about the university's withdrawal, or Pitt would do so on its own.

Pitt's withdrawal on such short notice hurts the students who were expecting to earn credits toward their college degrees.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Pitt to stop sending notices about its withdrawal from the program to students, faculty and staff, and to enter mediation with the institute within seven days of the order. It also asks the court to appoint a mediator -- noting that the institute had offered to let Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg serve in that capacity -- and to keep the current agreement in place in the meantime.

Robert Fessler, a Point Park University psychology professor who has taught on four voyages, reacted with surprise and sadness yesterday to hear that Pitt's sponsorship is ending.

"There is something about being able to move around the world from one country to the next and be able to compare and contrast the different cultures," Fessler said. "I think it's unparalleled. There are lots of study abroad programs, but not like this."

As long as the new sponsor is a reputable institution like Pitt, he said, individual trip-goers may not feel much change. But he called the move a loss for higher education in Western Pennsylvania since the voyages draw participants from across the nation and world.

"It raises the visibility of the education community in Western Pennsylvania in a positive way," he said.

Semester at Sea, originally called the University of the Seven Seas, was founded in 1963 by a group of California educators and business people. Over the years, the floating campus and its passengers have taken part in some ground-breaking trips to places once taboo for U.S. travelers.

A stop in Vietnam was the first large-scale visit by American college students since the Vietnam War. The program has made similar visits to China, South Africa and the former Soviet Union.

In spring of 1999, the group made what was believed to be the largest sanctioned visit to Cuba by a collection of American college students in nearly four decades. Fidel Castro was a fan of the program and sometimes lectured Semester at Sea students for hours on end.

But the program has also endured hardship.

In January of this year, a 50-foot wave hit the vessel as it traveled in stormy seas in the Pacific, shattering a window on the bridge and temporarily shorting out the electrical system, leaving the ship running on one engine.

In October of 2000, a container ship sideswiped the program's former vessel, the S.S. Universe Explorer, on the Saigon River, slicing a 30-foot-long gash in its hull and damaging five student cabins. No one was injured. And in March 1996, five Semester at Sea travelers, four of them students, died in a bus accident in India.


(Sally Kalson was a writing instructor on the Fall 2002 voyage of Semester at Sea. She can be reached at 412-263-1610 or skalson@post-gazette.com. Bill Schackner can be reached at 412-263-1977 or bschackner@post-gazette.com.)


Article from here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05158/516960.stm
Monday, April 11th, 2005
11:29 am
Hey everyone!! Just thought I'd join. I recently sent in my application for the Spring06 voyage, so if anyone wants to be my friend who happens to be going on it too... Go ahead :)

Can't wait!

Current Mood: chipper
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