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Study Abroad in United States: SEA Semester:Study aboard program


SEA Semester

Street Address:
Woods Hole, MA 02543
United States

SEA Semester:Study aboard program

United States
Contact the Organization
Dates of Program
Flexible Dates
Age Restrictions
18 Years +
Project Review

Understanding the oceans is an essential aspect of appreciating how the world works and how we relate to it as human beings. The sea is so complex that it is impossible to comprehend from the perspective of a single academic discipline. With that in mind, this interdisciplinary semester combines insights from oceanography, the humanities, and the social sciences with practical skills in seamanship, allowing students to deepen their awareness of and appreciation for the ocean through hands-on research and personal experience. Each semester offers a unique academic theme allowing students to address and answer some of the most pressing global questions related to the ocean environment.

On Shore in Woods Hole: During the 6-week shore component, intensive academic coursework prepares students for their research cruise. With full access to SEA faculty and the world-renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Marine Biological Laboratory Library, students design original research projects to be completed at sea. Maritime Studies provides a wider historical and social perspective on the impact of humans on the world's oceans, and on the experience of going to sea. Nautical Science introduces practical seamanship skills and the theoretical background necessary to safely operate a tall ship on the open ocean.

At Sea on the Open Ocean: As full, working members of the scientific team and sailing crew on one of SEA's state-of-the-art research vessels, students manage shipboard operations, navigate by the stars, analyze oceanographic samples, and visit foreign ports off the beaten path. Most importantly, students learn to challenge themselves and develop new leadership, teamwork, and research skills. Depending on the semester, students may have the option to choose between sailing in the Caribbean, Atlantic, or Pacific.

Major Responsibilities
Cost/Program Fee
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What program fee Includes

What's Included in the Cost of SEA Semester?


  • 17 course credits issued by Boston University (or home institution, if affiliated with SEA)
  • Maximum student-teacher ratio of 8:1 on shore and 3:1 at sea conducive to an intimate learning environment rarely found at other academic institutions
  • Faculty with the highest level of professional degrees in their fields, many of whom are SEA Semester alumni
  • An interdisciplinary curriculum with coursework to suit most majors

Financial Aid

  • Customized financial aid guidance and assistance
  • Federal aid applies in most cases (Stafford Loans, Plus Loans, Pell Grants)
  • Merit-based scholarships and need-based aid available for qualified students
  • SEA processes institutional aid for students that may carry it with them
  • Alternative Loans available
  • A variety of payment plans are available, including online

Student Support

  • Personalized advising and follow-up throughout the admissions process
  • Welcome packet and pre-departure information
  • On-site orientation at the start of each program
  • All research fees are covered, including access to: SEA library, computer lab & campus wireless network, WHOI/MBL joint library memberships
  • Academic field trip and science lab fees are included

Room & Board

  • Student housing on the SEA campus in Woods Hole during the shore component
  • Full-time Head Resident on site for student support and supervision
  • Prepaid grocery cards for use during the shore component
  • Three meals plus three snacks a day at sea, prepared by a professional steward with student assistant

Parent Resources

  • Parents’ welcome reception at orientation
  • Web access to daily satellite tracking of SEA vessels while they’re at sea
  • Web access to periodic audio updates (Podcasts) from the ships
  • Full-time Parent & Alumni Coordinator on staff

Health Services

  • 24-hour emergency assistance and support from on-site staff
  • Ships carry a fully-stocked pharmacy and receive support from a physicians network available via satellite 24 hrs
  • Captains are all certified Wilderness First Responders or Wilderness EMTs with extensive emergency training
Skills/ Qualifications
Arrangements for Room/Food
Any Missing Important Information

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