Sail Around the World with A+ World Academy High School & Gap Year

Video and Photos

A+ World Academy students doing homework on deck
A+ World Academy students doing homework on deck
A+ World Academy students studying on deck
A+ World Academy students studying on deck
A+ World Academy students hoisting sails
A+ World Academy students hoisting sails
A+ World Academy Students shark diving in Cape Town
A+ World Academy Students shark diving in Cape Town
A+ World Academy student climbing aloft
A+ World Academy student climbing aloft
A+ World Academy students learning sailing techniques and theory
A+ World Academy students learning sailing techniques and theory
A+ World Academy Students tugging away at their lines
A+ World Academy Students tugging away at their lines
The A+ World Academy home, the majestic Sørlandet!
The A+ World Academy home, the majestic Sørlandet!

About

A+ World Academy has one of the most unique programs settings in the world. We give 64 students from all over the globe the opportunity to complete 11th-12th grade or a gap year aboard the world’s oldest fully rigged tall ship! During their time with us students learn to sail our incredible vessel, taking her to over 15 different destinations throughout the year. All the while, students are studying and have the option of taking AP level classes. Gap year students have the flexibility to pick the subjects that they want and do not have to take all subject matters.

Our program is truly one of a kind and our students learn just as much outside of the classroom as they do within it. Our students are experiencing a rigorous maritime endeavor, close-knit communal living, study in foreign lands, and personal mentoring that cultivates their self-knowledge, and leadership far beyond that of more traditional schools and programs.

Highlights
  • Travel to over 15 incredible destinations on 4 different continents throughout the academic year
  • Learn to sail the world's oldest fully rigged tall ship. No prior sailing experience is necessary, even those who have sailed would be learning something new as our vessel is one of a kind.
  • Meet and live among students from all over the world and learn about each others' cultures
  • Take AP® level courses and challenge yourself academically (AP® Capstone Diploma also available)

Meet us Around the World!

Our ship and our land based team is constantly on the move and would love to meet you if we are in the same city! Please check the calendar below for our upcoming dates and travel plans!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 6 reviews
  • Housing 9
  • Support 5
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9
  • Growth 9.4
  • Support 7.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Default avatar
Ivan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Liftetime

My year at A+ completely changed my outlook on life and allowed me to come out a better individual. I learned so much about who I was as a person and made many lifelong friendships. All of this was while getting the opportunity to travel the world and visit over 20 different countries with a tight knit community of people who slowly grow to become family.

One of my favorite memories is probably the last port in Copenhagen when all of us got together and had a bbq right on the dock where the ship was just hanging out together and having a good time. It truly taught me so much about living in a community of loving and caring people. And come graduation, I had been part of a family of people who I knew would always support one another no matter what.

A+ truly allowed me to grow into the person I am today and for that, I am eternally grateful.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make the most of your time and make sure to live in the moment. It truly will pass before you even realize it and make sure that you truly talk to people and make lifelong friends.
Default avatar
Nora
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgetable Exchange Year

My year aboard Sørlandet studying with A+ World Academy was full of adventure, challenges and experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. What is most important is that I now have everlasting friendships with the people I got to share this year with. The year was hectic and demanding, but I do not have a single regret about joining the program. This exchange is unique in the sense that it includes many different aspects, such as sailing, studies, socializing and traveling the world. It provides new impulses arround every corner, so you do not have many moments to sit down and be bored. You grow as a person, learn new things every day and develop skills that equip you for further studies or other challenges you may face later on.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Fully immerse yourself in everything the year has to offer, and really get to know your fellow sailors.
Default avatar
Linn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An intense year packed with experiences and learnig lessons

Going to High School while sailing on an old and Beautiful tallship that was built in 1973?!
I think it is just amazing. Honestly Nothing can ever compare to it. It is for sure tough but for me it was perfect. I definetely is not for everyone, you will get your Limits and exceed them. You will get to now people you wouldn't have otherwise and you will get to know them in a way you would not otherwise.

