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Overview

On the island of San Salvador, get a taste of real-world marine biology on multiple dives, lab work and research adventures, led by scientists working in the field.

At the Gerace Research Center in the Bahamas, classrooms are more then a bunch of desks inside four walls. They're reef walls teeming with brightly colored marine life and descending to 6000 feet. They're also mangrove channels, mesmerizing blue holes, seagrass beds and blindingly white beaches. Aspiring marine biologists come to both with a budding interest and fascination with the underwater world and, with the guidance of professional scientists, nurture it into a full-blown, hands-on exploration of tropical marine biology.

Master the study and analysis of coral reefs. Dive your way to advanced PADI specialty certifications. Anchor traditional learning with an unrestrained sense of wonder and adventure. Then return with perhaps the most rewarding three college credits you will ever earn.

DatesGradesLengthTuitionAvailability
June 14 - July 3 HS20 days$6,380Available
July 6 - July 25 HS20 days$6,380Available
Earn & Learn
Bahamas Marine Biology Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn internationally recognized certifications, documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

Bahamas Marine Biology offers 2 natural science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 4 hours of documented community service and may pursue 5 PADI certifications.

ACADEMICS & COLLEGE CREDIT

Course Description

The ocean covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface and contains nearly 99% of the planet’s available living space. Within this realm, many unique and diverse species collectively help to create a complex world of interacting communities. Perhaps the most diverse and beautiful of these marine communities are found in tropical environments. This course will examine the biology and ecology of tropical marine communities and illustrate research techniques and equipment that marine biologists commonly use. In addition to classroom time, interactive labs and scuba dives give you the opportunity to explore the environments you study in class.

Course Objectives
  • Gain a greater interest in the oceans and marine life
  • Develop an appreciation for the importance of life in the oceans to the history of life on the planet
  • Learn to identify and describe the diversity of life found in the oceans
  • Understand how individuals, populations and communities interact with each other and their physical environment
  • Gain experience presenting on a marine science topic of your choosing
  • Understand how marine biologists conduct research in the field and in labs in order to better understand ecological and evolutionary relationships
CERTIFICATIONS

During this program, students will have the chance to earn certifications on 15+ dives while performing their underwater research including:

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PADI Underwater Naturalist
  • PADI Fish Identification
  • PADI Coral Reef Conservation
COMMUNITY SERVICE:

Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. While in the Bahamas, assist researchers at the Gerace Research Center on conservation and environmental projects and potentially work with Gerace on environmental education projects for local school children. In addition, participate in beach and underwater cleanup projects.

5 Certifications

4 Service Hours

2 College Credits

Bahamas Marine Biology Itinerary

Itinerary

marine biology study abroad programs for high school students
1

Settle into the Gerace Research Center and explore the impressive facilities of this former submarine tracking base. Ready to get wet? Hop into the warm, turquoise blue water and get ready to learn how to dive if you’ve never done it before, or go on some refresher dives if you’re already certified. Snorkel and dive into beautiful coral patch reefs and sea grass beds that support a variety of fish and invertebrate life including barracudas, parrotfish and butterflyfish, and let the adventure in marine biology begin!

snorkel above coral on teen scuba camp
2

The best way to learn about corals and fish is up close and in the water. The reefs of San Salvador have a rich variety that is quickly accessible from both shore and boats. Observe coral and fish species you’ve studied in class at various snorkel and scuba sites. Examine rare pillar and fused staghorn corals. Learn how to recognize coral diseases and colonies experiencing bleaching and algal overgrowth. Analyze and discuss the feeding habits, life cycles, symbiotic relationships and ecological concerns of a coral reef system. Participate in a fish dissection. As your skills in the water progress, head out on wall dives. Check out a spectacular reef which drops dramatically from 35 to 6,000 feet. Keeping your eyes peeled for big fish and sea turtles, descend into deeper waters to survey different growth forms.

perform research on marine life in the bahamas
3

Spend your days as professional marine biologists in training, assisting with ongoing international research programs. Design and carry out underwater fish count surveys for REEF and help with monitoring projects for Coral Watch. Preparation and teamwork are essential for these scuba-based studies, but you’re ready. Need a break after cramming your brain with coral knowledge? Trips to Cockburn Town and other island settlements provide a welcome distraction. Get to know friendly locals as you shop for souvenirs. Climb to the top of Dixon’s lighthouse for a magnificent view of San Salvador. Bodysurf and play football at Grotto Beach, an idyllic spot surrounded by clear turquoise waters. Complete your deep dive as part of your Advanced Scuba course and earn PADI Specialties such as Coral Conservation, Underwater Naturalist and Fish Identification.

practice professional reseach methods in the bahamas this summer
4

Experience the thrill of snorkeling with sea turtles while observing their behavior as the focus of the program shifts to marine reptiles and birds along with threats against the ocean and ongoing conservation projects. Take a trip in the skiff out to Green Cay to see rare rock iguanas scramble over the rocks while terns and frigates soar above. Scuba dive at night to discover the magic of the marine world’s nocturnal metamorphosis. Participate in a beach clean-up both above and underwater. Present your favorite marine species to the class, and learn about conservation initiatives in other parts of the world.

Study coral in the bahamas on marine biology program
5

Spend your final days in the Bahamas wrapping up your marine biology studies and enjoying a few fun dives at some new dive sites. Celebrate your final night and all we have done as a group by a beach bonfire. In this beautiful setting, marvel at how much you’ve learned, explored and accomplished. Not to mention how fast three weeks can fly by when you’re having fun.

Bahamas marine biology study abroad for teens
  • Trip Highlights

  • Learn to scuba dive and build skills with advanced certifications
  • Take part in hands-on marine biology field work
  • Contribute to marine ecology and conservation projects
  • Study alongside researchers at the largest marine science research facility in the Caribbean
  • Enjoy the island's pristine beaches and cave systems
Bahamas Marine Biology Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Testimonial - Adam Kemp

It was an exhilarating experience and I had an awesome time. Some favorite things on the trip wre the night dive, boat dives, cliff diving, and making new friends. Some other fun things were swimming in the cave, hikes, and snorkeling at a real ship wreck. You learn about teamwork and all about the ocean and its creatures. Learning in a college-like environment was fun and you learn a lot about yourself. This trip had so many more amazing places and activities, and I highly recommend this trip to anyone.

Diana and Bill O'Neal from Chapel Hill, NC

Thanks for the opportunity to take our son beyond the familiar. It was the trip of a lifetime with new friends that truly feel like family. Based in large part on last year’s and this year’s trips, he has become increasingly sure that he plans to make marine biology his life’s work. Broadreach’s trips are wonderful, challenging, safe experiences that foster lifetime friendships, develop career interests and build self confidence. We were very impressed with work that Tyler accomplished while at the Gerace Research Center.

Testimonial - Cory Steinburg

This trip was amazing! Full of great friendships and information. The academic load was balanced between fun and adventure! San Salvador’s clear blue waters are filled with surprises (and lots of sharks!). I recommend this trip to anyone seeking to advance their knowledge and experience of the ocean!

Kelly Rizzo

I sent my son on this trip to see if marine biology was really what he wanted to study in college (he has said so since he was 6). This trip has just increased his desire ten-fold. He had a wonderful time and is now trying to save towards another Broadreach trip. I think the trip has helped him become more responsible for himself as he needed to be self-motivated towards the academics. As for making friends, a resounding YES! With all the different social media outlets it is very easy for them to maintain contact allowing the friendships to continue. They are already trying to plan a reunion trip next summer. He has had nothing but wonderful things to say about all of the staff and it was nice for him to be able to ask about different paths of study and careers from people who have the same interests and have been or are going through it now. Before he left, his mom and I were concerned about the minimal communication that is allowed during the trip, however the near daily journal entries and accompanying photos put our minds at ease as it was plain to see how much he was enjoying himself. If you are considering a Broadreach trip my advice is to consider it no longer; sign up today!

