Semester At Sea Application Checklist

All OSU students are required to complete the OSU Online Study Abroad Application. By completing this online application, a non-refundable, $50 application fee will be charged to your OSU student account.

OSU Online Application -> http://studyabroad.oregonstate.edu/apply/

Semester At Sea Application Deadlines

Fall Voyage: April 15th
Spring Voyage (Winter/Spring semester): October 15th
Summer Voyage: March 15th

It is strongly recommended that students apply at least six months in advance.

Program Provider Application: 

Students may apply for an upcoming Semester At Sea voyage up to one year in advance of voyage departure. Students are advised to begin application at least six months in advance. All OSU students applying for Semester At Sea are required to meet with OSU Campus Advisor in the Office of the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA).

First Contact/Inquiry

  1. Complete the First Steps online module to learn the basics of study abroad at OSU
  2. Meet with your Academic Advisor and start your research, or meet first with an IDEA student ambassador and explore the resources available to and steps required for applicants
  3. Set up an appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor. Bring a list showing what your remaining requirements are for your degree and potential SAS courses of interest

Application –Stage 1

  1. Complete the OSU Online Application. This will include a $50 non-refundable application fee which is billed to your student account. https://studyabroad.oregonstate.edu/apply/
  2. SAS application can be initiated via the online app system, which is quickest and easiest, but costs $50.  Go to http://www.semesteratsea.org/apply/ and click ‘Create Account’

        SAS Application Requirements:

  • Application Fee ($50)
  • 300-500 word essay
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Letter of reference (optional, but recommended)
  • Disciplinary Clearance Form (must be signed by IDEA Education Abroad Advisor)
  • Good Academic and Judicial Standing
  • 2.75 Cumulative GPA
  • Completed at least one full term at the post-secondary level

        OSU Application Requirements:

  • Complete OSU online application
  • Application Fee ($50)
  • Good academic standing, as defined by OSU
  • Interview and explanatory statement regarding conduct history, if applicable
  • Completion of 45 college level credits (sophomore+ standing at point of departure)

Once OSU and SAS applications are in, typically takes two-three weeks for an admissions decision.

Application –Stage 2   Pre-Departure (once accepted)

  1. Scan completed health disclosure and risk assumption forms and send to your Education Abroad Advisor (EAA), or send hard copies to IDEA.
  2. Complete the online quizzes and learning material for pre-departure information which is hosted on Blackboard under the ‘Organizations’ tab.
  3. Pay the $500 deposit to SAS (as soon as possible in order to choose housing type – economy housing has the lowest cost, and fills up quickly).
  4. Choose ship accommodation (deck, orientation, and type of room determine the program fee – economy room the most economical). Inform Education Abroad advisor of confirmed room reservation.
  5. Inform your EAA whether you intend to apply for SAS and/or OSU financial aid.
  6. Report any aid received from SAS (program fee reduction) to IDEA EAA in order for EAA to create budget tier. Once this information is sent to Financial Aid Office, you can make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office to discuss aid eligibility or other funding questions.
  7. Once the budget is completed, the IDEA EAA will work with you and SAS to complete a payment deferral form (unless you do not intend to use OSU aid) to ensure that you do not have to pay your SAS bill until your OSU financial aid is released.
  8. You will receive an invoice from SAS indicating the difference (if any) between your total financial aid and the SAS program costs. You are responsible for paying that difference or setting up a payment plan with SAS before departure. Contact for financial aid questions is Debbie Rushing (drushing@ise.virginia.edu), or the SAS Oregon Admissions rep.
  9. SAS MyVoyage online application platform will unlock required materials as the Voyage approaches.
    • Complete health disclosure and release forms which can be physical signed off by a doctor, within a few months of Voyage departure
    • Visa and Immunization information: SAS works with a visa processing agency which you can use for free consultation or pay a fee for the agency to obtain all passports for you. Immunization info will include required paperwork and resources. Visa and immunization questions should go to Oregon Admissions rep
    • Read the Student Voyager Handbook: info on conduct policy, etc.
  10. Meet again with Academic Advisor about SAS classes and how they will fit into your degree (major reqs, bacc-core, electives, etc.)Have an Academic Advisor sign an Academic Planning Form, which has to be turned in to the EAA.
  11. Register for SAS classes through MyVoyage account. As discussed in pre-departure orientation, you will be simultaneously registered for ‘blank’ Overseas Studies credits at OSU in order to maintain OSU student status and access financial aid.
  12. Once  you have completed all pre-departure requirements, you will receive an Overseas Studies CRN to register. This will typically by Week 8 of term preceding departure.
    • Summer Voyages: Students take 9 or 12 SAS credits (3 or 4 classes), which is equivalent to 9 or 12 OSU credits, respectively. Student must indicate to IDEA EAA whether they intend to take 9 or 12 credits in order for IDEA to provide the appropriate CRN
    • Fall Voyages: Students typically take 4 SAS classes (both minimum and recommended amount by SAS) in Fall. They can take five but must wait to register for the 5th class once they are on board and everyone has had the chance to register for 4 classes each. Each semester class is worth 5 OSU credits. Fall typically provides 20 OSU credits
    • Spring Voyages (Winter/Spring terms): OSU students must take 5 classes in order to reach full time status for both Winter and Spring (5 classes = 25 OSU credits). In order to get special permission to register for 5th class before departure, student must write explanatory email and request a specific class, to be sent to SAS Admissions representative
  13. Research countries and ports to get a grasp of some places you would like to see and things you would like to do.
  14. Sign up for SAS sponsored in-port trips/programs (which are optional and not included in the initial program cost).  It is important to have a balance between independent travel and SAS sponsored activities. More information will be covered in your pre-departure orientation.
  15. Attend the IDEA in-person pre-departure orientation, which goes over health and safety abroad, intercultural communication and learning, academic policies, financial aid, and more, and includes the opportunity to meet other OSU students going abroad, and returnees who have been abroad.
  16. Send your SAS email address to your EAA which will be provided to you a couple of weeks before departure.


