SEA Semester provides an experiential opportunity to gather firsthand knowledge that will influence students’ lifelong relationships with the ocean. As our society becomes more aware of how integral the oceans are to the planet, from climate patterns to energy production to the origins of life itself, we must also understand how to conserve these important resources. Moving beyond the textbook toward practical application, hands-on research, and personal experience, SEA Semester prepares students to take a more active role in solving today’s environmental problems. A program with the Sea Education Association (SEA) combines an intensive four-week shore component in Woods Hole, MA paired with a unique sea voyage in locations throughout: Western Europe & the Mediterranean, French Polynesia, Atlantic/Caribbean and New Zealand just to name a few.
 

While the academic focus varies, each program offers an interconnected suite of courses designed to explore a specific ocean-related theme using a cross-disciplinary approach. We look for motivated undergraduates of all majors who are passionate about learning, inspired to tackle and address real-world problems, and eager to become part of an unparalleled living and learning community. SEA is based on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: January 1, 2018
  • Deadline: April 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
Submit to Host University
  • Host Application: apply online through SEA Semester Application portal, application fee is waived.
  • Writing Sample: Academic writing sample of your own choosing (2-4 page excerpt if longer than 4 pages). This should be a reflection of your best written work from a recent course, and on a topic applicable to your SEA Semester program of interest (science, history, environmental studies, literature, etc.). Please include your name and the context of the sample (course title and brief description of the assignment). Poetry or college entrance essays may be submitted only as a secondary sample. Submit via email to admission@sea.edu or fax to 800-977-8516.
  • Personal Statement: Two-part essay (500-750 words): Why have you chosen to apply to SEA Semester and what do you expect to gain from your experience? How will the SEA Semester program to which you’re applying (The Global Ocean, Oceans & Climate, etc.) complement your education? Be sure to address both questions. List your full name and submit via email to admission@sea.edu or fax to 800-977-8516.
  • 2 Letter(s) of recommendation: Both should be from undergraduate level instructors; at least one should be from an instructor (i.e. professor, academic advisor) who has taught you within the past year. Additional references also welcome such as a coach, academic advisor, or personal contact. The online application will provide a link to email the reference form to your professors directly.
  • Schedule an Interview: Interviews with your SEA Semester Admissions Counselor may be conducted over the phone or in person, depending on the SEA Counselor’s schedule. Topics of conversation may include life at student’s college/university, academic and extracurricular interests, transition from high school to college, student’s expectations for life at SEA, and how student has learned about the program. The interview is also a great opportunity for student’s to ask questions about SEA.
  • Official Transcript
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

The interdisciplinary course work teaches more than just Maritime Studies, Nautical Science, and Oceanography; it teaches students about team work, cooperation, and seamanship. Students also learn how to sail a boat, from striking and setting sails to navigating and steering.

Each voyage listed below offers unique courses and research requirements. Please review the course offerings as listed on the SEA Semester program pages:

The Global Ocean
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take 3 core courses and choose two electives. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Ocean Exploration
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take 4 core courses and choose their preferred research course. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Oceans & Climates
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take the required 5 core courses. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take the required 5 core courses. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $24,280
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed 16 credits. If a student elects to transfer back more than four courses (or 16 credits), then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Registrar’s website. 

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • This fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Resources

