Seamester

Seamester

About

Seamester offers unique educational voyages where students spend their time sailing between countries and continents. For more than 40 years, we have consistently delivered outstanding educational experiences for students. We design our programs to provide engaging learning experiences with real outcomes in ways that are impossible to replicate in the traditional classroom. Living as part of a close-knit team on an ocean-going vessel, students learn some of the most important lessons beyond academics: teamwork, hard work, and personal responsibility. Our programs are designed to challenge students to realize that it is the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

Scholarships

Seamester Scholarships

Seamester Scholarships & Financial Aid

Seamester offers a number of Financial Aid and Scholarship options available for those looking toward funding to make their experience possible.

Value
$500 - $10,000

Reviews

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Amelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Palau - Thailand

Everything was amazing and the friends that I made on this trip I will take with me forever. The staff were there to guide us but also there as friends, I felt like I could turn to any one of them and ask them for help. The most valuable aspect of Seamester was the people you meet on the trip. If any one of the people on Argo for my semester was changed, the whole vibe would be different. Every person brings their own unique experience and views and then they mash together to create one big family.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I think it was the 2-week long passage to Thailand that was very nerve-racking. But once we were underway we had an amazing time and the whole experience helped us become even closer.
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Caleigh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fiji to Palau

Sea|mester was a life changing experience! The most valuable aspect was the ability to grow your voice and gain confidence. I went into the program with a sufficient amount of confidence and wasn’t the type of person to raise my hand in class. As the program went on, I went outside my comfort zone as often as I could to grow my voice. I didn’t notice the increase in confidence until the student lead passage when I was Chief Mate and really utilized those skills and pushed myself even harder. For those moments, I’ll forever remember.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One of the most memorable moments of the trip was participating in a Kava ceremony with the Fijian Navy. As well, we saw a large pod of sperm whales breach during our long passage to Palau. Once we reached our anchorage in Palau, the President of Palau and the US Ambassador joined us onboard for a tour of the boat and provided us some information about the islands! This trip really upgraded our two truths and a lie game.
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Max
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Trip!

I really enjoyed my the experiences provided and loved becoming close to everyone on the crew. The most valuable aspect of Seamester was the experience of living on a boat for so long in such close quarters with an amazing group of people. The staff were also a very inspirational group, and I think everyone on board was quite envious of the life they lead. This was the end to my gap year, and it really made me very glad that I decided to take a gap year. It was the perfect culmination of having fun while still being able to accomplish a lot.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Our group got to enjoy Kava, a ceremonial root, with the Fijan navy!
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Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sea|Mester Virgin Islands to Antigua 20-Day 2021

Sea|Mester is an experience of a lifetime. I would do it 100+ times over. It was through this program that I discovered my passion. I cannot thank Sea|Mester enough for that. The staff on and off-board are beyond incredible. Each and everyone of the staff members invested all of their time into the students. I looked up to and still continue to look up to the staff on my voyage, Smash, Ash, Sam, and Marley. Their joyfulness, eagerness to teach, and down to earth personalities made Ocean Star home. If anybody is questioning signing up for a voyage, do it!!!! Do it, do it, do it. You'll create personal and professional connections, expand your mind, think in a different way, challenge yourself, and most importantly, grow.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pack light! You'll be able to wash your clothes and honestly, it's so fun and relaxing especially in the evening during downtime. Take in every moment and jump in. If you fall asleep on deck during night sailing, you'll wake up to the most gorgeous view above you. If you're in the galley while underway, take the medicine. Make the cookies. Have a dance party while cleaning. Dive right into the water as soon as you wake up. Make the most out of every single moment and keep those friends you meet close.
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Megan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fiji to Palau summer 2021

SeaMester is a great way to step outside of your comfort zone and get to know yourself in a new way through learning new skills and having unique experiences. Also, the relationships formed aboard are ones that will last a lifetime. SeaMester has had a tremendous impact on my personal growth because of the nature of the environment we are immersed in. It quickly grew in confidence with my ability to engage and interact with people and I learned how to be more patient and understanding since we were always living so close together. I would highly recommend SeaMester to anyone who is looking for both a physical and an emotional journey!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
When we were close to crossing the equator a pod of sperm whales swam by the boat. We spent about an hour with them and they were spyhopping and breaching and you could tell that they were trying to interact with us!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted a hands-on experience where I wasn't just on a cruise. A lot of the other programs I was interested in were the typical "study abroad" program where the tour portion would be on board buses with tour guides. I wanted a much more immersive experience and was looking to do something "different".

