Fellowship on the High Seas


The Fellowship on the High Seas was established to provide a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for students, from all majors, to experience travel on a traditional wooden tall sailing ship.

Selected fellows will embark on a one-week sea voyage adventure launching out of Sausalito in the San Francisco Bay that travels down to Monterey, during which they will learn about the Northern California coastal ecosystem. On the return trip, fellows will get an opportunity to participate and learn about the intricacies of operating this sailing ship marvel.  

Following the one-week voyage, fellows will incorporate the knowledge and lived-experience they gained from the trip into a project of their own design. Therefore, applicants must submit a project proposal as part of their application.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Availability to travel on the one-week sea voyage from June 7 - June 13
  • Open to all Whittier College students of any class standing
  • A minimum 2.7 GPA
  • Open to students of any major or academic program

Selection Criteria

  • The ability to conduct and complete a self-designed project that is in line with the applicant’s post-Whittier career goals.
  • Must be willing to live on a wooden sailing ship for 10 days, participating in the shared activities and responsibilities with shipmates and crew. 

Program Benefits

  • Fully paid one-week voyage on a traditional wooden tall sailing ship.
  • A $500 travel stipend to cover the round-trip cost to and from San Francisco/Oakland, CA.
  • A $1,500 academic stipend to be used to pay down tuition or student loans upon the completion and submission of the fellowship project and exit surveys. 

Applying to the Program

The application will be due the first Friday in November. Use this guide to gather your application documents. Please request these items two weeks prior to the fellowship deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts
  • A Course Progress Report for each course (3-4 courses only) you are currently enrolled in.
  • Signed Student Contract.
  • A written recommendation letter from a faculty member in the applicants major.
  • A reference contact from someone outside of the applicant’s major and project’s area of focus. This can be a faculty member or when applicable to the project a personal reference (e.g., employer, internship supervisor, volunteer coordinator).
  • A 500-word Project Proposal explaining the type of project you would like to conduct (e.g., traditional academic report, studio art project, creative writing piece, etc.) as a result of your experience in this fellowship. Please explain how your participation in the Fellowship on the High Seas (learning about and experiencing the Northern California Coast ecosystem aboard a wooden sailing ship, and learning and experiencing the functioning of a wooden sailing ship) will inform your project, why this is important to you, and how this might be relevant to other individuals. 
  • A 1,000-word Personal Essay describing how your participation in the Fellowship on the High Seas will increase your skills and/or personal growth in a manner that will enhance your ability to pursue your post-Whittier career goals. Provide examples of the steps you have taken outside of applying for this fellowship to purse this career goal. 
  • Selected semi-finalists may be interviewed.

Fellowship Advisor

Professor Sylvia Vetrone