Semester at Sea / my RTW study abroad experience

If a few months out of your life and a reasonable sum of money are all it takes to reach intellectual and personal enlightenment, I pity the fool who forgoes the opportunity to study abroad.
— Me (yes, I quoted myself)

Semester at Sea is run by the University of Virginia and has no fixed location. The world is the topic of discussion, and while students spend their days on the high seas in the classroom, with the dawn of certain days comes a sunrise and a view of a new continent that cannot be compared with anything but itself. These days, the MV Explorer traverses the entire waistband of Mother Earth, often hitting 12 different ports of call. The trip inevitably becomes the highlight of every passenger's life.

Alongside Me

If you'd like to try on the Semester at Sea experience for yourself, check out the videos I made from each destination. Hopefully this gives you a visual idea of what it's like to travel on the MV Explorer around the world. Unfortunately, I have musical tastes that please Warner Music Group, or piss them off depending on the way you see copyright issues, so a lot of my videos are lacking their musical soundtracks. Turn on your own music and press play. The world never fails to let you down.

In The Bag

A lot of prospective students of SAS stress about what to bring on their RTW study abroad experience. Here, with In the Bag, I've listed my entire, meticulous packing list that I compiled before the trip. I also included my note after the trip's end to specify what I did and didn't need. If you are a former SASer and have some tips to add, please write a comment and help the newbies with their packing struggles.


Photography is what got me into world travel. I wanted desperately for my portfolio to include yawning hippos and beautiful Indian children frolicking in the Himalayas. Sometimes the shots took careful planning, and other times they were spur-of-the-moment, taken-dangling-at-my-side, miracle shots. I'll let you be the judge of the quality of my photos, which were mostly taken with a Nikon D50 SLR. Sadly, they no longer make this model.

The Itinerary

This is the best part. This cruise liner goes around the world...AROUND THE 12 ports of call on four continents. Imagine your home floated around the Earth's oceans, and every week at the end of your driveway a new country and culture appeared. Each culture is new and just as spectacular as the one before. I walked away from the ship in San Diego in love with the world, not that I wasn't before, and anyone who experiences it like this is bound to feel the same way.

Everyone who comes back has a new sparkle in their eye that is the mark of a true SASer. If you have questions, check these other ones out.