SEA Semester: I will always treasure the bonds of shipmates and the experiences we had together. Past Review

By (Chemistry, Bates College) for

Sea Education Association: Programs at Sea - Oceans and Climate

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Solely because of the repercussions on my academic schedule, I was on the fence while deciding whether to do this program. After participating, I realize that any unfortunate consequences on class scheduling as a result of doing this program are negligible in comparison with the experience of SEA Semester. If I could go back in time, I'd tell my past self to quit debating about doing this program, and sign up immediately.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was tough, but manageable, and good preparation for having minimal free time on the boat. All very interesting, and the professors were generally very good and helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The long hours and intense collaboration foster an incredible learning environment, that is somehow enjoyable while being the most grueling thing imaginable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

On shore we lived in nice little houses, about 10 people per house, and a one minute walk to the classroom building. On the ship, we were in bunks surrounded by others in bunks.

* Food:

On shore, everyone makes food collectively within their house. I enjoyed that, and it initiated the bonding and collaboration that would take place constantly at sea, but it all depends on whether that's your cup of tea. At sea, the food was healthy, hearty and ever-present. My only complaint is having no choice in daily eating during the voyage (except on the days when you get to be assistant steward), but that is completely unavoidable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have never been in a situation so collaborative, or requiring such reliance on every other member of the community than this one. It's an incredible experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Man overboard drills, fire drills, etc. We also could have gotten a helicopter to get someone to safety if necessary.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You have to be willing to live within 135 feet of the same 30 people for six weeks. As long as you're open to whatever might happen (either rain on your watch, or a huge pod of dolphins!), you'll have an amazing experience.