Additional Resources

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: July 1, 2018
  • Deadline: November 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
Submit to Host University
  • Host Application: In addition to the GEO application, all applicants must complete the host institution or program’s application.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Official Transcript
  • High School Transcript: Only if student has completed fewer than four semesters of college-level coursework.
  • 2 Letter(s) of recommendation: Both should be from undergraduate level instructors; at least one should be from an instructor (i.e. professor, academic advisor) who has taught the student within the past year. Additional references (i.e. coach, academic, personal, etc.) are welcome. The online application will provide a link to email the reference form to professors directly.
  • 2 Writing Samples: Two-part essay (500-750 words): Why the student has chosen to apply to SEA Semester and what does he or she expect to gain from their experience? How will the SEA Semester program to which the student is applying (Ocean Exploration, Oceans & Climate, etc.) complement their education? Be sure to address both questions. Academic writing sample of student’s own choosing (2-4 page excerpt if longer than 4 pages). This should be a reflection of student’s best written work from a recent course, and on a topic applicable to their SEA Semester program of interest (science, history, environmental studies, literature, etc.). Please include student name and the context of the sample (course title and brief description of the assignment). Poetry or college entrance essays may be submitted only as a secondary sample.
  • Phone Interview: Interviews may be conducted over the phone or in person, depending on the SEA Counselor’s schedule. Topics of conversation may include life at student’s college/university, academic and extracurricular interests, transition from high school to college, student’s expectations for life at SEA, and how student has learned about the program. The interview is also a great opportunity for student’s to ask questions about SEA.
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

The interdisciplinary course work teaches more than just Maritime Studies, Nautical Science, and Oceanography; it teaches students about team work, cooperation, and seamanship. Students also learn how to sail a boat, from striking and setting sails to navigating and steering.

Each voyage listed below offers unique courses and research requirements. Please review the course offerings as listed on the SEA Semester program pages.

Effective Spring 2018 Semester, Northeastern students will follow a new credit conversion scale, as outlined below:

  • Students need to take 15 credits per semester with SEA Semester to be full time
  • The credit conversion ratio is 1:1 (SEA Semester: Northeastern)
  • A 4 credit course will come in as 4 NU credits

You should plan on taking what is considered a full-time credit load at the host institution.

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take the required 5 core courses. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
The Global Ocean
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take 3 core courses and choose two electives. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Marine Biodiversity & Conservation
  • Course Descriptions : Students will take the required 5 core courses. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Ocean Exploration
Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $24,280
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed this range. If a course load exceeds this then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Student Financial Service’s website.

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • This fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Resources

Additional Resources

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: January 1, 2018
  • Deadline: March 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
Submit to Host University
  • Host Application: In addition to the GEO application, all applicants must complete the host institution or program’s application.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Official Transcript
  • High School Transcript: Only if student has completed fewer than four semesters of college-level coursework.
  • 2 Letter(s) of recommendation: Both should be from undergraduate level instructors; at least one should be from an instructor (i.e. professor, academic advisor) who has taught the student within the past year. Additional references (i.e. coach, academic, personal, etc.) are welcome. The online application will provide a link to email the reference form to professors directly.
  • 2 Writing Samples: Two-part essay (500-750 words): Why the student has chosen to apply to SEA Semester and what does he or she expect to gain from their experience? How will the SEA Semester program to which the student is applying (Ocean Exploration, Oceans & Climate, etc.) complement their education? Be sure to address both questions. Academic writing sample of student’s own choosing (2-4 page excerpt if longer than 4 pages). This should be a reflection of student’s best written work from a recent course, and on a topic applicable to their SEA Semester program of interest (science, history, environmental studies, literature, etc.). Please include student name and the context of the sample (course title and brief description of the assignment). Poetry or college entrance essays may be submitted only as a secondary sample.
  • Phone Interview: Interviews may be conducted over the phone or in person, depending on the SEA Counselor’s schedule. Topics of conversation may include life at student’s college/university, academic and extracurricular interests, transition from high school to college, student’s expectations for life at SEA, and how student has learned about the program. The interview is also a great opportunity for student’s to ask questions about SEA.
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

The interdisciplinary course work teaches more than just Maritime Studies, Nautical Science, and Oceanography; it teaches students about team work, cooperation, and seamanship. Students also learn how to sail a boat, from striking and setting sails to navigating and steering.

The Protecting the Phoenix Islands voyage is ideal for students with an interest in conservation policy and/or marine science. Students may choose a policy or science track, offering flexibility in project topics.

