SFS Turks & Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Studies (Semester)

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About

Spend a semester on the island of South Caicos, where spectacular marine ecosystems are largely untouched by tourism and development – for now. Don your wetsuit and conduct research on coral reefs, seagrass meadows, underwater mangroves, and a host of marine life. Evaluate fisheries resources and policies while collecting data that helps community members balance their rights and needs with the island’s conservation goals.

SFS students live and study at the Center for Marine Resource Studies. The Center is a small converted hotel overlooking the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Spectacular sunsets, open-air facilities, warm sunshine, and a refreshing ocean breeze define this marine field station. A 5-minute walk brings you to the small, historic town of Cockburn Harbour, where students and faculty frequently engage in community activities.

Highlights
  • Go snorkeling and/or diving in the clear waters around South Caicos to conduct marine species identification and coral bleaching exercises.
  • Tag sea turtles in the field and collect morphological data to gain an understanding of behavior and population dynamics.
  • Take an excursion to the islands of Middle and North Caicos to explore the variety of ecosystems in TCI, including caves, tropical forests, and protected wetlands.
  • Develop field skills including: coral health assessment, marine species identification, acoustic tracking, research design, data collection, scientific writing and presentation
  • Conduct research in some of the following areas: Climate change and ocean acidification, tourism impacts, commercial fisheries, coral health and resilience, marine protected areas, environmental education

Questions & Answers

You can find information about certifications on this page: http://www.fieldstudies.org/tci/semester "Because scuba diving is a valuable skill for students who are interested in pursuing a career for future studies in field research of marine ecosystems, the Center offers PADI Open Water Diver certification to semester students. Certification takes place during the first two weeks of the program....

Reviews

97%
based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 8.1
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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Cailey
10/10

You Won't Regret Your Time Spent on South

Studying abroad in South Caicos was an absolutely life changing experience. From being surrounded and immersed by living in the beautiful Caribbean, to meeting lifelong friends, I would recommend anyone even remotely interested giving it a chance. Detached from the "real world" and not always glued to our phones or computers also put many of us in a position to really take time to develop personally, something I am forever grateful for. This coupled with a group of students and staff who feel like family, make the whole program entirely worthwhile. South Caicos stole my heart and I have no doubt I'll be back soon!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Nicole
10/10

The Best Decision of my entire College Career

I began looking into studying abroad between my freshmen and sophomore year. My study abroad office and academic advisor gave me the SFS program and I saw that they had a program in Turks and Caicos. At first, I was wary of going to a secluded island where they don't have a major town or city near by, but after going on a dive trip I decided that I needed to go to TCI because I loved diving and being in the water so much; and let me tell you it was the best decision I have ever made. The staff are all amazing people who are genuine and want to help you succeed. I loved being able to be out in the field almost every day. The locals are so nice and I really recommend getting to know them. The field station itself truly became home. I loved all the little events that our SAM put on for us like spa night, volleyball tournaments, and of course trivia night. This experience was definitely life changing for the better! When I tell people about my experience, I tell them I cried on my way there (I was nervous) and I cried on the way back (I didn't want to leave my second family). This program has helped me determine that I do want to go into the marine field, pursue grad school, and who knows, maybe even end up back on South as an intern.

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

The Trip You Never Knew You Needed

When I was looking for study abroad programs I had my heart set on going somewhere like London or Sydney. My mom found this program and told me I should look into it more. I ended up choosing this program because of the unique opportunities that it provided. The appeal of studying in a place like London is that you have the ability to travel in Europe. Well, you can do that at any age. There are extremely limited opportunities for you to live on an island in the Caribbean for three and a half months while scuba diving and exploring the coral reefs. This is the adventure everyone needs while they're growing up. This trip changed so many of my perspectives from a cultural view and really provided the unparalleled adventure that I was looking for. I am not a Marine Science major or even a Biology major, I'm and Environmental Studies major, so you should not be worried about not having the proper educational foundation when entering the program. If you're on the fence about it, all I have to say is do it! You just might surprise yourself.

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

A Life Changing Experience

The Turks and Caicos program offered through the School for Field Studies is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Essentially, you are grouped together with 35ish other students who will become some of your best friends, 10 or so faculty members that will become some of your most helpful advisors, professors, and friends you will have as well as 1,200 local residents, fisherman, shop owners, and children who will accept you as soon as you step onto their island.
The facilities were perfect for the experience I was looking for: a place where I could unplug, relax, perform rewarding research and learning how to dive. The diving was fantastic and extremely unique. While people may give you weird looks when you tell them where you went abroad but that just gives you an excuse to brag.
You will not regret going to this program. It's life changing.

How can this program be improved?
There's really not anything that this program could improve upon, some of the issues I had could easily be solved in the weekly meetings between students.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Caitlin
10/10

SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies

This study abroad program was an amazing experience. I gained so much knowledge and experience at the Center for Marine Resource Studies. I was able to go snorkeling almost everyday as part of class work and just for fun. I swam with turtles, sharks, spotted eagle rays, and so many other types of fish. As part of the semester each student works on a directed research project. For mine I spent every night catching lemon sharks. I had an amazing time throughout the semester. I learned a lot about the ocean, marine resources, and myself.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
9/10

great experience, so worth it

There are lots of specific parts of the program's structure that i woukd change, but overall the professors are knowledgeable and the environment is spectacular. The small size of the island keeps everyone interacting with the community and the scenery keeps everyone interested and engaged.

How can this program be improved?
Fewer restrictions on student behavior in the community
Yes, I recommend this program
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Christine
8/10

Great way to get hands on experiance

Snorkeling and scuba diving for class cannot be beat- I learned so much by seeing the marine environment every day. I loved the scuba diving, we saw whales, researched sharks, and learned so much about the local community. My highlights were watching sunsets every night, wednesday morning dives, and teaching environmental ed to the local community. Academics aren't too hard, which is actually pretty nice.

How can this program be improved?
The rules could be changed up a little, we're functioning adults and don't need all the restrictions!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ben
10/10

The Best Three Months

I went in a religion major, but came out a bio major. This program gave my life a new direction. Almost everyday I had the opportunity to be in the water either snorkeling or diving. The dive and snorkel sites are second to none. The classes will challenge you academically, but they do a great job of integrating the field with the classroom. I didn't have a single day abroad where I was in the classroom for the full day. I had the opportunity to go both "turtling" and "sharking" (all for research purposes), which was one of the ways I was able to get involved in the research at the center. Directed research was the highlight of my semester. My group worked with sting rays for four weeks straight and got to present our findings to the community. The availability for community outreach and service is readily availably to the students, if that is an interest. If you love the ocean and don't mind warm weather and a lack of showers, this is the program for you.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the strictness of the social aspect. A lot of times it felt as if we were being put on lockdown for the mistakes of previous students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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amcole
10/10

Amazing Experience in TCI

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I learned a lot (probably 150+ organisms by their scientific names, as an example), met some friends I will have for life, dove in a beautiful and diverse ecosystem, and had the experience if a lifetime. Despite few freshwater showers and frequent meals of rice and beans, I liked living in the center because the closeness led to tight friendships and trust. The interns, professors, SAM, and other staff were all so helpful and friendly. I would say there was about a 1 day adjustment period for me, then I didn't want to ever leave!

Yes, I recommend this program

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About The School for Field Studies (SFS)

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...