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I was attending the University of Virginia and I scheduled an appointment with the Head of the Environmental Science department. They reviewed the marine science course syllabus I was going to take on Argo and pre-approved the credits without hesitation. The credits and my grade transferred without a problem from Sea|mester to the University of Virginia.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Write a journal! I wish I had written a daily journal of the things that happened during the trip. Some of the greatest adventures ever, and I wish I had written details down of everything because now, 14 years later, the memories are a bit fuzzy.

I would love to go back and relive my experiences and also have that for my kids to read one day.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I don't believe there are any 2 days that are the same.

When you are on passage, your day will change based on when your watch team is scheduled. One morning, you could witness an incredible sunrise if you are on the 3-6 am watch team and another could be pitch black dark sailing the entire night if you are on the 9 pm-midnight watch team.

Every day brings something totally new and different.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was flying across the world completely by myself. I didn't know the language, I didn't know anyone who was going on the trip with me, there was a lot of unknowns going into my trip. Once I decided to just "get over it" and get on the plane, once I was actually physically there, those fears went away because I realized most everyone had the same fears.

Once I was there, all of my fears went away!

If you could do this trip again, what would you change?

Honestly, I wish I had stayed longer after the trip to travel around the country!

Some of the other students had been traveling a lot more than me in their life already...and knew they should stay after to travel a little. I wasn't really aware of that as an option.

I would have really enjoyed spending an extra week or two traveling around SE Asia.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Leila Barth

Job Title
Enrollment Advisor
Leila is originally from Los Angeles! After graduating from University she lived in Spain teaching English, worked for an experiential education program in Costa Rica, and lived in Australia under the work holiday visa with many travels in between! Her current favorite food is laksa; if you ever want to bribe her!

What is your favorite travel memory?

Spending New Years Eve in Havana, Cuba! The tradition in Cuba is to wash/throw water on the front steps of your home to cleanse it for the new year. Many people live in apartments so they throw buckets of water out of their windows and onto the street; it essentially becomes one big water fight! I love New Years, especially when a city comes together like that!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Although I have a lot of experience with travel, I did not have any experience with boats or sailing. Its been like learning a new language and I love it! Passing on that enthusiasm to students who are enrolling is always exciting, I can honestly tell them that I have been in their shoes and that they will gain so many new skills and friends!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We have had many students do Seamester as a way to get out of their comforts zone and to take a break from school but when they finish the voyage they find themselves changed. Some have completely changed their majors to Marine Biology or Environmental Studies, while others realize they want to see much more of the world!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

All of the voyages are amazing but I would choose one of the trips that go through the South Pacific! Tahiti to Australia because they get to stop off at many islands that most people will never see. Caribbean to Tahiti voyage is the best of both worlds with island hopping and an ocean passage-plus it crosses through the Panama Canal!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Seamester is soooooooooooo unique!! There is no other program where you will be on a boat for the entire length of the trip. Seamester allows a student to earn University credits while also earning professional certifications in scuba diving and sailing. It is also unique in that the students are considered crew. They cook on board for everyone, clean the boat, are on watch over night. There is no other program for University students like this!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe the biggest factor in being a successful company is listening to your staff and customer. Being receptive to suggestions of change; taking the good with the bad. Since the students are the crew on board a Semester voyage, we take their opinions in high regard. We are constantly aiming to improve because there is always room to improve!

Professional Associations

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