SEA Ocean Exploration: The long trip south! March 07, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/02/2018 to 11/20/2018 with

Sea Education Association: The Global Ocean

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot academically, especially in terms of Caribbean culture, scientific methods, and traditional tallship sailing. I also felt that I grew older with my time at SEA, and it made me more confident to tackle college.

Review Photos

SEA Semester: The Global Ocean Photo SEA Semester: The Global Ocean Photo SEA Semester: The Global Ocean Photo SEA Semester: The Global Ocean Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program was definitely academically challenging. With only 12 weeks to cover a semester's worth of material, the courses were fast paced, yet the professors did a fantastic job of being available for extra help or questions. Overall, the material was interesting and varied, with the different courses connecting to each other well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The admissions team and administration at Sea Semester were clear and approachable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

On land, the dorm house was very nice, with plenty of room for students. At sea, the ship was our home and treated us well on our voyage.

* Food:

While the kitchens in the dorms could have used a little updating and restocking (knives, colanders, pans, etc.) we never had any trouble feeding ourselves and accommodating all dietary needs. The food on the ship was delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The majority of the program was spend on the ship, out of sight of land. But, when we did come ashore in Carriacou and Grenada, I felt that I was knowledgeable about local history and culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

On shore, there was always someone on call to take us to the doctor or to the emergency room if we needed it. On the ship, we had several experienced medical staff who dealt with any injuries or illness quickly.

* Safety:

Safety was the primary concern on the ship. If the weather was rough, we had to clip our harness onto the ship at all times, and we had weekly emergency drills. The boat was cleaned every day to prevent sickness from spreading.

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

I had an incredible experience, and I though my time with SEA was a perfect transition into college life. If I was to do another program, I would do one which spend more time close to shore, not because I did not like the feeling of being along with the ocean, but because I would look for something different.

Finances

* 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)

Food and housing was payed for by SEA.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20/week if we decided to go out to eat one day. The flight home was not payed for by SEA, so that was the largest personal cost.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The People
  • The Setting
  • The Academics
* What could be improved?
  • Perhaps if there was more class activity on the islands we visited
  • Maybe if we had a weekend totally free on shore to explore the Cape a little bit more
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had known how suddenly the trip seems to end, and to appreciate those last few days even more.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Oceanographic Field Methods

Course Department: Chemistry/Biology/Physics/Geology
Instructor: Dr. Ben Harden
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course gave hands-on experience to using scientific tools and equipment. Students were responsible for manning, and sometimes directing, daily net and CTD/Carousel deployments. Additionally students did lab work identifying plankton, studying CHIRP readings, inspecting sargassum, sorting ocean plastics, measuring pH and Alkalinity, finding chlorophyll levels, and getting phosphate and nitrate measures.
Credit Transfer Issues: Incoming Middlebury Febs, go to the study abroad office once you arrive at Midd to work out transfer credit!
Course Name/Rating:

Practical Oceanographic Research

Course Department: Chemistry/Physics/Biology/Geology
Instructor: Dr. Ben Harden
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging, as it puts you into the role of a scientist. We were assessed based on our research projects, experiments to test ocean phenomena which we designed on shore and performed during our time at sea. This course gave me exposure to the scientific thought process and testing methods.
Credit Transfer Issues: Incoming Middlebury Febs, go to the study abroad office once you arrive at Midd to work out transfer credit!
Course Name/Rating:

Oceanography

Course Department: Physics/Geology/Biology/Chemistry
Instructor: Dr. Ben Harden
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was fantastic. It gave us a broad view of how our oceans work, and the forces behind them. We were assessed on tests, and labs to gauge our understanding.
Credit Transfer Issues: Incoming Middlebury Febs, go to the study abroad office once you arrive at Midd to work out transfer credit!
Course Name/Rating:

Nautical Sicence

Course Department: Marine Studies
Instructor: Capt. Jason Quilter
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging and interesting. It had a heavy workload, especially with navigation problems to prepare us for our voyage. We were assessed on a number of tests, navigation problems, and research projects.
Credit Transfer Issues: Incoming Middlebury Febs, go to the study abroad office once you arrive at Midd to work out transfer credit!
Course Name/Rating:

Maritime Studies

Course Department: History
Instructor: Craig Marin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very well taught. We would learn in a seminar-type environment where students would discuss the reading they had done the night before and Craig would direct us where needed. We also had two research papers and a final research project which we were assessed on.
Credit Transfer Issues: Incoming Middlebury febs, go to the study abroad office once you arrive at Midd to work out transfer credit!