The Coolest “OverSeas” College Study Program on the Planet!

SEA logo If you are a college student, or know one, who wants to make the most out of your college experience, you (they) have to check out SEA, which stands for Sea Education Association. At SEA, not only will you study “overseas” you’ll study in them too!

Located in Woods Hole, MA, USA, SEA offers semester long college accredited programs on 2 tall ships in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that challenge you intellectually and physically by combining a sailing adventure of a lifetime with the study of the deep ocean. I could go on and on about the benefits of this experience but SEA president John Bullard already made a most persuasive case here.


If for some crazy reason John hasn’t convinced you, maybe these short videos shot by program graduates will.

Take your academic career to new heights, literally! Better than looking at a blackboard all day in the middle of January!

YouTube – Sailing the Pacific- 3

Imagine challenging yourself to do something outside your comfort zone and making some amazing friendships in the process.

YouTube – Aloft

How about learning from touching something alive that you actually caught?

YouTube – Squid Jigging on SEA Semester

YouTube – SEA Semester class S213’s Jumbo Squid

And who said school can’t be fun? I guarantee that in the future you will think of the SEA experience more fondly than that Political Science lecture every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

YouTube – S-199

Now, if you need a reason for why this might be important to you and the rest of the planet, you have to watch this video of Dr. Bob Ballard’s presentation at the February 2008 TED Conference. There is a whole new world for you to explore and there’s no better opportunity to do so than aboard an SEA tall ship.

YouTube – Robert Ballard: Exploring the ocean’s hidden worlds

Finally, some sound advice from Mark Twain:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Launch your SEA adventure here!

photo credit: Meriah Berman via waynepbj on

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

4 thoughts on “The Coolest “OverSeas” College Study Program on the Planet!”

  1. Hi Peter,

    That’s a great snapshot of SEA — an organization that inspired me greatly as a teacher when I worked for them as an Assistant Scientist on C-164. I also really appreciated the link to Ballard’s TED talk. It is very exciting to finally hear a prominent ocean leader unabashedly promote ocean colonization. What vast increases in practical marine understanding would arise from such an endeavor?!

    When SEA finished the Seamans and chose Stanford as a west coast base instead of the Friday Harbor Labs at the University of Washington, I decided to create a similar marine field research organization here in the Pacific Northwest. You might enjoy learning what Beam Reach — a marine science and sustainability school — has accomplished. While I often direct student to SEA, I think Beam Reach is a better fit for undergrads and recent grads who are interested in marine mammals and the policy complexities that have arisen around the iconic and endangered species in the Northeast Pacific. I’m proud of our student research that has focused on acoustic exploration of the orca, the endangered salmon they eat, and the urbanized estuary they both inhabit. I also like that we work diligently to be sustainability scientists — reducing the impact of our investigations by pioneering a biodiesel-electric propulsion system that makes our 42′ catamaran silent underwater while underway.

    Keep up the great blog, and let me know what you think of the Beam Reach blog:

    Scott in Seattle

  2. Thanks for visiting and commenting Cal. It’s great to see that Educational Partnerships is giving young people life changing experiences at sea under sail. I previously posted about your program here.

    I just wanted to clarify something in your comment which might lead to confusion. While the majority of SEA’s programs are open enrollment, there are also several school specific programs. For instance, the last video in the above post is from a student participating in Stanford University’s SEA partnership program. Additionally, Boston University recently launched a partnership program with SEA.

    It’s exciting that there are so many different ways that students can have a life changing sail training experience during their college years.

    Thanks again for the comment and we look forward to following the success of Educational Partnerships.

  3. Thank you for highlighting this terrific program, Peter. SEA has created some truly life long educational memories for hundreds of college students over the years. It’s a fantastic way for individual college students to explore their world. I might add that there are also professors and colleges that would like to create their own customized sea education programs with a group of their students. While SEA does not work with customized educational groups, my organization, Educational Partner-Ships, actually specializes in creating these customized programs utilizing a school’s own faculty and students. I would encourage such individuals to visit Educational Partner-Ships’s website, to learn more on this opportunity:

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