Armotta Porter

Brianna had an amazing time with the Marine Biology trip. The combination of acedemia and exploration of the area was amazing. The leaders help to form a collaborative team among the students. Brianna is still in contact with all from the trip. They were able to learn and form friendships that will last a life time. We are are already planning for next summer. The leaders Danger Dan, Jurrasic Jen, amd Mayhem Maggie made this a fun learning experience. Each of the students were leaders for a day.
When Brianna arrived in the Bahamas, Dan called immediately to let me know she had arrived safely and set up times to be able to talk to Brianna each Saturday. Prior to the trip, throughout the trip, and even now the leaders have emailed and called to discuss details and get feedback. This was an opportunity of a life time and Brianna discusses things from the classroom, dives, and the fun games continually.
Brianna learned a lot about the local culture and the students enjoyed a impromtu concert by Esau a local resident.
We would recommend Broadreach to all.

Testimonial - John and Holly Bollier from Guilford, CT

We have sent Evan to other marine biology summer camps in the past, but none compare to yours. We were SO pleased with the high level of organization of your outfit, the What’s Up communications, the challenging level of the academic program, and (last, but definitely not the least) the counselors who provided such a fun, exciting and rewarding program for the kids. Bravo!

Hannah B. from Simsbury, CT

What a wonderful, eventful trip full of adventures, academics, and new life-long friends. The incredible setting of San Salvador set a perfect scene for us to embark on a new chapter of our lives.; lives to be filled with travel, learning, cultural experiences, and of course science. Every minute has prepared us for all of our future endeavors.ÿ

Testimonial - Caroline Dennison

The MBA adventure trip was so fun! I got the chance to meet some realy amazing people! It was unforgettable. I enjoyed all the dive sites, the cave and our private island. I learned so much. These days will never leave me.

Julie And Michael Irving

This was a fantastic opportunity for our daughter. It has cemented the path that she wants to take for college. After this trip she knows for sure the direction that she is headed. During college application essays when they ask what was the most life-changing even in her life, she responds her broadreach trip and easily writes all of the reasons why. She came home more confident and absolutely driven to accomplish her life goal to go into marine biology. I would send her all over again.

Shelley and Harold Schenker from Asheville, NC

The underwater combination of academic marine studies with advanced dive certifications offered a perfect fun, exciting and educational mix for my son, and being responsible for his own maintenance and equipment among peers and away from his parents and family was a very positive growth experience. Having just returned home, my son still glows, and is excited to describe both diving experiences, instructor enthusiasm and group camaraderie. Thanks.

Emery Kington

I did not know what to expect from this trip and whether I would have as much fun as website testimonials insisted I would. Reflecting on the trip now, any questions seem ridiculous. I have made lifelong friends, learned more than I ever thought I would, and loved my counselors. Some of my favorite parts of this trip were going cave exploring, seeing sea turtles and hammerhead sharks, riding in the back of trucks to different dive sites, and the food!! I had the time of my life!

Grace Bregenzer from San Anselmo, CA

I had a really great time on my trip. All of the diving was amazing, even the shore dives with long surface swims. Even though I was nervous about deeper dives, it was much better than I thought. There is a lot of academic work, but it is all very interesting and worth it. Overall, our group had a lot of fun and good jokes and I only wish we could have more time together.

Testimonial - Laurie Braun

My daughter really enjoyed this trip. She was looking for a summer program that was challenging and interesting and did not have the summer camp atmosphere. Scuba diving had to be a part of any summer plans and this Marine Biology course definitely filled that need. There was plenty of diving and opportunity for multiple diving certifications. Safety came first with Broadreach and my daughter felt very comfortable exploring new depths and pushing herself beyond her comfort zone. All three instructors were always enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. The program did everything it said it would do and then some. As parents, we were extremely pleased with how her three weeks were spent and she will definitely go on another Broadreach adventure next summer.

Mia Fanuzzi from Bronx, NY

I really enjoyed learning how to dive and working with the group to find marine life. I liked group games and activities because it brought us closer together. I also really liked getting to know our instructors and doing fun things with them. Teamwork was really fun when diving, studying and service projects. I learned what living on my own is like and how to meet new people.

Testimonial - Michael Caplin

This trip was excellent in every regard. Well planned, plenty of pre-travel support, excellent staff, substantive classes, good kids, an atmosphere of respectful fun. My daughter had a wonderful time, learned tons, and is begging to travel with Broadreach again next year!

