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  • Locations: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States;
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: SU applicants only
  • Courses Offered
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

SEA Semester:
Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems (SPICE)

Sea Semester
SEA Semester (SEA) is an educational adventure in a study-abroad program, open to students in all majors, that will take you to the deep ocean on a traditional sailing vessel to learn about the sea. The semester long program is for 12 weeks, with half taking place on shore and the other half at sea. The interdisciplinary program begins in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, one of the world’s great centers for ocean research. There you will study the chemistry, biology, physics, and geology of the oceans and you will design your own research project that you will carry out at sea. You will discuss the major policy issues that will be tomorrow’s headlines, and you will learn what it requires to take a vessel under sail safely to the deep ocean and to international ports.


After six weeks on shore, you and your classmates will join the crew on a 135-foot vessel in New Zealand and the South Pacific. You will participate in all of the duties the ship requires. Every day, you will be given more responsibility as your skills increase until you are running the ship. SEA voyages follow various cruise tracks depending on the research focus and weather conditions. There are typically two port stops with one outside the United States.

Program Details
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • SU required course load: 12-19 credits for undergraduate students
  • No language prerequisite
Program Calendar
FALL ONLY- Dates vary per cruise track

mast shot
The impacts of environmental change are being felt all over the globe, affecting people and ecosystems in even the most remote locations.  Questions are being raised about how humans societies will operate in the future given limited resources, growing populations, exponential increases in waste generation, and climatic disruption. Humans have always been an important factor in environmental change, bringing plants, animals and diseases from one part of the planet to another, but our awareness in the twenty-first century of the rapidity and irreversibility of those changes, and of the profound effects they will have on human cultures and economies, demands we address them. SPICE was designed to encourage a conversation on these topics. This environmental studies semester  takes an interdisciplinary look at the people and islands of Polynesia in an effort to learn what they can tell us about the global issues of environmental sustainability and cultural continuity. This semester is particularly appropriate for Environmental Studies / Science majors but students from any major are encouraged to apply.  

You will earn up to 17 credits for your semester. All courses are taught in English.

For a list of courses pre-approved for SU credit, please click on the "Courses Offered" link at the top of this page. There is no guarantee courses on the list will be offered during your semester abroad, so please refer to the World Partner website for the most up-to-date course offerings. If you want to take a course that is not already approved, SU Abroad will assist in obtaining approval from the appropriate SU academic department.

At Woods Hole, you will live in one of five fully furnished cottages. In preparation for going to sea, you will function as a team with your roommates and be responsible for the housekeeping, shopping, and cooking. While you are at sea, you will live on-board the ship.

Program Cost
You will pay SU tuition and a program fee. You may apply all SU financial aid except work-study. The program fee includes: pre-departure meeting, international travel insurance, orientation, room and prepaid grocery card on shore, and room and board at sea. For the program fee and further explanation of estimated costs, please see the most recent financial planning budget here: SEA Semester Budget 14-15.pdf.

?Cara Hardy, Counselor,

Apply Now
Applying to this program requires completion of both the Syracuse Abroad and SEA Semester application.

Syracuse University

SEA Semester
  • Complete SEA Semester’s application.
  • Follow instructions from SEA for supplemental documents.

SEA Semester

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.