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  • Locations: Tenerife, Spain
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Sea Education Association 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2025 03/15/2025 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Culture, English, Environmental Studies, History, Humanities, Independent Study, International Relations, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Liberal Arts, Literature, Marine Science, Sciences, Sociology, Writing Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English
Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Cabin on Ship, Residence Hall Program Type: Field Study, Study Abroad
Program Description:

Who Should Apply?

This program is open to matriculated college students of all majors as well as gap year/winter start students who have graduated from high school but not yet matriculated at a college or university. This program offers a full semester of college credit.

Program Highlights

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the world’s oceans
  • Make a long, blue-water sailing passage on a sustainably powered research vessel
  • Take your learning out of the classroom and into the field
  • Develop new skills in leadership, teamwork, and research

Program Description

Experience the Deep Blue – Voyage on a cruise track on which the closest human beings may very well be on the International Space Station!

Understanding the oceans is an essential component 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 program 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 both the near coastal environment and the open ocean through hands-on research and personal experience. In this semester, students will address and answer some of the most pressing global questions related to the last true wilderness on the planet – the open ocean “Deep Blue” environment.

During an initial six-week shore component in Woods Hole, academic coursework will prepare students for their research voyage. With full access to SEA faculty, guest lecturers, and the world-renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Marine Biological Laboratory Library, students will design original research projects to be completed during the open ocean crossing. Maritime Studies coursework will complement this research by offering a wider historical, economic and social perspective on the impact of humans on the world’s oceans, and on the experience of going to sea.

Finally, Nautical Science coursework will introduce practical seamanship skills and the theoretical background necessary to for students safely operate a tall ship at sea, hundreds of miles from land. As full, working members of the scientific team and sailing crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, students will then spend the next six weeks at sea managing shipboard operations, navigating by the stars, analyzing oceanographic samples, while making a blue-ocean passage from the North Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. Perhaps most importantly, students will learn to challenge themselves and will develop new skills in leadership, teamwork, and research.

Academic Coursework & Credit

Ocean Exploration: Wonders of the Deep Blue offers 17 credits from Boston University. Courses are as follows:

Maritime Studies (200-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
The ships and people who sailed these deep blue ocean environments have acted as agents of contact change and served as inspiration for countless instances of art and literature. This course discusses the political and economic forces that have shaped historical and contemporary marine affairs. From cultural contact to war to conservation, the relationship between humans and the sea has been at times tempestuous. An appreciation for the humanities will frame your own ocean crossing and enable you to experience the voyage in a more profound way.

Nautical Science (200-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. 
To prepare for this open ocean crossing, hundreds of miles from land, you will learn the fundamentals of navigation, safety, weather, sailing theory, and engineering. There are no passengers on this deep blue passage, so Nautical Science will prepare you to be an active crewmember.

Oceanography (200-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
The deep blue ocean environment is home to countless scientific marvels – to appreciate them you need a background in fundamental oceanography. This course explores the physics of ocean currents and weather systems, the chemistry of seawater and marine life, the geology of the ocean floor, and the biological wonders of near coastal and deep ocean ecosystems.

Oceanographic Field Methods (200-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Learn about the most current oceanographic equipment, techniques, and methodology to become an active member of the shipboard science community. Explore traditional oceanographic equipment and scientific methods and some of the newest wonders on the frontier of genetic sampling techniques.

Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Design a collaborative project or experiment driven by your intellectual curiosity. Working as a team, create a hypothesis, collect data, analyze results, and present your findings about the oceanographic topic of your choice.