SEA Semester Oceans and Climate 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?
SEA Semester did not broaden my cultural awareness, or change my academic interests or future plans. But it did change my life, and that's what is important.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

During the sea component, work definitely could have been distributed more evenly throughout the voyage. Instead, we had one week where every major assignment was due. Nobody slept, and as a result this second to last week sailing was not very enjoyable. There is no reason that the assignments could not have been spread more evenly during the sea component.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My captain, Bill Curry, and chief scientist, Jeff Schell, were both extremely knowledgeable program leaders. They supported us throughout the shore and sea component and were always willing to put in extra time to help us with our work, whether it be celestial fixes or research projects. We had a really big class for an SEA program, but I think it worked out well and my overall expectations of an unforgettable adventure while studying science were met.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

During the shore component, students live in houses on the SEA campus. The houses were really nice and a great place to live while on shore. During the sea component, we each had our own bunk and several drawers to store our gear. Ship life is expectedly cramped, but I think the accommodations aboard the Robert C. Seamans were more than amenable.

* Food:

The food on shore was all cooked by the students, and we were given money to go food shopping each week, which worked out really great. I was overall pleased with the food prepared during the sea component, but our steward was quite honestly a prick. He was really rude to the students and seemed to be only working aboard the Robert C. Seamans to make money and not because he cared about the students or their education.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? French Polynesia is really, really expensive. Don't stay for more than a couple of days. Kiritimati is one of the world's poorest countries; there isn't anything to buy so money isn't really an issue.


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans