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Overview

Venture out on an underwater field expedition, performing real world marine science on reefs teeming with life.

For this assignment, you and a team of budding marine biologists will live and work together on a Dutch island paradise, using various research techniques to collect valuable data and assist with marine preservation efforts. Just 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is home to CARMABI, the largest tropical field research station in the Southern Caribbean. It’s where you will be stationed as you shadow professional marine scientists in dry labs and diverse underwater ecosystems. Assist on an active project focusing on coral reef biodiversity and regrowing the world's coral reef systems. Hone your skills as a researcher, learning new field-based methodologies. Plus, earn dive certifications, service hours and college credit.

Outside your front door is a giant turquoise pool. Step into gardens of abundant coral that dolphins, seahorses and angelfish call home. Kayak the lush mangrove forests of Piscadera Bay, and snorkel the famous blue room cave of Boca Santa Cruz. Practice speaking Papiamentu, a native Creole language. Most of all, take a bold leap forward on your journey into the wonders of marine biology.

DatesGradesLengthTuitionAvailability
June 23 - July 14 HS22 days$6,380Open
July 17 - August 7 HS22 days$6,380Open
Earn & Learn
Curaçao Advanced 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.

Curaçao Advanced Marine Biology offers 3 marine science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 10 hours of documented community service and may pursue 3 certifications.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
  • PADI Open Water Scuba certified
  • 1 year of biology or equivalent course
  • Previous experience on a Broadreach (or equivalent) marine biology program recommended
ACADEMICS & COLLEGE CREDIT
Course Description

When conducting research in the field, marine scientists rely on a variety of methodologies and equipment. This course is designed to introduce students to different field research techniques, with particular focus on video transects used for studying coral reefs. Students will practice gathering data in real underwater ecosystems and conduct a field scientific research study based on their own scientific question and hypothesis. They will also learn how to use statistical analysis to interpret their research data and prepare a final report of their findings. As part of their research, students will also contribute to the restoration of coral reefs through their work with the Coral Restoration Foundation of Curaçao.

Course Objectives
  • Learn about coral reef ecology
  • Practice field based research methods and techniques used by marine scientists
  • Interpret research data using basic statistical analyses
  • Gain exposure to active research projects and conservation efforts focused on coral reef health in Curaçao and around the world
CERTIFICATIONS

During this program, students will have the chance to earn certifications earned while performing their underwater research including:

  • PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • PADI Underwater Navigation
  • PADI Coral Restoration Diver Distinctive Specialty
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 Curaçao, volunteer on ongoing reef conservation projects:

  • Collect data to support ongoing marine research at CARMABI
  • Work with the Coral Restoration Foundation of Curaçao on artificial reefs
  • Help to plant mangrove roots in Piscadera Bay
  • Beach clean ups

3 Certifications

10 Service Hours

3 College Credits

Curaçao Advanced Marine Biology Itinerary

Itinerary

Students diving to study marine life in Curacao
1

After landing at Curaçao’s International Airport, head directly to the CARMABI research institute, your home for the next three weeks. Spend the first few days acclimating to your new surroundings and getting back into the water. Snorkel and dive mere steps away from where you sleep and begin to familiarize yourself with the vibrant corals and fringing reefs that will become the focus of your research projects. Then jump right in to lectures and field labs designed to introduce you to methodologies used by marine scientists conducting research here and in reef systems around the world. Above water, the exploration continues with a visit to the historical center and cultural hub of Curaçao, Willemstad, and take a break from your studies to witness huge surf thundering into an underground cavern at Shete Boka Park and walk along a limestone bluff while marveling at the island’s rugged north coast.

Underwater caves and unique marine biology in Curacao
2

Now that you’ve built a solid foundation of classroom knowledge, it’s time to put theory into practice. Conduct coral and fish transect studies and perform statistical analyses of your findings. Craft your own scientific question and build a working hypothesis. Then collaborate with your instructors and fellow students to determine the viability of your proposal. Climb the highest point on Curaçao, Mt. Christoffel, for a 360 degree vantage point of this breathtaking island, and tour a local mangrove by sea kayak.

