Past Review

By (Anthropology., Wellesley College) for

Williams College: Mystic - Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Everything we do is connected to the sea in some way. But most importantly, we do have the power to make a difference, whether it's in a concentrated ecosystem or some portion of the ocean or even in our daily lives. I didn't really know what I wanted to do before I did the program once I graduated from college. Now I know I want to go to graduate school and pursue museum studies and hopefully end up at a place as awesome as Mystic Seaport.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Williams-Mystic combines traditional classroom education with hands-on experiential learning. There are three multi-day field seminars over the course of the semester, and each of those field seminars allowed us to apply what we had learned in the classroom to the real world. The downside of these field seminars, which take up the first half of the semester, is that we have a very heavy workload the second half of the semester to compensate for the work we did not do while we were away.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had student houses across the street from Mystic Seaport on Bruggeman Place. I lived in Johnston house. <br /><br /> We lived four or five students to a house and cooked for ourselves. I lived with three men and one woman, and we all got along very well. I learned how to cook while I was there! I think the independent living was my favorite aspect of Williams-Mystic. Our houses were very close to everything: classes, the seaport, downtown. There was even a cottage near our houses with a television and a foosball table.

* Food:

Some of us could cook, some of us couldn't, but we always had enough food, even if we had to buy in bulk. We were the only house with men, so we consumed more food on average than the other houses. We sometimes ate in town or ordered pizza. The tastiest pizza comes from Pizzetta, but it ain't cheap! A student favorite is Drawbridge Ice Cream, a short walk into town.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Students lived independently and therefore had great house parties. Also, living across from Mystic Seaport was amazing. We got 24-hour access to the museum campus, so we would hang out there at nighttime and play games like capture-the-flag. We also played frisbee with the museum staff, and we had a boathouse with kayaks and canoes that we were free to use.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Mystic is a very safe town. When one of the students was injured playing frisbee, the director of the program accompanied her to a local clinic.

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? Very little. The program provided an adequate food stipend. I spent maybe $20 a week eating out or on nightlife.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? None; but since I didn't have storage on-campus, I had to mail a lot of packages home to Japan. That cost about $100.


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

My study away experience took place in the United States.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't kill yourself with the work. The professors are more laid-back than you think they are, and you'll have a lot more fun if you take some time to relax. Relish your time together with the other students in your program--it's over too soon.