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South Pacific Ocean - SEA Semester - Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems

Sailing never seemed so desirable until you could spend a semester on the ocean in The South Pacific studying marine life.


From the shores of Cape Cod to the shores of Auckland, marine life is ever apparent at the local ports. While the semester may begin in Woods Hole Massachusetts, the days at sea starts on the American Samoa to Auckland cruise track. From port to port, the sailboat ventures across the South Pacific Ocean hitting locations such as American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Auckland.


Sea Education Association (SEA) was founded in 1971 and has become an internationally recognized leader in undergraduate ocean education. The program is accredited through Boston University. Each course has a specific ocean related theme.


SEA: South Pacific is a program designed to educate students on environmental sustainability while immersing students into communities in the South Pacific area. Students begin the program with an orientation in Woods Hole Massachusetts and then embark on a journey to American Samoa where they begin their marine life. Students are not required to have a nautical or aquatic background but the program is great for Environmental Studies/Science majors.

Students partaking in the program are able to enroll in 5 courses that transfer over into 17 credits. The five courses being offered have a common theme of aquatic voyages and life--Marine Environmental History, Maritime History & Culture, Maritime Studies, Nautical Science, and Oceanography.

Student Life/Co-curricular

The fun of living on a sailboat is that students are able to learn a lot about sailing. When the boat is not docked, the students are studying, in the lab, helping to navigate, or enjoying their sleep. When the sailboat does dock, students are able to learn firsthand from the residents at the ports about the issues they were exploring. As part of their academics, students will be visiting historical and environmental sites relating to their course work.


Spending the semester at SEA means that students are housed on a 135-foot sailboat that sails through the South Pacific and docks in American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Auckland. Students begin the program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts where they learn how to run a boat.

Program Cost         

The program fee includes tuition (12-16 credits), accommodation, program orientation, scheduled academic excursions, and international health insurance. The program cost is based on full-time semester tuition and on-campus Marist housing. Students receive a detailed cost sheet once they have been admitted to the Marist Abroad Program.

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or higher at the time of study abroad
  • Academic Advisor approval of program and coursework

How to Apply

Enrollment is limited, and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Click here for more information on the Marist Abroad application process.

Additional Information

If you have any additional questions about the program contact the Program Coordinator at

Please click here for additional information on the program.