- What is the accommodation like?
Participants are accommodated aboard a working research vessel. The boat has seven student cabins, most of which are double occupancy, and four heads (bathrooms) on board, each with a hot water shower. Students have access to electricity both for light and to charge their own devices, and the boat is air-conditioned. There are further shower (but not laundry) facilities available at dock when the vessel is docked.
- Is it possible to share rooms with a partner?
We are happy to put friends or partners in the same cabin. You should contact us as soon as possible, so we are able to consider your wish. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that you will actually share cabins with your partner.
- How is the food provided?
You’ll receive three meals per day. Food is cooked by our partner’s staff. Our partner has a carefully selected menu ranging from BBQ to curries. Snacks are available throughout the day.
- Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?
Our partner is able to accommodate food allergies within reason, as well as vegetarians and vegans. We ask you, though, to inform us of any specific dietary requirements some time in advance. You might think about taking specific supplements, small snacks and/or multivitamin pills with you.
- How can I spend my free time?
Since our Florida courses are designed to be intensive, your leisure time will actually be limited. Most students use their free time to reach out to friends and family or to catch up on sleep. When the team is at dock, there is a nearby bar and restaurant students can also visit (we expect you to behave responsibly, though – in the US you must be 21 or older to order alcohol).
- Do I have a contact person on site?
There will be staff members onboard all the time and you can contact NATUCATE at any time if there are any questions or problems.
- What expenses do I have to expect during the course? Can I withdraw cash on side and do I have to pay in local currency?
The currency of the United States is the US dollar. A few weeks prior to departure to Florida you can get a certain amount of dollars from your local bank. There are also foreign exchange places at the airport. We recommend taking a credit/debit card with you to withdraw cash at an ATM at the airport or in the city. You should contact your local bank to make sure you can use your card in the United States. Keep in mind that most ATMs charge you a transaction fee of around $5.
Other than going out to dinner one night as part of the course (meals usually no more than $20-30 USD) and the cost of travelling to and from the airport, any other expenses would be entirely voluntary – for example, when deciding to go out for a drink with classmates. That’s why there shouldn’t be much need for a large amount of US cash. If you plan on participating in activities outside of the programme or if you want to travel before or after the course, you will need to budget accordingly.
- How can I contact family and friend at home?
Participants can contact friends and family when purchasing a US-American SIM card and when having a cell phone that works in the US. They can expect to have mobile reception for most of the course. There is no internet on the vessel, but students often manage to get online when the team is at dock.
- What’s the climate/weather like?
In summer, South Florida is quite hot with intense sun and frequent rain showers. Students should be prepared for that with sunscreen, hats and long-sleeved light shirts. They also always have access to the air-conditioned salon inside the vessel if they feel overheated.
- Are there any specific rules or restrictions?
Drinking alcohol is prohibited aboard the research vessel, although students are allowed to drink at the nearby bar when we are at dock as long as they demonstrate they can do so responsibly. Similarly, there is a zero-tolerance policy for drugs. We expect a high level of behaviour from our students, including treating one another and the staff with respect.
During field work with sharks, students are asked to wear the shirts given to them by our partner and to wear close-toed rubber soled shoes.
- Your question is not mentioned?
Feel free to contact us under +49 241-91994357 or email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.