|Academic Term||Autumn Semester|
|Credits||17 semester credits per session|
|Prerequisites||Sophomore standing or above by time of departure|
|Program Manager||Shannon Quinn | firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Application Deadline||Rolling admissions|
|Financial Aid||UW students on semester programs automatically receive $2,500 off the program price. In addition, all accepted students can also apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans|
|General||This program attracts students from all majors who want to understand environmental, political, and cultural changes from an interdisciplinary perspective and in an historical context. This writing-intensive program is particularly appropriate for environmental studies/science majors, but students of any major can apply.|
Students will then begin their sailing research voyage, visiting several South Pacific islands to confront challenging questions surrounding cultural identity, colonial conflict and exchange, and the complex connections between human communities, political structures, and the environment. They will explore issues of sustainability with local officials and residents while visiting historical, cultural, and environmental management sites, and investigate the complex factors that threaten fragile island ecosystems and the surrounding marine environment in an effort to pursue a more sustainable relationship with our oceans. The program will conclude with a shore component in New Zealand where students will assemble and present their research findings.
Program faculty place significant value not only on students’ informative interactions with sustainability projects and practices, but on their ability to function as effective communicators in public settings as well. An integral part of the program’s curriculum involves developing the required skills for persuasively communicating ideas and facts about sustainability to audiences of every size. Storytelling skill development takes place within the context of examining the role of oral narrative tradition in Polynesian cultures, coupled with explorations of the key factors in effective scientific communication in the age of podcasting and other digital audio media.
CONNECT WITH SEA Semester
Visit the SEA Semester website
Call the Admissions Hotline at (800) 552-3633 x 770
Read updates from the field on the SEA Currents Blog
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The remote islands of Polynesia are some of the most special and significant places in the world. Their coral reefs and tropical forests are oases of biological diversity, and their human populations possess an equally rich diversity of histories, languages, and social practices. Western colonization brought about disruptive changes in the economies and cultures of island societies that, over many centuries, confronted and often overcame their own challenges of sustainable adaptation. Today, western values, consumer products, and cultural suppression have severely undermined the close connection between island cultures and the environment. More extraordinary, however, has been the many ways in which indigenous Pacific societies have either resisted imposed ideas and practices or incorporated them as their own. These societies, which span from Hawai’i to New Zealand to Easter Island, and everywhere within the Polynesian Triangle, confront global challenges while constantly reshaping, in local terms, what it means to be Polynesian.
Prerequisites and Language Requirements
Students interested in participating in this program must be of sophomore standing or above at the time of departure.
Credits and Conversion Scale
You will approx. receive 27 UW credits per term. How our office will determine the amount is through our Credit Conversion Scale for the program.
If you would like some assistance, schedule an appointment with one of our Program Assistants here.
SEA Semester: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems offers 17 credits from Boston University. Courses are as follows:
Maritime History and Culture (4 credits)
Explore impacts of European maritime ventures on the societies they contacted in the Atlantic or Pacific, with focus on the resulting social, political, economic, and cultural changes. Investigate responses documented in the post-Colonial literature of indigenous people.
Marine Environmental History (4 credits)
Employ methods and sources of historians and social scientists. Examine the role of human societies in coastal and open ocean environmental change. Issues include resource conservation, overfishing, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.
Nautical Science (3 credits)
Learn the fundamentals of sailing ship operation, in preparation for direct application at sea. Navigation (piloting, celestial and electronic), weather, engineering systems, safety, and sail theory. Participate as an active member of the ship’s crew on an offshore voyage.
Oceanography (3 credits)
Explore how interconnected ocean characteristics (bathymetry, seawater chemistry, biological diversity) and processes (plate tectonics, surface and deep-water circulation, biological production) shape global patterns across multiple scales. Discuss destination-specific environmental issues and hot topics in marine research.
Maritime Studies (3 credits)
Relationship between humans and the sea. History, literature and art of our maritime heritage. Ships as agents of contact change. Political and economic challenges of contemporary marine affairs. Destination-specific focus.
Please visit the program website to learn more about the courses.
If you’re looking for a record of how courses from this institution have been transferred in the past, visit the credit equivalency database to help you determine what foreign courses might satisfy your academic needs here at the UW.
For more information about receiving credits for your study abroad, visit Earning credits abroad.
All students are expected to live on the SEA campus in student housing. Each house accommodates 10 students. On board ship, you will share space with up to 35 people.
Take a virtual tour of one of the ships to learn more.
The UW Study Abroad Office can't officially advise you about visas.
The volume and diversity of students participating, the shifting requirements of foreign governments, and the complexity of these applications make it impossible for us to accurately advise you on immigration policies.
If your program requires a visa, documentation will be provided from your host institution after your acceptance.
The Study Abroad fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates. Students must pay the course-related fees directly through the SEA Semester program website.
- A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
- You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid. For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
- Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.
- There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
- Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
- For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered. You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship. Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.
We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:
- Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
- Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at email@example.com to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
- Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
- Visit the Finances section of our website.
To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button and follow the prompts to create an application. After you create your application, click on each of the links on your study abroad application homepage and complete the remaining application requirements: questionnaires, material submissions, and electronic signature documents.
This study abroad program also requires completion of a secondary application specific to the program provider. Visit the program website to complete it.
To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. Visit your study abroad homepage to complete this mandatory orientation. You must also attend any program-specific orientations offered by the program director.
UW Study Abroad Office also offers several optional orientations aimed at preparing you for your study abroad experience. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for any optional orientation sessions that pique your interest.
Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.
The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at disability.uw.edu.
The UW Study Abroad Fee is non-refundable once the payment contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program may also be responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. Note that no part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun.
The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:
- Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
- Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.
Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.