It is all very Special and different learning Environment. Not what one is used to from usual School. We climbed up the mast about everyday and stowed sails. We braced the ship so it would sail faster and we cleande a whoooole lot. Every single day about an hour in the day time and then for a certain period of time we cleaned the toilets for another hour in the night. The rules are very strict on the ship and sometimes you feel like you do something for no reason. But it is usally to keep the structure.
you will also see Dolphins playing at the bowsprit and other amazing creatures will pass your way.

School will most likely become not the highes priority, but learing from the world. Hopefully understanding the bigger picture and feeling an Empowerment through an amazingy special community. Work hard Play hard or in sailors words: sail fast live slow.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go all in. Embrace and be open - you are part of creating this amazing experience.
Default avatar
Jack
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You better like boats.

A+ World Academy sure is a unique school. The school actually is one huge sailboat that the students live on and travel across the seas in while taking classes. If you’re wondering how it’s possible to take classes on a sailboat then you’ve considered the greatest problem facing the school: the fact that it tries to have kids live and learn on a 90 year old sailboat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really cool! But with the experience comes a lot of complications to daily life that only living on the high seas can bring. Students follow a watch schedule where they are engaged in sailing the boat for part of the day and part of the night. On a ocean crossing it is likely a student will go 2+ weeks without sleeping a full night due to watch schedules. This was my case. Sailing, cleaning, and personal chores take time away from focusing on school but this is where A+ World Academy excels as it “teaches”.... actually forces students to develop acute time management skills. The ideal student for A+ World Academy is one that can diligently follow a schedule, isn’t a picky eater (you eat what you’re given!) and won’t get seasick. The tuition is ridiculous but honestly they need to keep it at that price because maintaining boats is expensive. If money is a concern definitely shoot their admissions department an email because they are liberal with financial aid.
A+ World Academy is a great experience if you like being on a boat, if your not that interested in boats don’t bother because all the teachers and the PAID CREW THEY HAVE are all crazy for boats and will want to tell the students all their fun wacky boat stories of which they never seem to run out of.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you join A+ World Academy take time to learn lots of things about how the sailboat works. The sailboat the school is based on is called the “Sørlandet” and is actually a really big deal in its home town in Norway. The Norwegians really like their sailboats. In my experience there even was a group of singing men who sang for the sailboat and its crew on its departure from Norway. On-board, students will have opportunities to improve their “seamanship” over the course of the academic year. This is basically a fancy way of saying you will be taught a bunch of different things about how a sailboat works. Take advantage of these experiences as it makes the teachers and crew like you more as a student and you get cool incentives like being called a special name or telling your classmates what to do when it’s time to do some special sailing stuff like steering the sailboat across the ocean and whatnot.
Default avatar
Tonje
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A+World Academy

The year on board Sorlandet with a+ world academy has been the best in my life so far. I have so many great memories from it that I will never forget. The ship life does something to you as a person and you leave there as a hole different and I would say better person than the one that borded 9 months earlier. One would think that it is the traveling that is the best, but what I learned from my year on board it is that it's all the small things and the everyday routines that I miss the most and remember the best. It's the chaos of living with 70+ people, the awful 2 hours of nightwatch at 2 am that is such an amazing time where you bond with your new family, the seasickness where you give or get complete compassion and the best of all, the friend that becomes your family for life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Enjoy every moment of it! For this year it is not the school that matters, it's the experiences. So don't stress too much about the school, focus on the sailing and the traveling. That's the memories you will remember, not the good grades.
Default avatar
Camila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gap year at sea

It was the best experience of my life. I learned so much about other people, about other places and cultures. I made real and long lasting friendships and discovered so much of the world. It was hard to get used to the living conditions at first since it was a new and very different environment but I wouldn't change anything. If I could I would do it all over again, no second thoughts. This experiences thought me how to be patient and to accept others the way they are. Most people were so different from me, even physically, I had to get used to hearing a new language all over, speaking English all the time and just accepting that everyone has a different culture. Learning all the sailing things is the best, try a participate in everything from the beginning (unless you get seasick) and try and become friends with the crew, they're great people. In this year I found what I wanted to do with my life, in college specifically, and my friends helped me a lot when someone in my family got very sick. These people are still present for me even though we live in different countries and even continents. The friendships you make during this year will be forever so do your best.