The SEA Semester is unlike other study abroad programs. Spending several weeks out in the ocean may seem daunting, but life out at sea is incomparable to any other study abroad. The Protecting the Phoenix Island program comprised of three weeks on the Woods Hole Campus, and then six weeks out in the Pacific Ocean. During the time at Woods Hole, a strong camaraderie is built among all students. All the classes at Woods Hole are well structured, and although they are only three weeks long you learn a lot from them. During the time at sea, all of the information you learned on land is applied in your independent research and policy discussions. Actually being inside of a marine protected area and seeing it ecosystems while discussing how to better protect them provides more depth and gravity to the topic than just a lecture in a classroom. Just as important as the academic component, the social aspect of SEA is spectacular. Through the Protecting the Phoenix Islands program, you form strong bonds with all of you shipmates leaving lasting friendships. You are also able to experience the culture of the people on Kanton with a large celebration party with everyone. Life at sea offers its own culture as your values and your perception of day to day events change. It is not uncommon to feel stress free, appreciate all the little things, and often reflect on who you are as a person and what you are going to take away from this experience. Lastly, and probably the most important to people considering this program is the coral reefs and islands. The coral reefs you are able to snorkel on display vivid hues of green, purple, and blue. All the reefs are expansive, and seemingly undisturbed by man kind. There is a plethora of ocean wildlife to see, from whales and dolphins, to sea turtles, sharks, and manta rays. On days when we were allowed to explore the islands, everyone would just spend hours looking at all the birds, consuming numerous coconuts, and realizing just how beautiful nature can be. This program was once that truly changed my perspective on what I want to do with my future career, and what I want out of life. If you are looking for a study abroad program with lasting impacts and exposure to vibrant oceanic landscapes, this one is perfect!