A+ World Academy


A+ World Academy is one of the most unique international boarding schools in the world. We give 62 11th and 12th grade students as well as gap year students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses in a school at sea that travels the globe to over 20 destinations on the world's oldest fully rigged tall ship. We offer a one of a kind program that develops students into global citizens and leaders with grit, resilience, and perseverance.

Our students are pushed to their limits in every aspect from intellectual, social, physical, and cultural while learning to be proactive problem solvers with practical experience and a global perspective. While creating strong academic achievement in our students, we engage them in an extensive experiential education program of rigorous maritime endeavor, close-knit communal living, study in foreign lands, and personal mentoring that cultivates their self-knowledge, resilience, and leadership far beyond that of more traditional schools.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Liftetime

My year at A+ completely changed my outlook on life and allowed me to come out a better individual. I learned so much about who I was as a person and made many lifelong friendships. All of this was while getting the opportunity to travel the world and visit over 20 different countries with a tight knit community of people who slowly grow to become family.

One of my favorite memories is probably the last port in Copenhagen when all of us got together and had a bbq right on the dock where the ship was just hanging out together and having a good time. It truly taught me so much about living in a community of loving and caring people. And come graduation, I had been part of a family of people who I knew would always support one another no matter what.

A+ truly allowed me to grow into the person I am today and for that, I am eternally grateful.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make the most of your time and make sure to live in the moment. It truly will pass before you even realize it and make sure that you truly talk to people and make lifelong friends.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgetable Exchange Year

My year aboard Sørlandet studying with A+ World Academy was full of adventure, challenges and experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. What is most important is that I now have everlasting friendships with the people I got to share this year with. The year was hectic and demanding, but I do not have a single regret about joining the program. This exchange is unique in the sense that it includes many different aspects, such as sailing, studies, socializing and traveling the world. It provides new impulses arround every corner, so you do not have many moments to sit down and be bored. You grow as a person, learn new things every day and develop skills that equip you for further studies or other challenges you may face later on.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Fully immerse yourself in everything the year has to offer, and really get to know your fellow sailors.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An intense year packed with experiences and learnig lessons

Going to High School while sailing on an old and Beautiful tallship that was built in 1973?!
I think it is just amazing. Honestly Nothing can ever compare to it. It is for sure tough but for me it was perfect. I definetely is not for everyone, you will get your Limits and exceed them. You will get to now people you wouldn't have otherwise and you will get to know them in a way you would not otherwise.

It is all very Special and different learning Environment. Not what one is used to from usual School. We climbed up the mast about everyday and stowed sails. We braced the ship so it would sail faster and we cleande a whoooole lot. Every single day about an hour in the day time and then for a certain period of time we cleaned the toilets for another hour in the night. The rules are very strict on the ship and sometimes you feel like you do something for no reason. But it is usally to keep the structure.
you will also see Dolphins playing at the bowsprit and other amazing creatures will pass your way.

School will most likely become not the highes priority, but learing from the world. Hopefully understanding the bigger picture and feeling an Empowerment through an amazingy special community. Work hard Play hard or in sailors words: sail fast live slow.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go all in. Embrace and be open - you are part of creating this amazing experience.
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Yes, I recommend this program

You better like boats.

A+ World Academy sure is a unique school. The school actually is one huge sailboat that the students live on and travel across the seas in while taking classes. If you’re wondering how it’s possible to take classes on a sailboat then you’ve considered the greatest problem facing the school: the fact that it tries to have kids live and learn on a 90 year old sailboat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really cool! But with the experience comes a lot of complications to daily life that only living on the high seas can bring. Students follow a watch schedule where they are engaged in sailing the boat for part of the day and part of the night. On a ocean crossing it is likely a student will go 2+ weeks without sleeping a full night due to watch schedules. This was my case. Sailing, cleaning, and personal chores take time away from focusing on school but this is where A+ World Academy excels as it “teaches”.... actually forces students to develop acute time management skills. The ideal student for A+ World Academy is one that can diligently follow a schedule, isn’t a picky eater (you eat what you’re given!) and won’t get seasick. The tuition is ridiculous but honestly they need to keep it at that price because maintaining boats is expensive. If money is a concern definitely shoot their admissions department an email because they are liberal with financial aid.
A+ World Academy is a great experience if you like being on a boat, if your not that interested in boats don’t bother because all the teachers and the PAID CREW THEY HAVE are all crazy for boats and will want to tell the students all their fun wacky boat stories of which they never seem to run out of.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you join A+ World Academy take time to learn lots of things about how the sailboat works. The sailboat the school is based on is called the “Sørlandet” and is actually a really big deal in its home town in Norway. The Norwegians really like their sailboats. In my experience there even was a group of singing men who sang for the sailboat and its crew on its departure from Norway. On-board, students will have opportunities to improve their “seamanship” over the course of the academic year. This is basically a fancy way of saying you will be taught a bunch of different things about how a sailboat works. Take advantage of these experiences as it makes the teachers and crew like you more as a student and you get cool incentives like being called a special name or telling your classmates what to do when it’s time to do some special sailing stuff like steering the sailboat across the ocean and whatnot.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A+World Academy

