Frequently asked questions
Any questions? Maybe you can find yours below.
Can’t find your question? In the information sessions, we explain a lot about the project and all the steps leading up to boarding the ship. There is also room for your questions.
Who is eligible for School at Sea?
School at Sea is meant for (Dutch) students in year 4 or 5 of high school (havo/vwo), aged 15-17 years. If you don’t match the criteria, you can always contact us and we can explore our options. Most students start their Fundraising Track one year before boarding.
Is sailing experience necessary?
No, sailing experience is not necessary. During sail training you will start from the same level as everyone else, with the option to expand your knowledge as you go. From knowing the difference between starboard side and port side to setting the main sail and eventually taking control of the ship as captain of the ship takeover.
What places will School at Sea visit?
School at Sea more or less follows the same route every year. Which exact destinations we visit depends on the conditions (on board, ashore and the weather) at that specific time. You will definitely cross the Atlantic Ocean twice, but the destinations and dates are now uncertain. The only dates set in stone are the day you embark in October and the day you disembark in April.
Can I join for a shorter time than six months?
In our experience, real development and personal growth is not achieved in one or two months on board. That’s why you join for six months. As the journey progresses you take more and more responsibilities and become more and more independent. After about three months, you are able to do almost everything yourself.
What if I get homesick?
Everyone experiences a form of homesickness during the journey. That is completely normal. Usually this passes after a few weeks and you will commit to life on board.
Do you have separate cabins?
Yes. The Thalassa has two-, three- and five person cabins. Boys and girls have separate cabins.
Is the crew certified?
Our core team has several years of experience with this project and coaching the young people on board. Each year, we add certified and competent teachers and crew. They all need to supply a certificate of conduct.
How much does School at Sea cost?
Here you can read everything about the costs involved with joining School at Sea.
Can everyone join, even when my parents are unable to support me financially?
Yes. During the Fundraising Track we will provide you with the tool to gather the necessary funds yourself. A lot of participants were able to fund their dream this way, even if their parents weren’t able to contribute financially.
How can I gather the funds if my parents do not have a large (business) network?
An important aspect of the Fundraising Track is learning how to expand your network and take an out-of-the-box approach to getting sponsors. We will help you monetise your talents in order to gather the necessary funds.
Is doing the Fundraising Track mandatory?
Yes. The Fundraising Track is part of School at Sea, but is also an independent training for young people. During the Track, the foundations for the jouney are laid. This extends beyond gathering the necessary funds, because you will learn taking responsibility and grow in confidence. You will meet the other candidates and can find support in eachoter. Because the Fundraising Track is a part of the entire School at Sea-track, participation is mandatory.
What if I am unable to gather all the funds?
Does my current school need to cooperate?
Yes, because you will be continuing your regular homework. You use your own books and do the tests that your classmates at home also do. It is very important that School at Sea and your currect school work together in this.
Do you need good grades?
School at Sea is a programme for young people looking for an extra challenge. This extra challenge, like sailing, having watch and the expeditions, are added on top of your regular homework. That’s why we feel it’s important that your grades are good. This is the foundation of a smooth journey during School at Sea. The exact criteria are available upon request.
I am dyslexic. Can I join?
Yes. Dyslexia is no problem for joining School at Sea. We offer the same support as your school, for example with more time during tests.
Will I pass the year when doing School at Sea?
That is up to you, but we will support and help you with that. The teachers on board help you make and follow a schedule and can explain the coursework to you. Keeping up with your homework during the journey allows you to rejoin your classmates with delay upon returning home.
Every year, about three or four participants fail to pass their year. This percentage is similar to regular schools.
I am prone to seasickness. Can I join?
Everyone suffers from seasickness, especially in the beginning. This usually goes away after a short time and most people don’t get seasick after the first few weeks. If seasickness persists, you can consider medication.
I have a food intolerance or allergy. Can I join?
We assess these on a case by case basis. Depending on the nature and severity of your intolerance or allergy, we will decide if we can justify and guarantee a safe journey for you and the rest of the group. For this, we will discuss this with our team ashore, the captain, a doctor, but also you and your parents.
Are vaccinations mandatory and if so, which ones?
In order to join School at Sea, you will need to follow the vaccination schedule supplied by the Dutch govermnemt.
Sometimes we also ask you to get other (travel) vaccinations, for example the vaccine against COVID-19 and the vaccin against yellow fever. We reassess these every year. Candidates and participants are informed of these decisions.
Are there restrictions for joining based on physical or mental health?
Yes. It is important for you to safely join every aspect of School at Sea. As part of your registration, you will fill in a health form. We will contact you and your parents if we have questions regarding your form.