Experiential Learning

Learning Beyond the Classroom


The Academy’s learn, do, learn philosophy promotes learning outside the classroom. Experiential learning courses and co-ops allow cadets to gain practical knowledge in their fields in the United States and abroad.

Cadets see tangible results in the communities and organizations where they work. Skills they have learned at the Academy allow them to be successful as a part of diverse teams in global settings.

Experiential learning courses serve as introductions to hands-on professional training in public service or private organizations. 


Our Emergency Management experiential learning courses have included:

The Guatemala Experiential Learning Trip is designed for Emergency Management students interested in humanitarian relief and exploring a new culture. The immersive 25-day experience engages students in community service projects and learning Spanish. Students experience this amazing country, culture while exploring Antigua and the local areas. This past year, a group of ten 1/C and 2/C Emergency Management students participated in the trip from January 8th to February 1st, with the Emergency Management Department Chair, Professor Lennon, who led the excursion. While in Guatemala, students visited the US Embassy, USAID, and sit down with the US MILGROUP. While in Antigua, students lodged at the Purpose Hostel and attended classes in the Ixchel Spanish School. T. This trip created memories of a lifetime, new friends, and a rewarding experience of helping people less fortunate.

Freshmen EM students will participate in our Habitat for Humanity Experiential Learning  Trip. Participation is required for all EM cadets who are freshmen or who transfer to MMA in the Spring. Students will stay at the HFH facility (known as the “Domestic Global Village”) in Eustis, Florida, which is a well maintained, clean, safe, and climate controlled building complex that has an established track record of successfully hosting collegiate volunteer groups.

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The Emergency Management Department is expanding Experiential Learning opportunities for our cadets to include expeditions with the National Outdoor Leadership School  (NOLS). The mission of NOLS is to teach leadership and wilderness skills that serve people and the environment and to instill and share the commitment to wilderness, education, leadership, safety, community, and excellence.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy currently maintains an exchange program with the University College, Copenhagen. Eligible cadets may apply in the fall semester of their junior year. Up to three selectees will study abroad and complete an internship during the spring semester of their junior year. The study aboard program satisfies 15 credits. University College Copenhagen located in central Copenhagen. This offers students rich opportunities to study abroad and explore not only Copenhagen, but the rest of Denmark, and other European countries. The course in Denmark is approximately 8 weeks long. The previous course work was focused on Refugees and Mass Migration.