SEA Semester Undergraduate Study Abroad Programs

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The importance of understanding the ocean is more important now than it has ever been. SEA Semester helps students to achieve that understanding through studies in Nautical Sciences, Oceanography, and Maritime Studies.

The program is broken up into two components, with the first starting at our campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. During this six-week shore component, students prepare for their research cruise in the second part of the trip, and design their own research projects to be conducted at sea. During the research cruise, students take on the roles of both the scientific team and the sailing crew on one of SEA's research vessels. Students navigate the state-of-the-art vessel by the stars, analyze oceanographic samples, and visit foreign, less-traveled-to ports.

Choose from nine SEA Semester programs offered during the fall and spring.

  • Based in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
  • Students are active crew members participating in all science and deck operations at sea aboard one of our two custom designed and build sailing research vessels.
  • No sailing experience necessary.
  • Open to all majors, from all over the world.
  • Transferable academic credit from Boston University.

Questions & Answers


based on 1 review
  • Academics 8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 7
  • Safety 10
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SEA Semester: The Best Three Months of My Life

Every part of this program was well worth the price. The staff were great, the classes were interesting and informative (for someone with little science background), the facilities were phenomenal...there really was nothing I did not like. I completed this program after college due to scheduling conflicts, and I am so glad I did, because I can say with confidence that I have never been happier than during those two months at sea. Granted, if you get sea sick easily, you might not enjoy it as much as I did. But I highly recommend you give it a shot if you have any interest at all in sailing.

The best part of this program is that you are the crew. You may be a student, with classes and homework, but you are also responsible for the function of the ship. It is not easy, but it is a hands-on learning experience that will teach you a lot about yourself as well as the topics covered in class. I want nothing more than to go back to French Polynesia to sail once more. I did Semester at Sea as well during my college years, and while it was informative and fun circumnavigating the globe, it was not nearly as rewarding as actually steering the ship, navigating using nautical charts, and setting sails.

An absolute ten out of ten adventure from start to finish!

How can this program be improved?
I wish it had been longer. I had a fantastic time learning all about sailing, oceanography, nautical science, and marine cultures, but it was all compressed into such a short period
Yes, I recommend this program

About SEA Semester

Looking for a unique educational adventure? Then check out SEA Semester's exciting study abroad programs! SEA Semester trains students in oceanography, maritime studies, and nautical sciences, among other areas, in preparation for a six-week research...