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

Default avatar
Aidan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a Lifetime

Seamester has provided me with the best 3 weeks of my life! From the moment I stepped aboard I knew I had gained a new family. Together we sailed, dove, explored, sang, danced, and learned. This experience is unlike any other and is sure to leave you desperate for more. The places you go are incredible, but the people you meet and the things you learn are the most spectacular parts of the program. I promise you won't regret it! The most important thing I learned is that you have to trust yourself and the others around you. If you don't put yourself out there you never know what life could amount to. Take the leap of faith!

Pros
  • Learn to Sail
  • Learn to Dive
  • Make 15 New Best Friends
Cons
  • Sorry there are none
Default avatar
Skylar
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Adventure!

It was a really great program and I got to have so many new amazing experiences and everyone got along so well. I definitely think you have to be a specific type of person to go on this trip, you have to be very adaptable and open to new sometimes nerve racking experiences. The staff of the ocean star were amazing leaders, super interested in helping us and teaching all the new skills while also joining in on our shenanigans from time to time :) I will miss them all very much!! I think the friendships made were the most valuable aspect, everyone was so supportive and protective of one another and got along so incredibly well, we all loved each other a lot after only 20 days.

Pros
  • New experiences
  • Trained staff
  • Amazing environment
Cons
  • Seasickness
Default avatar
Aidan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 40 Days of My Life

This trip was truly the best time of my life. I met some of the friendliest and kindest people among the students and staff. A great community was built and I made lifelong friends that I plan on keeping in touch with. The activities and excursions were also amazing. I came in with an interest in marine biology and diving and these interests plus others were furthered due to the voyage. Even if you are not interested in these things I still recommend going on this trip because you will make great friends and go on a great adventures with new people experiencing things for the first time also.

Pros
  • Excursions
  • Diving
  • Friendly Staff
Cons
  • Hot
Default avatar
Kacylia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience I ever lived!

This is the best experience that I have ever lived!
The staff was so great and always there to listen to our needs and demands and the connection I built with the other students is beyond what words can describe. What made this trip amazing is the diversity of activities we took part in from dynamic and interesting academic classes, numerous dives, sailing activities, on-shore activities like surfing and turtle watch, hikes, free time to bond with the crew, and more. I have learned so much during this trip on oceanography and how to be a good advocate for our oceans, but also on myself and how to become a better leader.

Default avatar
Christina
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Greatest Experience of My Life!

This experience was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I wish that everyone would have the opportunity to do something like this, because it not only sparked my interest in pursuing a career at sea but it also gave me a sense of being able to face anything coming my way with confidence. The staff on my trip were amazing and made me feel safe and cared for. The friends I made on this trip are now some of my closest. Overall, this experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and I feel so much stronger and well prepared for all that life can throw my way!

Pros
  • Hands-on learning
  • Places I would have never thought to go
  • Meet amazing people

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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