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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Higher Education

Mission: The institute for shipboard education (the institute) organizes and administers the semester at sea program, the world's premier program for study abroad. Open to students of all majors, semester at sea offers 12 to 15 transferable credit college level courses per semi-annual voyage, as well as a 9 to 12 credit summer voyage, which coincides with traditional university semesters. The program is academically sponsored by the university of virginia. Driven by the intention to educate individuals with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of an interdependent world, the institute also sponsors short duration educational voyages attended by alumni, lifelong learners and staff as ship availability permits.

Programs: The institute for shipboard education organizes & administers the educational semester at sea program. Undergrad students take college level courses in conjunction with traveling the world for a semester. The institute plans two voyages to coincide with the traditional semiannual semesters offered by most universities, as well as a summer voyage. The program is acedemically sponsored by the university of virginia and administered by the institute.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 3

The goal of shipboard education is great. I do not have first hand experience with the current management, but they seem to work hard on the ever present financial challenge of running an expensive and extensive program.

When I was an on board undergraduate student in 1967, the experience was outstanding and opened new possibilities for me. For that experience I'd rate it Five Stars. My current medium rating is only because I don't have recent experience other than as a donor and recipient of its newsletters.

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

If you are interested in educational travel, stay away from “Enrichment Voyages.” They use the ship that normally runs the Semester at Sea program (MV Explorer). There are some very good lectures on board when you are at sea, but the Enrichment Voyage policy is to raise as much money as possible to support other programs. In other words, the goal is to “enrich” their coffers but not necessarily your brain. They push cheap sweet drinks, at high costs on board, sell logo items at high prices and offer shore programs that are mostly shopping trips, with minimal educational value. You learn very little on shore trips that would help you to tell one port from another. Management has not trained the ship staff in respectful behavior towards senior citizens. For example, they confiscated distilled water necessary for a medically essential CPAP machine (then days later, reluctantly sold the person a bottle of distilled water for $15). The staff response to a request of a lip-reader to face him and speak slowly was for them to yell at him. My recommendation for senior citizens and serious learners: Consider travel with any other educational travel program but Enrichment Voyage. They were wonderful some years ago, but now they are fundraising and marketing to bargain hunting, escapist, “Groupon” tourists and highlighting many mindless “fun” activities, which are entertaining – if that is what you want.