Students will take two core courses:
  • CAS NS 326 - The Ocean & Global Change : This is a required course. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
  • CAS NS 328 - Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management : This is a required course. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Students will then choose the research course of their preference from these offerings:
  • CAS NS 460 - Advanced Ocean Policy Research : Advanced policy research focusing on a topic of current importance (may include fisheries, biodiversity, marine spatial planning, and cultural heritage). Emphasis on theoretical concepts, research methods, and communication skills. Requires critical review paper, original research, final report and presentation. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
  • XAS NS 325 - Directed Oceanographic Research : Design and conduct original oceanographic research. Collect data and analyze samples. Compile results in peer-reviewed manuscript format and share during oral or poster presentation session. Emphasis on development of research skills and written/oral communication abilities. Please review the course catalog below for more information.
Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $16,698
  • Tuition covers 11 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed 11 credits. If a student elects to transfer back more than three courses (or 11 credits), then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Registrar’s website. 

    • The credit conversion ratio is 1:1 (SEA Semester: Northeastern)
    • 17-18 is a full-time course load
    • University of Edinburgh courses are 10 or 20 credits each, which is indicated in their Course Finder
    • A 10 credit University of Edinburgh course will come is as 2.667 NU credits, and a 20 credit University of Edinburgh course will come in as 5.334 NU credits
    • If a student takes 60 University of Edinburgh credits abroad, they will receive 16 NU credits 
    • Course evaluations will not be impacted by the credit conversion change
International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • This fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Resources

Additional Resources

Destination

Various Voyage Locations Include but are not limited to:

Caribbean- Previous port stops have included: Antigua, Barbados, Bequia, Bermuda, Carriacou, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinque, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. John, St. Maartin, St. Thomas, Trinidad.

Western Europe & the Mediterranean- Previous port stops have included: Barcelona, Cádiz, Canary Islands, Cork, Douarnenez, Lisbon, Madeira and Mallorca.

Fiji / American Samoa- Previous port stops have included: Samoa, Wallis & Fatuna.

French Polynesia- Previous port stops have included: Fakarava, Moorea, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Raivavae, Tahiti, Tikehau, Tubuai.

Hawaii- Previous port stops have included: Oahu, Lanai, Hawaii, Maui, & Molokai.

New Zealand- Previous port stops have included: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Hauraki Gulf, Lyttleton, Bluff.

Accommodations

Please remember that Northeastern University does not arrange accommodations for you while you are abroad – this is your responsibility. You should follow all of your host institution’s or housing provider’s procedures and deadlines for obtaining housing. Failure to do so may mean you are not able to arrange housing through the program.

  • On-Campus: Life on Shore: under supervision from an on-site Head Resident, students live in one of our fully furnished coed cottages in either a double or triple single-sex room. With their classmates, they share the responsibilities of communal living including food shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Each week, all houses receive a prepaid grocery card (included in the program cost). Students are responsible for budgeting appropriately, satisfying everyone’s dietary needs and requirements, and preparing all meals. Life at Sea: Students cook together in fully equipped kitchens. While on the research vessel, room and board is fully provided. Life is busy as students process oceanographic samples, participate in classes, stand watch in shifts during the around-the-clock schedule, and delve into navigation, science, engineering, cooking, and cleaning. Teamwork takes precedence as they share responsibility for the ship and the well-being of their shipmates. Relying on each other is essential for the creation of a tight-knit community, where privacy is limited. Learning to balance their time on watch with sleeping, eating, and relaxing is part of adapting to shipboard life.

Host University or Organization

Founded in 1971, the Sea Education Association, is recognized as the national leader in education under sail. SEA operates year-round, as do its sailing vessels, which sail as far north as Newfoundland, and as far south as Venezuela. Learning by doing is a powerful elements of SEA’s approach to education.

SEA is based on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Woods Hole, a village in the Town of Falmouth on the southwestern corner of Cape Cod, is a world center for marine, biomedical, and environmental science. Its reputation in this broad field may seem out of proportion to its small size, yet, in addition to several smaller enterprises and labs, Woods Hole contains two large private organizations (the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and two federal government facilities (the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Geological Survey).

Coordinators