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About SEA

Student Stories

Mary McGee

Mary McGee

SEA Semester Class:

S-246 (Energy & the Ocean Environment)


Colgate University


Environmental Economics

SEA Semester Research Focus:

Alternative Energy in the Commercial Shipping Industry

Why did you choose SEA Semester?

I chose to study abroad with SEA Semester because I saw it as a truly once in a lifetime experience that would be incredibly unique. I hoped SEA Semester would be an opportunity for me step outside of my comfort zone and experience something completely new. It truly exceeded all my expectations!

What was the singular most memorable moment of your SEA Semester experience?

One night during evening watch we were having star frenzy on the quarter deck. It was a beautiful night and using the sextant was really clicking for me that night. Some people were there hanging out, others were on watch but everyone was having a great time truly enjoying our environment and expanding their knowledge about the night sky.

What were the strongest aspects of SEA Semester?

For me the positive learning environment throughout the semester was one of the best aspects of SEA Semester. I always felt that our teachers and the crew members truly wanted us to learn and were very interested in learning themselves. This encouraging environment made me passionately curious and eager to learn everything there is to know about life at sea and the world we live in.

What were the most challenging aspects of SEA Semester?

I think continually being in a group setting and the necessity of a positive group work ethic was one of the most challenging parts of the semester. There was little time to be on your own and you always had to be on your A game or else you shipmates had to pick up the slack. Group work is always tough, I have never done so much of it and I really learned a lot about how to effectively work with others.

Words of advice for future SEA Semester students?

Take advantage of the time you have and learn as much as you can. Six weeks may seem like a long time but it truly flies by. You will remember those new things you tried and the great people you got to know, not how tired you were during it all.