IMB Sea Term Experiential Learning

The IMB Sea Term primarily for the sophomores provides the link that connects maritime businesses ashore to the ship where the business originates. It is imperative for the IMB cohorts to have a hands-on experience of the origins of the maritime business environment before stepping out in the world of maritime business upon graduation. The first IMB Sea Term last winter took the students on an exotic Caribbean experience with visits to Cartagena, Barbados, St. Thomas and Tampa Bay. The students were able to experience many facets of the maritime business in foreign shores within a matter of eight weeks.

The sailing experience to foreign ports aboard the T.S.’Kennedy’ constitutes the requisite underpinning knowledge that provides the ‘bridge-view’ of a career that they plan to embark upon in future. It opens the students to a wider world early on in their career, an absolute necessity in international maritime business.The eight-week on-board course has three components to learning:  a) Onboard lectures, b) Participation in shipboard maintenance routines and c) Stakeholder visits in ports of call.The Sea Term assessment includes class tests, presentations, individual projects and cultural quotient assessments both ashore and onboard in line with other IMB experiential learning projects ashore. A successful completion is worth six credits.

The classroom learning covered elements of ship operations, carriage of goods by sea, port operations, marine insurance and maritime logistics. Students learned about the maritime clusters they had visited in foreign ports of call that ranged from a container and cruise terminal visit in Cartagena to sea-beach conservation projects in Barbados and maritime salvage projects in St. Thomas.The unique learning experience that the Sea Term provides has enabled the students to instantly connect theory with practice that is ever so critical in experiencing the maritime world from close quarters. We look forward to the Winter’19 term following the success of the Winter’18 sea Term.

Similar to all other IMB Experiential Learning Programs, the students also experience a complete cultural immersion. An important element of this exercise is an assessment of cultural intelligence quotient (CQ). All students participating in experiential learning are required to undergo a CQ personal development programA week prior to departure, students take  the pre-departure online CQ assessment. The next step involved the creation of a CQ developmental plan by each student focusing on specific ways to use CQ strengths and concrete action steps for enhancing weaker CQ capabilities.  A week after returning from Singapore, they are required to take a second CQ assessment. Each student received a personal feedback report as well as a group report was provided comparing the pre and post trip assessment scores in comparison with worldwide norms. The comparisons showed significant improvement in CQ assessment scores, thereby quantifying the impact of the experiential learning trips on student CQ.

Winter  Sea Term 2018:The voyage aboard the T.S. 'Kennedy' took the students on an exotic Caribbean experience with visits to Cartagena, Barbados, St. Thomas and Tampa Bay. The students were able to experience many facets of the maritime business in foreign shores within a matter of eight weeks.

Cartagena- The first port of call: The students had the opportunity to visit both the container terminals namely, SPRC and CONTECAR as well as the cruise terminal operated by SPRC (Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena). SPRC has been awarded as  the best container terminal in the Caribbean by the Caribbean Shipowners Association (CSA) and has had an exponential growth in recent years.

Cartagena from TS Kennedy

SPRC Cruise Terminal Conservation

SPRC Container Terminal Office: The terminal office is located in a heritage building that was once visited by President Franklin.D.Roosevelt on July 10, 1934. The students had an opportunity to see the Terminal Operating System (TOS) with the help of Mr. Jose Cassalins, the commercial co-ordinator and our guide to the container and cruise terminals on January 26 and 28, 2018.

SPRC Terminal Office

The Cartagena  visit was all about container logistics, port productivity, operational efficiency and supply chain management.The Cruise Terminal had a distinct Green Port angle to it as alighting passengers could experience an aviary managed by SPRC besides the commercial aspect. Colombia is known for its distinct bird species and students could witness many of those at the Cruise Terminal itself which is a positive externality in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of a port.

SPRC Container Terminal

Sea Term'18 Report- Cadet Jennifer Nalette

Sea Term 2018 was hands down the most valuable experience I have encountered here at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The seven week voyage gave me an insight on how maritime business and ship operations run smoothly together as one. The first-hand experience and knowledge I gained gave me a deeper understanding of the maritime business industry which is imperative to my educational growth at the Academy. On board the T.S Kennedy, we took several maritime business classes relating to shore side business activity to the work being done behind the scenes on the ship. Between ports we also experienced watch, maintenance and utility which all of the cadets on Sea-Term performed as well. During the seven week voyage the T.S Kennedy anchored in Cartagena, Colombia, Bridgetown, Barbados, St. Thomas USVI and Tampa Florida. At each port, the International Maritime Business cadets got to visit terminals which related to our field of study.

SPRC Container Terminal

       Cartagena-SPRC Container Terminal

Barbados Beach Conservation

     IDB Beach Conservation Project-Barabados

  Helo Deck Resolve Marine Lana Resolve

     Resolve, Marine Salvage. St.Thomas, USVI

  Cruise Terminal Tampa Bay

Cruise Terminal. Tampa, Florida

     At each port we learned something new and we got the opportunity to ask as many questions as we wanted about the facilities/ the work the employers performed. After our time in each port finished up, every Monday on the ship we would review what we learned in port and how we could apply it in the future. Sea Term made me very prepared for my current and future classes. This opportunity opened up many doors for myself and others regarding internships and connections abroad. I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity, and I would recommend it to any cadet.