What to Expect
You will spend more than 50 days in the field, linking classroom discussions with first-hand experiences in the watershed.
Although the College serves as home base, you will be traveling with 9-11 other students and 2-4 instructors for much of the semester. There will be journeys that involve 9-10 days of study and travel, and trips will involve 2-3 days away from campus. Additionally there will be a number of day trips where students will return to campus in the evening. In order to stay connected to the campus and Chesapeake Semester faculty, students will be trained and equipped with iPads for blogging, email, and general correspondence.
There will be substantial periods of classroom time leading up to your trips in the field.
Travel may include some weekends, but it does not include any holidays for which students would typically have off.
Participation in other extracurricular activities will most likely be minimal, and plans should be discussed with faculty advisers and group members before the beginning of the semester.
This travel schedule will make participation in many extracurricular activities, on a regular basis, difficult or impossible. Athletes are still encouraged to apply, as program management will work with coaching staff to find an appropriate schedule. Detailed trip descriptions are outlined here.
You should be prepared to rough it.
Much of this program will be conducted outdoors, in varying terrain and weather conditions. Participants must be curious, open-minded, and prepared for adventure. A portion of your outdoor adventure will be spent camping, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing. At times, our field excursions will be physically and mentally rigorous. Not participating — outside of medical reasons or personal harm — is not an option. Students will learn how to be uncomfortable and happy at the same time. A full commitment to the Chesapeake Semester at the outset of the program is expected.
Students will be supplied with a Chesapeake Semester Equipment List upon their acceptance into the program
Students will create and carry the Chesapeake Semester Backpack throughout the program. Much of the semester will be outside during the fall and early winter months. Warm, waterproof clothing and boots will be essential to your comfort. Additionally, a high quality sleeping bag will be necessary during overnight camping trips. Tents, stoves, and other camping equipment will be provided by the College. Lodging will vary from hotels to field stations and camping.
Textbooks and Field guides
Students will be responsible for purchasing a number of books, field guides, and field notes that will accompany you on your travels. The cost of these books will be comparable to what you would expect to spend during a typical four-class semester.
Students will be required to have a valid passport for international travel. This passport must be valid for at least six months after the last date of travel to Belize (November 2014), hence the passport must be valid for travel through May 31, 2015.