Good Life Gap Term in Maine

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About

Manifest your good life. Discover your great work.

The idea for this gap term is simple. Set aside a semester of your one wild and precious life to think about what counts as a good life and how you will go about living it. We’ve carved out a space on the coast of Maine where you can step away from everyday life, join a community of learners, read great books, paddle sturdy canoes, bask in nature and gain perspective on what really matters, especially in times like these.

INHABIT THE COAST OF MAINE
DEVELOP HOMESTEADING SKILLS
CULTIVATE MINDFULNESS
FORGE COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
REFLECT ON THE MOST PRESSING QUESTIONS OF OUR TIME
ARTICULATE YOUR VISION OF THE GOOD LIFE
EARN 8 COLLEGE CREDITS IN TWO INSPIRED COURSES

Highlights
  • “Open Ocean Opening Retreat” Seguinland Institute, Georgetown, Maine | Stay in riverside cottages, canoe the river, hike the preserves, boat trip to islands. Form a community of learners: inspired texts and conversations.
  • “In the Footsteps of Thoreau” Baxter State Park, Maine | We will follow in the trail of Henry David Thoreau’s 1846 journey. Hike up Mt. Katahdin (foliage!), canoe Penobscot River, read Thoreau along the way.
  • “Tree Dwellers Closing Retreat” | Stay a night in an epic treehouse, then in the Institute’s Winter Lodge. Chilly walks on the beaches, lectures by the fireplace, envision your good life.
  • Mentorship: Students have bi-weekly conversations with a faculty mentor.
  • TWO College Courses (8 Credits): “LIVING THE GOOD LIFE”, Philip Francis PhD, “RADICAL LOVE IN THE NEW 21st CENTURY”, Meg LeMay PhD

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.91 Rating
based on 23 reviews
  • Housing 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 23
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Paul
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

From the stomping grounds of the city that never sleeps, my life had become overwhelmed with stress, daunting professional expectations, and a spiraling loss of direction. My return to nature and experiences with personal reflection helped me find purpose for my days. The Atlantic coasts of Georgetown, Maine and the energy that radiates from the Back River, lifted me into another perception of my own reality. The Good Life Course promotes spiritual growth from within, making the experience truly a one of a kind lifetime memory. My carvings from Maine will walk with me deep into my professional career here in NYC and I am forever thankful for the eye-opening lessons that only Prof. Francis and his genuine staff could provide. I will for sure return to Francisville and will be sure to bring others along to experience the life changing escape. Sending nothing but love to my family up in Georgetown! Bless!

"In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect." - Alice Walker

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take the leap! Surrender, give in, escape, and let go. A return to nature can help remind us just how strong we are internally. Being in nature can help refresh our mental, clarifying what is most important in our one wild and precious lives!
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Brian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Good Life and Living Deliberately

The Good Life Course was one of the most profound experiences I have had in my life. I come from a very technical and science based background, but I throughly enjoyed our philosophical discussions on what constitutes a good life. The readings were also incredibly enlightening and there was no shortage of fun activities and great food! Georgetown is downright gorgeous and is the perfect place to be discussing and cultivating the philosophy of the good life. Leaving the course, you will no doubt feel refreshed, prepared, and invigorated to live your wild and precious life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Have an open mind and take time to enjoy the beauty Maine has to offer!
Default avatar
Brian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Self-Orientation

The first year I had attended one of the Good Life programs, my experience with a variety of professionals, notably Zen-practitioner Justin Park, led me to discoveries regarding the relation of my body and mind. For example, rounded-breathing + relaxation in the eyes & shoulders has been massive in dissolving anxiety and instilling clarity. Another nice thing about this course is that there's not so much focus on degrees of excellence, or even the pass / fail dichotomy. Expectation is a present factor as with any earnestly-aspiring program, but the focus seems to lie more so on Self-Orientation than with seemingly external "what-factors". In other words, enjoy your learning... and never stop. A professor that is not only willing, but excited to learn with and from their students, is my kind of dude / gal . Philip, Meg, Justin, Marsha, Loren, and company are some cool cats / "pretty neat" , and I definitely found Nature more neat in working with them ;D

" Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. " - Seneca

What would you improve about this program?
I would make a point to continue refreshing the set & setting, so as to evolve one's sense of Self momentarily, and preemptively redirect any concerns of stagnancy. As I mentioned, the crew already does this ^ , which is part of why I want to emphasize as an essential point of focus in program processes
Default avatar
David
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Good Life

One of the things I really appreciated the first time around going on the trip is the amount of diversity the trip has to offer for everybody. There are a number of people living on the peninsula who have different expertise in so many different fields, which makes it good because there's something for everybody to fall in love with and someone to look up to. Francis has literature, religion and philosophy; Lawrence has poetry; Ruth has farming; his dad has construction; then there's Justin with mindful meditation; and Meg with writing and Yoga. Along the way he also brings in some very interesting special guest, different for everybody. Even if you talk to professor's kids you can learn a thing or two about wonder and awe!

What would you improve about this program?
More farming with Ruth and more alone time to think
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Ryan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good Life Course -- Ryan

This is class wonderfully integrates the outdoor experience of the coast of Maine with intellectually stimulating academic content. In the course, students learn of the importance of maintaining a relationship with nature, the Self, and other life-long learners. Intermingling with students from Manhattan College (I am from UMF) was a wonderful opportunity to speak with students with different life experiences than the majority of us, finding comfort in our commonalities and new interests in our differences. The course material has a focus on the natural environment that is rooted in Transcendentalist and Taoist philosophy which allows one to take a much-needed break from modern living.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Kayaking in the river! Paddling with the flow of the tide was a good demonstration of some of the philosophies we read during the course.
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Cameron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely wonderful

I grew up in Maine so I am pretty used to being outdoors but the sites and adventures I got to experience here were once in a lifetime. The sites that we visited were all amazing. The little islands we went to were amazing. I have always been nervous of deep water but the people there made me feel safe and comfortable. For one of the first times in my life I was alright on the water. The morning yoga was very relaxing and much more enjoyable than I previously expected it to be. Overall I would say that this is an excellent opportunity for anyone.

What was your funniest moment?
There is a zip line here. It is not too long if one but me and a group of friends would go back and forth trying see who could the funnest tricks and just having a blast. One of the times we started playing pirate music and pretending to be pirates. It was a blast.
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Crista
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Finally Able to Reflect

Before going on this trip I only knew one other person, and I had extreme social anxiety at the time. You could imagine how I felt going into a two week stay in a place I had never been living with people I really did not know. Once I got there my anxieties went away. Professor Francis, the other students on the trip, and his family/friends we worked and learned beside were some of the best people I have ever meet. Through this experience I was able to reflect on my life and open my eyes to change. This two weeks really allowed me to start making plan and executing about how I want to live a “good life.” For me it started by becoming more sustainable and now as I have just graduated moving away to start my good life. I honestly do not know if I would be where I am today if it was not for this class. I’m so grateful Professor Francis and the class he provided!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Jumping into Walden’s Pond on a cold rainy day in May! Totally worth it!
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Kristina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Course I've Taken

As a student in the first year this course, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was eager to learn how to live simply a good life and embark on a 2 week journey in Maine. Since taking Professor Francis for another religion course, I only knew the class was going to be great. Everyday was carefully designed and planned out with new adventures, challenges, and experiences. From reading, kyaking, learning new trades, enjoying time with new friends, and studying the works of many authors and philosophers, every moment was enjoyable. I developed and grew as a person throughout this course from the diversity of the group, the teachings, experiences, and being in a new environment. The hospitality of the Francis family is something I will never forget. The family is so creative, welcoming, and admirable. I can't wait for the day I get to enjoy the beauty of Georgetown Maine again.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Razor Clams! Before our big Lobster Bake (which was amazing) we went to catch razor clams. Having grown up near the shore, i have eaten lots of seafood, but have never seen or eaten a razor clam. Everything was super delicious and it was fun to be out on the boats and experience new things.