My SEA Semester was the happiest few months of my life. Past Review

By (Environmental Science., Barnard College) for

Sea Education Association: Programs at Sea - Oceans and Climate

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, definitely worthwhile. The experience gave me a chance to really challenge and push myself beyond anything I had done before. Being out at sea is an amazing experience and now that I have tasted in for a brief 6 weeks I cannot wait to return. The friends I made during the program will be friends of mine for life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Very challenging curriculum, much emphasis is placed on independent research but students are also attending classes in subjects such as navigation, oceanography, and and public policy from 8am-4pm during the shore component. There are no formal classes during the sea component, instead you are expected to work on your independent research project, and you will be putting everything you learned in nautical science classes to the test 24 hours a day.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

SEA Semester admissions officers very helpful and friendly. All were alumni and eager to share their experiences and advice on what shorts to pack and the best sea-sickness remedies.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

All 20 students lived in 2 cottages in Woods Hole, MA for 6 weeks, then on board the 134 ft SSV Robert C Seamans. <br /><br /> I loved living in a house with the other students, we forged a real sense of community by cooking meals for each other and attending all of our classes together.

* Food:

I believe we were given about $400 a week for the 11 people in our house with which to buy groceries. Cooking together was a lot of fun! Meals were a large part of the experience and sitting down for "family dinner" together each night made us all into fast friends.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety is highly emphasized in all sailing operations

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $0
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Money is unnecessary on the boat, I spent maybe $5 on Kiritimati Island to buy a cold drink and some chocolate, but other than that the money was unnecessary there as well.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could do this program again--It was the happiest few months of my life. An incredible experience, I cannot recommend it more. Don't let thoughts of seasickness or discomfort or fear deter you. The rewards are immeasurable.