Sail Through the Study Abroad Experiences of Téa Valette


Téa may seem like your average Elon student who lives “20 minutes outside of Boston” though, her study abroad experiences throughout her high school career prove otherwise. Between a 58 day sailing trip and study abroad at island school in the Bahamas for 100 days, her high school experience is truly unique. Let’s see what she has to say about her trips...

Hometown: Belmont, Massachusetts

Year: Freshman

Major: Psychology

How were you introduced to sailing?

When I was young there was sailing at a camp I went to but I never did it there. Last fall, I decided to sail to Puerto Rico so I just kinda had to learn everything while I was on the boat. I did this when I went to private school through Proctor academy.

What made you decide to go to island school?

When I was younger especially and still now I was always really interested in marine biology and island school had a big focus on that and I really wanted to try it out. One of my sisters friends had done it and she really loved it and I just thought it would be such a great experience. I did this while I was at public school. There was no sailing involved here it was all marine biology.

How did you have access to this opportunity?

I had heard about island school being a semester you could take in high school and you’d just have to apply to it. It wasn’t through a specific high school, anyone could apply. My parents allowed me to apply and said they would be able to pay for it so I just heard about it and applied.

What sort of classes did you take while you were sailing and while at island school?

Sailing I took history classes and they were based on the places we stopped such as Cuba, Puerto Rico. I also took celestial navigation for my math class, an english course and a science course. At island school we had an English and history class on the Bahamas, the island Eleuthera we were on. All the other classes were marine biology based.

What was the biggest difference from your home life/ hardest adjustment?

I think the adjustment to sailing was way harder because in island school I had weekly phone calls home and slept in a regular dry bed. But, when I was sailing I was in tiny quarters, on a bunk that would always leak, I was wet all the time and I could not talk to my parents during the whole trip.