The year on board Sorlandet with a+ world academy has been the best in my life so far. I have so many great memories from it that I will never forget. The ship life does something to you as a person and you leave there as a hole different and I would say better person than the one that borded 9 months earlier. One would think that it is the traveling that is the best, but what I learned from my year on board it is that it's all the small things and the everyday routines that I miss the most and remember the best. It's the chaos of living with 70+ people, the awful 2 hours of nightwatch at 2 am that is such an amazing time where you bond with your new family, the seasickness where you give or get complete compassion and the best of all, the friend that becomes your family for life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Enjoy every moment of it! For this year it is not the school that matters, it's the experiences. So don't stress too much about the school, focus on the sailing and the traveling. That's the memories you will remember, not the good grades.


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Staff Interviews

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

Emily Joy Waugh

Job Title
Dean of School
Emily is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and, after receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, transitioned into international education. She is currently working as the Dean of School for A+ World Academy.
Emily Joy Waugh

What is your favorite travel memory?

This past year, we sailed to St. Helena while crossing the Atlantic from Walvis Bay, Namibia to Bridgetown, Barbados. St. Helena is an amazing place, filled with beautiful hikes, kind people, and an incredible history. They are also known for their whale shark season.

On our last day there, we went whale shark diving and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. They are beautiful in photographs but actually being under the water with them, they are truly magnificent. I hope I never forget that feeling of peace that I felt when I followed one that I named "Belarus" down and down, heading to the ocean floor. It was truly an indescribable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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

Working for A+ has challenged me in almost every way, and I am constantly learning. It's one aspect of the job that I love. I know that no matter how long I work here, there will always be more to learn and experience. Working on a ship you need to be incredibly flexible and prepared for everything from plan A to Z.

You have to constantly be on your toes, but it's important to have fun while doing it. My goal for this next year is to be better about finding that balance between rest and work, to set clear expectations for people, and to hold them kindly. but firmly, accountable to those expectations.

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

One of the best stories I've heard from a returning student is how they have such a broader perspective now of the world, a completely different idea of what is important. Now, social media posts, what the latest star is wearing, and the latest youtube craze doesn't seem nearly as important. He told me how he actually missed being off the grid and having that peace of mind that comes from taking a break from technology. He was striving to practice the mindset he learned onboard of being truly present.

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

Teaching at sea is an incredible experience. Your are brought back to the basics of teaching. You have your white board, markers, projector, computer, your mind and hopefully your students' active minds as well. You don't have google to rely upon, or other internet resources. The lack of internet really forces you to be on top of your material, and class preparation. It also encourages creativity as you need to find new ways of adapting lessons and discovering how to best use the resources that the ship offers you.

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

Our company is unique do to our working environment. We are a small knit community, a faculty of only 8 people, so it is vital that we are patient, kind, and respectful to each other. One moment when I was especially proud of my team was when we needed to develop a new academic schedule a month into the academic year.

Creating schedules onboard is not an easy task as you have to consider day watch, galley, set meal times, etc. The whole team got together, using pipe cleaners, index cards, papers with lists plastered all over the crew mess, and we found a solution to our scheduling problems in record time. I was so proud of the way everyone pitched in to help, sacrificing the little free time they had to help better the community.

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

One of the biggest factors in being a successful company is acknowledgment and respect. I've seen it so often in education where employees will kill themselves over helping their students, sacrificing so much to provide the best education and experience possible. In so many cases, the employees aren't even looking for monetary compensation, but simply acknowledgment of the work they are doing and respect. Respect always goes a long way.