Program Details
Program Search

SEA Semester-Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems

Program Location Woods Hole, MA, & at Sea, Multiple Countries
Sponsor Sea Education Association
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 30035
Duration Fall Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Fall 2019 08/26/19 to 11/16/19

Page Links
Overview Purdue Credit
Eligibility Academics
Program Costs Financial Aid
Deadline Returnee Info

Multiple Countries Map
Country map courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

SEA Semester-Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems

Tahiti, Bora Bora, Nuku Hiva, Moorea, the very names evoke romantic images of sandy beaches, lush palm trees, and exotic native people. The islands of French Polynesia are scattered across a million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, with a total landmass smaller than the state of Connecticut.

The Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems (SPICE) program is an environmental studies intensive semester focused on the people and islands of Polynesia and the global issues of environmental sustainability and cultural continuity.

Students begin their semester in Woods Hole, MA, as they are introduced to this interdisciplinary program and the islands, cultures, and environments of the Polynesian Islands. After the introduction on shore, students will become one of the crew of the SSV Robert C. Seamans as it sails through the waters of French Polynesia. Travelling through the Tuamotus and Marquesas islands program participants will meet local people, visit historical, cultural, and agricultural sites, and use the state-of-the-art shipboard laboratory and research facilities to investigate the complex issues of environmental sustainability and cultural continuity of the area.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:Sea Education Association.


SEA Semester-Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems

This program is open to Purdue students who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program.

The curriculum is designed for students with an interest in environmental science/studies and sustainability, however no previous sailing experience or environmental studies coursework is required.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit
Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture][College of Liberal Arts][College of Science]

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

Click here for course descriptions.

Estimated Program Costs

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

Program and Housing fees include: tuition for 17 credits, including academic field trip and science lab fees, housing (on the SEA campus in Woods Hole during the shore component and on the sailboat during the voyage), prepaid grocery cards for use during the shore component, three meals plus three snacks per day while at sea, on-site orientation, and on-site student support and supervision for the duration of the program.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2019

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee$24,600.00
Study Abroad Fee$914.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month)$32.00
Program Discount for Purdue Students- $5,000.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare$1,500.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 -$225.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos)$175.00

Financial Aid

SEA offers both merit and need based aid for individual students. SEA's Board is very clear in wanting to make this program available to “all qualified and motivated” students. Almost 75% of SEA Semester students receive some form of financial assistance, and more than 50% receive financial aid directly from SEA.

Payment plan is availale.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an on-line application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Fall Semester Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information
SEA Semester-Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems
Woods Hole, MA

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Study Abroad

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact Study Abroad