  1. The add/drop period on each Voyage takes place in the first couple of days, so you can send your EAA the list of courses you are taking on the Voyage to get the equivalency process started.
  2. If you choose to do so, you may submit request to S/U courses by the eleventh week of semester length Voyages, or by the fifth week of the Summer Voyage (at least three weeks before the end of the Voyage). Include your Academic Advisor on the request to ensure compliance with dept/college/university policy and degree requirements.  
  3. You will receive an email when your SAS grades have been posted to your OSU transcript.
  4. Meet with your Academic Advisor to have substitutions and overrides made to fulfill requirements (if applicable).

A passport valid for six months beyond your program is required. Apply for a passport immediately if you have not done so already. Visit travel.state.gov for an application.

SAS requires passports to contain 10 blank visa pages. Visit the Semester At Sea website for more details on required documentation.

Semester At Sea enrolls you in insurance for the duration of your participation. Review the insurance policy and carry additional claim forms and your insurance card with you abroad.

Depending on the itinerary of the voyage, students may need to obtain 0-8 visas. For more information on required documentation and visa processes please visit the Semester At Sea website.

Travel Clinic: 

Certain locations visited on SAS voyages may require vaccination documentation. All students are encouraged to visit their primary care provider before going abroad. Information about immunizations and travel health can be obtained from the Travel Medicine Clinic at Student Health Services.

Financial Aid Information:

File FAFSA and apply for financial aid for the term(s) of your program.

IDEA will submit a financial aid budget with your estimated cost of attendance to the Office of Financial Aid the term prior to your departure so that your aid award may be adjusted.

Semester At Sea gives approximately $4 million in financial aid to eligible applicants per year, with an estimated 40% of students receiving SAS aid per voyage. Types of aid include:
Work Study on-board the ship
Need-based grants
Merit-based scholarships (inluding full tuition scholarships)

Please see the Semester At Sea website for more information on financial aid opportunities.

Use this form to estimate the total cost of your attendance on the program. Visit the Budget Worksheet page for details.

All Semester at Sea students will need to register for general ('blank') Overseas Studies credits using the OSU online registration system (and in some cases a PIN from their academic advisor). IDEA will send students an e-mail from education.abroad@oregonstate.edu with the instructions and CRN, and students are responsible for registering for these credits for the term(s) they are abroad. You will not receive financial aid for the program unless you are registered. To be registered, your account must be free of any hold, and your OSU bill balance must be below $2,200.
Grades and Credits: 
This program earns resident credit at OSU. Each course you take must be assessed for how the credit will be applied to your degree program. Semester at Sea's academic sponsor is the University of Virginia (UVa). UVa will send your SAS transcript to you or to the IDEA office directly. Make sure that this document reaches the IDEA office, because grades cannot be posted to your OSU transcript until it is received.

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