Testimonial - Mia S. from Austin, TX

This trip was super cool, all the dives were amazing and getting to interact with the animals you are learning about is the best. I will always remember this trip; it was 100X better than I expected it to be. I now feel confident in the water and diving. I would recommend this trip to anyone especially if you like marine biology

Testimonial - Ryan Secrist

The trip was amazing! I learned a ton about conservation and biology. I made a bunch of new friends. Favorite activities were diving, the closing ceremonies, the food, and just hanging out with everyone. Seeing sharks up close and learning that they aren’t man eating was an eye opener and when I go home I’ll probably join a few groups and sign petitions to end shark hunting in the U.S. and shark finning worldwide.

Testimonial - Theo Black

This trip is a lot of fun and also very academically sound. Diving all the reefs with riding rock was great and snorkeling off north point and by greek key were some of my favorites. The experience is super memorable and I made new friends.

Testimonial - Kelly M. from Pudong, Shanghai

This experience allowed me to explore an academic field that I was interested in while being able to dive and see what we were learning about first-hand.

Testimonial - Viviana Barua

She loved the trip, meeting people and making new friends. It was her first time travelling by herself, and very responsible. I felt she was fine, only talked to her twice during her three weeks at camp. She loves diving and will like to pursue and continue the following classes, also is something we can share now as a family, her dad is a Dive Instructor and after her summer camp she has lots of plans. She started year 12th two weeks ago and still has time to decide about universities and future studies. I will truly recommend these summer camps and will love for her to do it again.

Melissa Braun

Broadreach is an amazing program that allows you to do things you would not do if you were just on vacation. The academics related to the activities and places we went and made learning easy. The lectures also help you learn about all kinds of creatures and appreciate the ocean and its offerings so much more.

Sterling C from Atlanta, GA

This trip was definitely memorable and worthwhile. My favorite places were Club Med, the caves, Guanahani Divers and lighthouse. One of my favorite experiences was jumping off the boat with the people on our program. This changed my life by showing me life and culture is very different around the world and we have to embrace and respect that.

Testimonial - Alexandra Barua

I learned so much about the ocean, something beyond the beauty. This was hard work but I felt accomplished and totally worthwhile. I’m going back home with new friends, planning a reunion, and also, Bahamian friends.

Testimonial - Ty Brooks from Alberta, Canada

Trip of a lifetime, an unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in marine biology and scuba diving. I had never dived before this trip and now I want to dive every day at places like San Salvador island.

Testimonial - Walker Brown-Adams

The island here is so gorgeous and the reefs are some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. The classes were incredible. I was always interested and captivated. I made so many lifelong friends and have so many outstanding memories now. I learned so much about the ocean, myself, and the world on this incredible experience.

Lauren Corbet

This trip was the most amazing three weeks of my life. I met great people and forged lasting friendships. And I got to learn how to save the oceans: all while having a blast!

Bahamas Marine Biology FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?
Answer:

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

How does travel work?
Answer:

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

How does Broadreach address safety?
Answer:

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.

How many students are in a group? What is the male/female ratio?
Answer:

The majority of programs will have a maximum of 12 students in a group. We aim for a balance of males and females, but in our experience, the gender ratio plays a small role in the success of each program.

Do most participants come alone or with friends?
Answer:

Most participants come alone, so there is no need to be concerned if you don’t know anyone else on your program. It’s normal to be a little nervous about not knowing other students in advance, but within a day of starting your program you’ll be laughing and sharing exciting adventures with new friends.

Will students be able to call home or access the internet?
Answer:

Students will call home within a few hours of landing in the destination airport to let parents know they have arrived safely and have met up with the group. For most programs, students will have the option to call home once a week, typically on Sundays. Timing for calling home depends on the schedule of the trip and location. Usually, students call home with the in-country instructor cell phones or via Skype if good internet service is available. If you’d like to learn more about our full communication policy, please call our office.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Answer:

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

Who will my instructors be?
Answer:

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?
Answer:

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?
Answer:

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?
Answer:

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

What do the academics involve? How do college credits work? What if I don’t take the program for credit?
Answer:

Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.

We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic high school and college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more details, click here.

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?
Answer:

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit www.broadreachfoundation.org for more information and to apply online for scholarships.

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