Good Life Gap Term in Maine

Seguinland Institute

About

Seguinland Institute is a collection of scholars, boat builders, artists, social workers, back-to-the landers, and thinkers who gather on a 60-acre homestead peninsula in the coastal woodlands of Georgetown, Maine. We are a non-profit organization (501c3) founded in 2009.

We create experiential college-level programs that combine rigorous academics and immersion in nature with mindfulness practice, visual pedagogy, and a back-to-the-land work ethic. We host Fall semester study-away programs and May term courses exploring “The Good Life and the Great Work”. Students taking courses at Seguinland Institute receive college credit through the University of Maine at Farmington.

Our grapplings with the big questions are heightened and honed by reading great (and humble) books, paddling sturdy old canoes, engaging in discussion, writing tip-top essays, being grasped by awe and wonder, and getting our hands dirty in the garden.

Founded
2009

Reviews

Default avatar
Anoosh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Seguinland Institute Fall 2021 Experience

The institute partakes in a radical and experimental approach to education. The courses went beyond the books we read and the lessons we were taught, but were filled with rich discussions, various memorable trips, and influential visitors that brought the lessons to life. Each week was filled with different adventures such as hiking, camping, foraging, or volunteering at a local farm. The program mentally, spiritually, and physically challenged me for the better. I had the opportunity to live in an intentional community on the beautiful coast of Maine and be grounded in the peaceful nature it has to offer. I am beyond grateful for the friends, staff, and memories I created at Seguinland.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Hiked in the middle of the night to see the most beautiful sunrise.
Default avatar
Garrett
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rediscovering Life's Gifts in the Maine Woods

I did not know how much I needed this program. After months and months of social isolation and existential boredom, Seguinland helped remind me that being alive, existing in the company of others, is the greatest gift we give, receive, and are. Through the excellent instructors, immersive and grounding experiences & trips, insightful guest speakers, wonderful fellow students, and the endlessly accommodating, kind Francis Family, I found myself at the end of the program with a renewed zest for life that I never thought achievable at this phase in my life. Want to know about and live out the good life in a naturally beautiful and intellectually curious environment? Look no further.

Default avatar
Jacob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Seguinland Institute

Seguinland Institute brought the respite and centering that I was searching for, and I couldn't have imagined a more picturesque backdrop. We discussed ideas new to me such as eating with intention, embracing child-like wonder, and cultivating a relationship with the land wherever we find ourselves; we started our mornings with yoga among the trees, in the raised classroom, our "Gathering Space." I left Georgetown feeling rested and with new perspective, thanks to the welcoming community of Back River Bend. The cherry on top was everyone involved in making Seguinland Institute come to life, from Prof. Francis to Loren and the boat yard crew. I couldn't be more grateful for the experience, and would recommend to any and all!

"The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner." - Wendell Berry

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Black Locust Flower fritters served on Sarsparilla!
Default avatar
Gabriella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple

Like many city dwellers, days, weeks, months, and years all flew by in a blur. The shifting of the seasons was something I barely noticed. I often felt rushed and anxious. During my first ten day stay at Seguinland, there was a forced shift in my perspective. The assigned readings, homework questions, and group discussions required me to ground myself in the present and pay attention to my surroundings. I felt deep gratitude for my teachers and classmates and the insightful conversations we shared without cellphones or computers between us. I witnessed the beautiful natural landscape around me with all five senses and meditated for hours on end. I left the program feeling refreshed, motivated, and feeling in love with life. The course introduced me to a lot of the concepts and life philosophies that I am still deeply passionate about. Thanks, Seguinland! “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished.Tell about it.” -Mary Oliver

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
A bald eagle perched on a pine tree across the river. Beautiful treehouses built by hand. A full moon rising followed by a meteor shower.
Default avatar
Tekia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Good Life

The education I received at the Good Life Course goes deeper than understanding mindful concepts. It was a mind, body, and soul experience. My mind was enhanced by the readings of Braiding Sweetgrass and Consolations as well as the discussions that followed. My body was challenged to break out of its comfort zone and go ziplining, canoeing, hiking and to try yoga. My soul was revitalized from meditation, good conversation, solitude and friends. From this course I learned how to see beauty, and how to find balance. The course allowed for self-discovery and gave me the skills (my backpack) to start my post-college life. 

I find myself returning to the ideas of this course on a regular basis. When life is hectic and overwhelming I lean into the teachings of The Good Life. I will be forever thankful for the memories and teachings I gained at Seguinland Institute.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was nervous about ziplining at first. I was terrified of falling into the water. My friends, both old and new, encouraged me to try it and although my landings were always poor it was so much fun! I even have a zipline at my house now and every time I go on it I think of the wonderful people at The Good Life that encouraged me to face my fear.

Programs

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