Work on coral restoration projects in Curacao
3

Driven by a working hypothesis, and armed with a new mastery of various field research techniques, begin collecting underwater data and analyzing findings for your very own research project along with participating in a Coral Research Foundation course. As each day passes, your research results become clearer and your understanding of the health of the corals and reefs of Curaçao more crystalized. Your last few days are spent sharing your research with your fellow scientists and putting together a final report of your findings. Although your time here has come to a close, leave knowing your work has made a lasting impact by contributing to the larger body of scientific knowledge about the reefs surrounding this tropical island paradise.

Marine biology summer camp with diving for teens
  • Trip Highlights

  • Work to restore, protect and preserve the reefs
  • Develop an independent research project and present your findings
  • Earn advanced PADI scuba certifications
  • Take a unique course in coral restoration from a local non-profit
  • Explore the colorful streets of historic Willemstad
  • Kayak, visit an ostrich farm and hike the island
Curaçao Advanced Marine Biology Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Jules Portnoy from Maplewood, NJ

The Curacao Advanced Marine Biology program is perfect for anyone full of wanderlust with a strong passion for the ocean and marine science. Being able to expand my knowledge on coral was an eye-opening experience that only further reinforced my love for the ocean and the beauties of the natural world. The ability to dive with such magnificent creatures including octopus, squid and sea turtles is amazing. For aspiring marine biologists this course is great to better understand working in the field.

Caroline Cassese from East Greenwich, RI

This was my first Broadreach trip and first time doing a program like this, where you are completely immersed in a new place. I learned a lot about the oceans, became a better diver and got to explore a part of the world that I have never seen before. My favorite thing about the program was the diving because we would learn a new skill and then immediately be able to apply it underwater. I really enjoyed this trip and all of the experiences it offered in and out of the water.

Testimonial - Hyeonmok 'Henry' Ko from Seoul, South Korea

Where do you find yourself this summer? In a research lab? Straying away from school and exploring the world? Why not integrate the two and enjoy a challenging and fulfilling 3 weeks in the beautiful shores of Curacao? I was looking for a program that would integrate my passion for marine science and research and if you relate, this program is for you.

Christian Pagel from Fernandina Beach, FL

My favorite experiences were living at a research station to really immerse yourself in the lifestyle and having a beautiful dive spot on the property. I loved traveling around the island to dive spots like the turtle beach. I liked being able to do my independent research project and learning more about the oceans. It was very memorable and one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, it definitely made me love marine science more than ever.

Olivia Siudak from Racine, WI

This was my second Broadreach trip and it was just as fun and exciting as the first. I loved getting to know a new island and staying in one place for three weeks. I loved all of the diving all around the island, the hike to Mt. Christoffel and the ostrich farm. We learned so much about culture and marine biology. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world.

Curaçao Advanced Marine Biology FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
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.

Question:
Are flights included in the program tuition cost?
Answer:

Airfare is not included in the program tuition cost, mostly because students join our programs from all over the U.S. and other countries around the world. Some programs also have internal flights which are not included in the program tuition, and we’ll provide details on exactly how to book those once you are enrolled.

Question:
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.

Question:
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.

Question:
When is the application deadline?
Answer:

We accept applications on a rolling basis until each session is full. So, the sooner you enroll, the greater chance you’ll have to get into your first choice program and session! Some of our most popular program sessions fill as early as the fall.

Question:
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.

Question:
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.

Question:
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.

Question:
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.

Question:
What does tuition protection cover?
Answer:

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.

Question:
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).

Question:
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.

Question:
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.

Question:
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).

Question:
What should I pack?
Answer:

We provide an extensive packing list for each program that we revise every year based on student and instructor feedback, and most of the items you probably have already. If you’d like to look at a packing list for a certain program, just let us know and we can email the most current version to you.

Question:
Where will we be staying?
Answer:

Accommodations vary by program, from private villas to jungle cabins to beach cabanas to research stations. We love staying in smaller local accommodations with authentic character rather than big chains, and we rarely camp.

Question:
What do the academics involve? 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.

Question:
What is the difference between discovery/explorer/expedition level?
Answer:

Our levels are loose guidelines to help families determine which programs might be the best fit. Discovery level programs do not require any prior experience and are great first-Broadreach options. Explorer level programs build on existing skills and knowledge, and often delve deeper into the program focus. Expedition level programs are usually in more remote or challenging locations, require prior experience, and often include more student ownership of the experience.

Question:
How do college credits work? Where are those credits accepted?
Answer:

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.

Question:
Do you offer any discounts?
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.

Question:
Do you offer scholarships?
Answer:

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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