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