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Planning Ahead for SEA Semester

Planning Ahead for SEA Semester

Get a Head Start

It’s not too early to begin dreaming about your life’s journey, or to begin preparing for a SEA Semester study abroad experience. At SEA, we’re invested in our students’ futures and in their success. SEA Semester develops lifelong skills in leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking, all of which serve students well no matter what career path they choose. 92% of our alumni report that SEA Semester provided them with skills that have proven useful in their careers today.

Taking a Gap Year? Accepted as a Winter Admit?

High school students considering a gap year or who've been accepted as a winter start in college have two pre-college SEA programs available to them.

SEA’s Atlantic Odyssey program develops lifelong leadership and teamwork skills without the pressure of academic assessment. It offers a 3-week, field-based shore component in Woods Hole followed by a 6-week epic ocean passage from the temperate shores of New England to the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

Students looking for transferable academic credit should consider Ocean Exploration. This program carries 17 Boston University credits, which students have successfully transferred in as incoming freshmen to undergraduate institutions including Colorado College, Middlebury College, and Hamilton College, among others. A six-week shore component in Woods Hole prepares students academically, and personally, for the experience of going to sea as a crewmember on a 6-week sailing research voyage to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Planning Ahead for SEA Semester?

If you’re already thinking ahead about studying abroad with SEA Semester as a college student, here are some basic tips for success:

  • Check out which colleges and universities are affiliated with SEA Semester.
  • Work with your academic advisor to determine how SEA Semester courses can count as credit towards your future major or minor.
  • Connect with a SEA Semester Admissions Counselor to learn more about our relationships with specific institutions.
  • Follow us on social media to stay up to date on our latest programs!

The SEA Semester Ripple Effect

Setting a Course for Success
Being a SEA Semester alum means something. It says something about you: your passion, your character, your knowledge. It also means that you’re part of a well-established community. These are essential elements to success – in your undergraduate studies, professional career, and personal life – that colleges and employers value.

  • Passion

    Make a difference.

    Challenge yourself.

    Hone your sense of adventure.

    Contribute to something bigger than yourself.

  • Knowledge

    Master a range of academic subjects.

    Gain lifelong practical and interpersonal skills.

    Earn transferable credits from Boston University.

    Get to know yourself.

  • Character

    Develop confidence.

    Be a leader, and a follower.

    Abide by a code: ship, shipmates, self.

    Develop critical thinking & communication skills.

  • Community

    Join a tight-knit alumni community.

    Gain powerful networking opportunities.

    Find a professional circle of mentors.

    Make friends for life.

SEA Semester for Gap Year Students

Learn more about SEA Semester Studying Abroad Programs

Atlantic Odyssey

Start your gap year off on an adventure with a purpose! Immerse yourself in an experiential learning odyssey on shore in Cape Cod and at sea aboard a sailing research vessel. Develop lifelong leadership and teamwork skills while completing an epic ocean passage from the temperate shores of New England to the tropical islands of the Caribbean. Join a network of 8,500+ SEA Semester alumni who consistently stand out from the crowd on college, internship, and job applications.

This interdisciplinary program offers gap and winter start students a deeper understanding of the complex marine environment through field-based research, a sailing adventure aboard a tall ship, and innumerable opportunities for skill-building, leadership development, and personal growth both on shore and at sea.

Life & Community on Shore
Atlantic Odyssey begins on the temperate shores of beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts with a 4-week shore component. Students will develop scientific survey skills in local salt marshes, beaches, and harbors in partnership with local research and conservation groups. Working with additional SEA partners from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the New England Aquarium, and Mystic Seaport Museum, students will learn about climate policy and adaptation measures adopted throughout the Southern New England region. When not actively engaged in field experiences, students will receive practical instruction in basic navigation techniques and ship management skills to prepare for their time at sea. In preparation for coral reef survey work in the Caribbean, students will also learn proper snorkeling and reef surveying techniques. Finally, time, materials, and instruction for observational and reflective journaling will be included.

Life & Leadership at Sea
Following the shore component, the personal journey continues on board the Sailing School Vessel (SSV) Corwith Cramer for a 39-day voyage from Woods Hole to the Caribbean. This journey traverses the remotest region of the North Atlantic gyre, the Sargasso Sea: home to drifting communities of golden algae and more recently, marine plastic debris. Once on board, students become working members of the crew - one of the hallmarks of all SEA programs.

The final leg of the voyage brings the shipboard community to the tropical Caribbean where the focus will shift to Dominica, the “Nature Island,” and then to the US Virgin Islands’ protected coral reef habitats. In addition to an introduction to Dominica and its communities, the assessment of climate change impacts on ecosystems continues.

Program Highlights

  • Build self-confidence and self-reliance that will prepare you for success in college and beyond
  • Develop lifelong skills in leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking as a crewmember aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer
  • Conduct environmental research on marine debris, the Sargassum ecosystem, and coral reefs, gathering real-time data that contributes to a global understanding of our oceans
  • Experience new cultures while learning about marine conservation efforts in the Caribbean