Turks and Caicos Islands

The Center for Marine Resource Studies
Programs
Housing
Research
Community

Study Abroad in Turks and Caicos Islands

Have you ever wanted to live on a remote island, spend your days exploring vast underwater ecosystems, or catch your first glimpse of a sea turtle, reef shark, or eagle ray in the wild?

Whether you’re an experienced traveler or looking for your first excursion to another country, studying abroad is an important component of your college career. Living abroad gives you the opportunity to explore new places and learn about different cultures, gaining important global perspectives, discovering new things about yourself, and building lifelong friendships.

Our programs in TCI take place largely in the coral reefs, cays, and waters surrounding the island, but time is also spent above-ground with the community on the island. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, and fisheries management. These marine ecosystems are critical to the fisheries-driven local economy, and are under enormous pressures from coastal development, a rising demand for seafood, and the impacts of climate change. Our research plays an important role in supporting Turks and Caicos residents and government authorities as they work to balance economic need with the preservation of irreplaceable natural resources.

Turks and Caicos Islands


Have you ever wanted to live on a remote island, spend your days exploring vast underwater ecosystems, or catch your first glimpse of a sea turtle, reef shark, or eagle ray in the wild? Whether you’re an experienced traveler or looking for your first excursion to another country, studying abroad is an important component of your college career. Living abroad gives you the opportunity to explore new places and learn about different cultures, gaining important global perspectives, discovering new things about yourself, and building lifelong friendships. Our programs in TCI take place largely in the coral reefs, cays, and waters surrounding the island, but time is also spent above-ground with the community on the island. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, and fisheries management. These marine ecosystems are critical to the fisheries-driven local economy, and are under enormous pressures from coastal development, a rising demand for seafood, and the impacts of climate change. Our research plays an important role in supporting Turks and Caicos residents and government authorities as they work to balance economic need with the preservation of irreplaceable natural resources.

Programs

Semester

Marine Resource Studies

15 Weeks
16 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 10
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 6 - Dec 17
Open
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9
Open

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$22,600
  • Room & Board$7,200
  • Total$29,800
Summer Session 1

Fundamentals of Marine Conservation

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jun 3 - Jul 2
Closed

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$6,350
  • Room & Board$2,550
  • Total$8,900
Summer Session 2

Marine Fauna

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 8 - Aug 6
Waitlist

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$6,350
  • Room & Board$2,550
  • Total$8,900

The SFS Turks and Caicos program is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences I have ever had. The facilities were perfect for what I was looking for: a place where I could unplug, relax, perform rewarding research and learn how to dive. The diving was fantastic and extremely unique. You will not regret going to this program. It’s life changing.

- Kevin, College of the Holy Cross

I decided that I needed to go to TCI because I loved diving and being in the water so much; and let me tell you it was the best decision I have ever made. The staff are all amazing people who are genuine and want to help you succeed. I loved being able to be out in the field almost every day. The locals are so nice and I really recommend getting to know them. The field station itself truly became home.

- Nicole, Siena College

I left SFS Turks and Caicos having gained an unimaginable marine science education, research and field experience, SCUBA certification and experience, friends for life, and the ability to live and work in community with my peers and professors.

- Erin, University of Virginia

Where You'll be Living

The Center for Marine Resource Studies is located on one of the smallest island in Turks and Caicos. The unique campus is a former hotel that overlooks the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Spectacular sunsets, open-air facilities, warm sunshine, and a refreshing ocean breeze define this remote marine field station. Get to know the small, historic town of Cockburn Harbour, engage in community activities, and spot the flamingoes, wild horses, and donkeys that call this tiny island home.

  • Dorm living with four to six students per room
  • Waterfront campus with direct access to the ocean
  • Air-conditioned classroom and conference room
  • Open-air dining space, on-site cooking staff
  • Dive shed, and small fleet of research boats
  • Volleyball, hammocks, and swimming pool by the ocean
Read Stories from Students, Staff and Faculty 

PRogram Costs

Study abroad is an investment in yourself – you’ll return home with new experiences, skills, knowledge, and friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your life. SFS program costs cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Pre-program advising and on-site orientation
  • Tuition and research fees
  • Housing at the field station and on excursions
  • Daily meals and snacks
  • Airport transfers (for arrival/departure)
  • Field excursions and cultural activities
  • Student success and wellness team on site
  • 24/7 mental health and well-being support
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Official transcript processing
View Turks and Caicos Islands Program Costs

Financial Aid

We know cost can be one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At SFS, we’re committed to making our programs accessible to students which is why we award a generous amount in need-based financial aid each year. Our Admissions Team has worked with thousands of students and are here to answer your questions about the SFS aid process, aid available through your home school, and funding from external sources.

SFS Financial Aid: Need-based aid packages typically consist of a combination of scholarships, grants, and zero- and low-interest loans. SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.

Home School Aid: Be sure to ask your home school study abroad office or financial aid office what financial aid resources might be available to support your study abroad experience.

External Funding Opportunities: Organizations such as the Fund for Education Abroad or the Gilman International Scholarship Program award scholarships to students going abroad. These can be a great opportunity to reduce the cost of your program even more.

Learn More about FInancial Aid

Research

Research at the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies focuses on the health of marine habitats, natural resource conservation, and local livelihoods. Students and faculty engage with the local community as they explore the impacts of environmental threats, commercial fisheries, and increased tourism on the area ecosystems and the small island’s economy.

Our research focuses primarily on the following themes:

  • Tourism impacts
  • Commercial fisheries
  • Coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass ecosystems
  • Marine protected areas
  • Climate change and the ocean

Community

South Caicos, TCI

SFS is an active part of the Big South community, where we have been based for over 30 years.

We have built long-term, collaborative relationships in the communities around the Center, and developed our research plans based on the environmental issues they and the surrounding ecosystems face. Throughout the program, students experience the Caribbean culture and island lifestyle and participate in community activities including tutoring and mentoring local children, providing swim and snorkel lessons, demonstrating field research techniques to high schoolers, and playing sports with the locals.

At the end of each semester program, we host a Community Research Night where select students will present their research findings to the community. SFS research data is shared with the community, local NGOs, and the Turks & Caicos government.

Read Stories about OUr Community in Turks and Caicos Islands

Meet the Turks and Caicos Islands Team

Heidi Hertler, PhD, SFS Alumna

Center Director
Meet Heidi Hertler, PhD, SFS Alumna

Kassandra Dudek, PhD

Resident Lecturer in Marine Resource Management and Lead Faculty
Meet Kassandra Dudek, PhD

C.E. “Shades” O’Brien, PhD

Resident Lecturer in Tropical Marine Ecology
Meet C.E. “Shades” O’Brien, PhD

William F. (Bill) Bigelow, M.S.

Resident Lecturer of Marine Conservation Governance
Meet William F. (Bill) Bigelow, M.S.

Clarence Stringer

Marine Operations Coordinator
Meet Clarence Stringer

John DeBuysser

Dive Safety Officer (DSO) and Research Coordinator
Meet John DeBuysser

Miranda Williams

Waterfront and Research Assistant
Meet Miranda Williams

Emily Ruebelman

Program & Outreach Coordinator and Grant Assistant
Meet Emily Ruebelman

Kort Alexander

Waterfront Assistant
Meet Kort Alexander

Camille Dedeaux

Waterfront Assistant
Meet Camille Dedeaux

Willy Bolivard

Site Manager

Isabel de la Cruz

Head Cook

Natalie Ritter

Waterfront Assistant
Meet Natalie Ritter