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Overview

On the island of Curacao, 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 CARMABI Research Center in Curaçao, classrooms are more than 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, seagrass beds and blindingly white beaches. Students come with a budding interest in the underwater world and, with the guidance of marine biologists, 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. Return with perhaps the most rewarding two college credits you will ever earn.

DatesGradesLengthTuitionAvailability
June 18 - July 7 HS20 days$5,880Available
July 11 - July 30 HS20 days$5,880Available
Earn & Learn
Curaçao: Marine Biology Adventure 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 Marine Biology Adventure offers 2 natural science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 9 hours of documented community service and may pursue 3 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 earned while performing their underwater research including:

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • 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:

  • Work with the Coral Restoration Foundation of Curaçao on creating artificial reefs
  • Help to plant mangrove roots in Piscadera Bay
  • Beach clean ups

3 Certifications

9 Service Hours

2 College Credits

Curaçao: Marine Biology Adventure 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. 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 seagrass  beds that support a variety of fish and invertebrate life including barracudas, parrotfish and butterflyfish, and let the adventure in marine biology begin!

Underwater caves and unique marine biology in Curacao
2

The best way to learn about corals and fish is up close and in the water. The reefs of Curaçao  have a rich variety that is quickly accessible from both shore and boats. Take time to learn more about the lionfish epidemic around the island, and how local stakeholders are fighting against invasive marine species. 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.

Work on coral restoration projects in Curacao
3

Armed with knowledge and fresh dive skills, participate in a Coral Research Foundation course and re-plant rare staghorn and elkhorn corals on the reefs of Curaçao. Above water, the exploration continues with a visit to the historical center and cultural hub of Curaçao, Willemstad, and you take a break from your studies to kayak the majestic mangrove systems in the crystal blue waters.

Advanced Marine Biology program for teens
4

Spend your final days in the Curaçao 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. 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.

Marine biology summer camp with diving for teens
  • Trip Highlights

  • Experience hands-on marine biology studies while living at a research station
  • Earn scuba certifications
  • Island exploration and kayak adventures
  • Work to restore, protect and preserve coral nurseries
  • Participate in a fluorescent night dive
Curaçao: Marine Biology Adventure 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.

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.

David M. (age 16) from Cincinnati, OH

This trip was awesome! The lectures were awesome! It was so cool to go diving so much and see what we talked about in the class. Climbing mount Christoffel was so much fun and beach time at pig beach was awesome. Our trip was amazing.

Olivia F. (age 16) from Glen Ellyn, IL

Broadreach students can learn to live in new environments unlike what they are are used to. You meet new people and have new experiences that you cannot have on a family vacation. You learn so much new stuff about marine bio.

Curaçao: Marine Biology Adventure 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.

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 $339-379 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 non-refundable and is due 4 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 call our office for more information on applying.

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