Seamester

Seamester

Scholarships

Seamester Scholarships

Seamester Scholarships & Financial Aid

Sea|mester offers scholarships, financial aid, and tuition assistance to applicants who show great potential to succeed and grow from our unique experience yet would otherwise be only able to attend with financial assistance.

The total amount of funds available for any given semester varies. There is no scholarship application fee, and all Sea|mester applicants are eligible to apply.

Value
$500 - $14,000

Why choose Seamester?

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.

Reviews

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Emma
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Adventure of a Lifetime

Seamester was the adventure of a lifetime. I went into it not knowing how to sail but wanting to learn, and came out of it not only with that knowledge, but also memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me so many new things about myself. The staff members were amazing with their teaching and support, especially when times got rough. Their diligence ensured we all made it safely across the pacific. I also loved the places we visited, with my favorites being the Galapagos, Mo'orea, and the Panama Canal. The class schedule could be challenging at times, and waking up for watch in the middle of the night was definitely not my strong suit, but overall I had an amazing semester. I couldn't recommend Seamester enough and I'm so grateful for this wonderful experience.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking moment for me was leaving for our three week long passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. I was worried about being out of contact for so long, squalls, and the challenging watch schedules (4 hours on, 8 hours off). I overcame it with the help of the amazing staff talking me through my worries, and by simply experiencing it.
Pros
  • The amazing staff and students
  • The places we visited
  • Learning how to sail and dive
Cons
  • Class workload– It could get to be a lot of work at times, especially with watch schedules
  • Tight living conditions– you get used to them but it is hard at first
  • Watch schedule– part of the sailing experience but when you're not used to it is hard to adjust to.
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Courtney
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision

This trip was the best decision I have ever made. I made so many new friends and formed relationships that I will keep for the rest of my life. I learned a lot about myself and accomplished more than I ever thought I could. The staff was so supportive and thoughtful, always there when I needed a listening ear. Our boat was hilarious and we told each other funny stories that could never possibly be explained the same to someone else because they would not get the humor that we found in them. Watch was also an incredible experience because even though we had to wake up in the middle of the night, I had an amazing team. We told stories and jokes, sailed, made popcorn, helmed and so much more. I am so thankful to have been apart of this once in a lifetime opportunity and hope to see everyone soon. My heart is so full, thank you so much for picking me to go on this experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw were about 15 Manta Rays. They were huge, doing a tornado around all of us. One almost ran into me and I had to swim out of the way before we collided. It was the most unreal experience and so beautiful.
Pros
  • Diving
  • Sailing
  • Staff/Crew
Cons
  • Someone (will not name) was irritable with me at times
  • Injuries
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Anton
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Greatest Thing I've Ever Done

This trip has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something I will never forget. I have made so many lifelong friends that I will continue to keep in touch with and see again. Sea|Mester is the greatest thing I have ever done. It opened my eyes in so many different ways and has made me change in so many great ways. I made many great memories I will cherish forever. All the staff was incredibly kind and made sure all of my needs were taken care of. I could talk to the staff about anything and always had fun talking with them. The staff treated us as equals which was super nice. All the classes were taught very well and every teacher was very passionate about their course. For me, the most valuable aspect was the social factor. I was pretty nervous coming into this trip about meeting new people and broadening my social circles. I have always been anxious about introductions and showing people my true self and this trip helped me so much. This trip allowed me to be myself and unlock a part of me I didn’t know I had. Everyone embraced me for who I was, which was great. I owe a great deal of this trip to my fellow crew members who were so kind and funny. Sea|Mester is awesome. Don’t change anything. This trip is probably the greatest thing I’ve ever done and I’ll remember it forever. I have lifelong friends all over the world now.

What was your funniest moment?
There were too many to count. We had so many great laughs throughout the trip and I would die laughing.
Pros
  • Meet so many new friends
  • Diving is awesome and you see so many beautiful creatures
  • See so many great places and learn new cultures
Cons
  • Stuff smells bad super quickly
  • Not a lot of sleep sometimes
  • School can get tough if you don't manage your time
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Maddie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible and Truly Memorable Adventure!

If you’re a student thinking of doing Seamester, I cannot tell you enough…DO IT! Going on this voyage has absolutely changed my life. Not only did I get to cross an ocean, see the world, scuba dive, and meet the most incredible people, but I also left the boat a more confident, competent, and better version of myself. The academics are rigorous but reasonable, and I loved learning about the ocean in the most hands-on possible environment. I cannot recommend Seamester enough and will never forget each special memory from my time aboard Vela!

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Frida
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommend!

I had a wonderful time studying with SeaMester aboard Vela on the 2024 South Africa to Caribbean trip. I was consistently impressed with the organization of the trip, as well as the support from the office and staff onboard. This particular voyage had a lot of time sailing in blue water, which created a close environment between the students and allowed us to focus on school during the first half of the trip. By the time we got to the Caribbean we were able to focus intensely on diving and exploring the various islands with people we had already crossed an ocean with. I particularly enjoyed the leadership class, as it tied the emotional side of the trip together as well as taught us how to be better people in general.

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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