SFS Summer: Tropical Marine Ecosystems in the Turks and Caicos Islands
90% Rating
(4 Reviews)

SFS Summer: Tropical Marine Ecosystems in the Turks and Caicos Islands

The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers an amazing chance to study abroad on the Turks and Caicos Islands in the summer. The program is located on South Caicos, where the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies and an ocean laboratory can be found. The SFS field station houses all students in the program, and looks out directly over the sea. Each monthlong session can be taken individually or back-to-back.

Explore the beautiful surroundings, with coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and deep water diving spots all within a few mile radius. The spectacular reefs, turquoise waters, and island community of South Caicos serve as the laboratory for studies and fieldwork. Students snorkel or scuba dive and gain valuable field experience, learning techniques for ecosystem assessment and long-term monitoring, and practicing interview and other stakeholder engagement techniques to examine social questions. Students participate in a field research project on a local environmental issue.

Turks and Caicos Islands
Program Type
Subject Areas
Global Studies
Marine Biology
Natural Sciences
Sustainable Development
Wildlife Sciences
Degree Level
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
Phone / Skype Interview
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Application Fee
Starting Price
Price Details
SFS program fees cover room and board, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, orientation, and pre- and post-program advisory services. Total Program Cost does not include transportation to and from the program. Scholarships available!
Other Locations
South Caicos

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 7.5
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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best. day. there.

It was our last snorkel before the storm was going to hit and our whole class went out. We were expecting stronger currents and not much marine life, but we were wrong! Right as we jumped off the side of the boat into the warm ocean water we were greeted by a group of spotted eagle rays. They are such majestic and graceful creatures as they seamlessly cut through the water. As we swam around, the rays swam through and past us without even giving us a second thought. I remember at one point I swam over one and it's wing span was as long as I was tall! It was incredible.

How can this program be improved?

I think it would be cool to interact with students on the island who are a bit older to get a sense of what life for a young person is like on South Caicos, but since my program was during the summer all the students were on vacation.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A challenging, cozy and exciting program

I spent the summer on South Caicos, a small island in the Caribbean. Every day we got up early, had breakfast and would start with a morning meeting, where messages were given, and we played fun games.

Every morning, I was excited about getting up - the program was always full of exciting mandatory and voluntary things - and I would participate in as much as possible. Sharking, turtling, hikes and so on.

The first nights, it was almost too hot to fall asleep - but quickly, I got used to it.

It was an amazing summer - living close to a group of people, who within such short time go from being complete strangers to great friendships :)
I loved getting out in the field, which we would do many times a week. That's what I wanted out of my trip, escpecially, and that's what I got along with new friendships :)

How can this program be improved?

I won't say it is something to be improved as such, but I wanted to mention it - if signing up to the program, note that there will also be a lot of course work. Most days there's lectures as well as field work, and as it is only a month-long program, assignments given need to be done rather quickly.

I really enjoyed the program, including the school work, so this is just to note that it's not only fun and games, but also school :)

Yes, I recommend
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TCI - Beautiful by Nature

This program gave incredible opportunities to be in or on the water on a daily basis. For someone looking to gain hands-on experience to supplement their studies, this would be an excellent choice. Major pros of this program included its integration into the local community and academic curriculum. Cons were generally related to the remote location - fussy internet connection, a "rice-and-beans" diet if the food delivery boat was a day late, etc.

My greatest experience in this program was my participation in Directed Research, where students work closely with a faculty member to carry out specific research and present the results. For me, this involved snorkeling every day for two weeks to collect data, and gaining a new appreciation for data compilation and presentation.

Yes, I recommend
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SFS Summer Abroad on the Turks and Caicos Islands

My student abroad experience was amazing and changed me not only as a student but also as a person. I would recommend Turks and Caicos to anyone interested in a hands-on outdoors experience that is truly once in a lifetime. It has made me more excited about my major and I would love to go back someday.

The host country, Turks and Caicos, is a small island developing state with a struggling economy dependent on tourism and the fishing industry. Students should be prepared to spend time in the equivalent of a third world country on the less populated island of South Caicos. Nevertheless, the facilities at SFS provide all the basic amenities needed for a focused experience on marine biology. The local islanders have a great relationship with the students in the program and it is easy to get to know a lot about the TCI culture. TCI is a stunningly beautiful environment with an interesting history that is developing to catch up with the rest of the world's tourism industry. The coral reefs and mangrove forests are easily accessible from the center and make for fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. The facilities at SFS are all very clean and eco-friendly as well. The program size is ideal, usually between 25 and 30 during the summer which makes for the formation of close bonds and lasting friendship

Yes, I recommend

About The School for Field Studies

The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers field-based programs that revolve around environmental studies and research. The programs involve exploration of the human and ecological aspects of issues having to do with the local environments. Students...