Class Afloat - West Island College - Canada


Class Afloat partners with Acadia University for post secondary studies. Acadia University is one of Canada's top-ranked undergraduate universities. All academic courses presented aboard the SS Sorlandet are offered via Open Acadia, Acadia University's initiative to offer flexible programming and learning opportunities to Acadia students and the greater community.

Each course meets daily as part of the academic timetable with course facilitators animating discussions, drawing connections to events in ports of call and around the world, and assisting students in understanding material and completing course work. Assignments will be submitted for evaluation by students via email while in port to supervising professors at Acadia.

Students are required to select a minimum of two (2) courses and maximum of 5 courses for each semester they are aboard. Class Afloat recommends choosing three courses per semester in order to reap the maximum benefit from all aspects of the academic and co-curricular programming it offers. None of the courses listed below require prerequisite high school courses - all courses are open to all students, with the exception of Physics 1523 (Physics 1513, offered Semester 1, is the prerequsite).

All students will participate in Class Afloat's unique Cultural Discovery non-credit programme for the full semester or year that they are aboard. All students will also participate in a programme in Physical Education and Fitness (80 hrs) and Seamanship/Navigation (30 hrs) for the full semester or year they are aboard.

Textbooks for university courses are the responsibility of the student as required and may be ordered via the Acadia University Bookstore.

Please Note: All courses listed may not be offered and the school reserves the right to cancel courses which are under-subscribed, which present scheduling conflicts and/or for which no instructor is available.

More information via StudyCanada EU <- click for e-mail

To apply for admission to West Island College International - Class Afloat, you must complete the following steps:

1. Submit the following required items to complete the application:


  • Application form plus an application fee of CAN$ 100 
  • Two personal reference forms and a Personal Resume
  • Medical Report
  • Essay stating what the applicant hopes to gain from the Class Afloat experience and how he/she expects to contribute to the school community. (300 words maximum)
  • Proof of swimming ability: bronze medallion, or equivalent or certified lifeguard's attestation that the candidate can swim 200 meters followed by treading water for 20 minutes
  • Academic Transcript

2. Complete a qualifying interview - once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by a Class Afloat representative to schedule an interview. The interview is designed to determine your social and emotional readiness for this programme.

3. Acceptance: Upon successful completion of steps 1 and 2, qualifying applicants will receive a letter of acceptance and service contract inviting them to register for the next school year or semester of study.

Class Afloat University Course Selection 2013-2014

The following courses will be offered on board via Acadia University’s distance education department (Open Acadia):

Semester One:

  • Biology 2563 - Marine Biology
  • English 1413 Writing and Reading Critically
  • Physics 1513 - Astronomy I: The Solar System
  • Recreation 1263 - Foundation of Leadership: Theory and Practice
  • Sociology 1033 – Introduction to Sociology: Social Problems

Semester Two:

  • Biology 2563 - Marine Biology 
  • Communication 1213 – Effective Communication
  • Environmental Science 1643 - Human Activity and the Environment 
  • Nutrition 1503 – Contemporary Issues in Nutrition 
  • Physics 1523 – Astronomy II: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

BIOL 2563 - Marine Biology: An introduction to the oceans of the world and marine organisms, their importance to humans and how they are impacted by society. The diversity and ecology of phytoplankton, zooplankton, invertebrates, fish, mammals, birds, and seaweeds are explored as they relate to ocean processes such as tides, currents, pollution, fisheries, aquaculture, and climate change. Prereq: None.

COMM 1213 - Communication I: Development of the basic skills needed for effective communications. Communication theory is introduced. Grammar and sentence structure are taught. Emphasis is upon developing an effective, concise, direct writing style. Students also learn the appropriate techniques and formats for writing reports and letters, and how to plan and deliver oral presentations and speak in public.

ENGL 1413 - Writing and Reading Critically: This course introduces students to novels, plays, and poems from the twentieth century and earlier. This course will develop creative and analytical skills and will provide students with strategies for writing clearly and persuasively.

ENVS 1643 - Human Activity and the Environment: A science-based exploration and study of the relationships between humans and the environment. Topics covered include the basics of ecosystems and natural resource management plus more detailed investigations of the impact of human practices such as consumption of resources, waste generation, and anthropogenic changes in the conditions of land, water, air and other species.

NUTR 1503 - Contemporary Issues in Nutrition: The basis of food selection for health. The course stresses evaluation of personal nutrient intake, especially carbohydrate, fat, and protein in relation to needs for active living, weight management, and chronic disease prevention. Issues will be discussed within a contemporary context.

PHYS 1513 - Astronomy I: Observational Methods and Solar System: This course is the first part of a general introduction to astronomy. It emphasizes the night sky and objects in our solar system. The instructor discusses space science, telescopes, cameras and other instruments used in the study of astronomy. Observation sessions are included.

PHYS 1523 - Astronomy II: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe: This course is the continuation of Astronomy I. Starting with the study of the sun, our nearest star, the course ventures into the realm of exploding stars, pulsars, black holes and other exotic phenomena in the universe. Other topics include star formation, nuclear fusion, nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution. Observation sessions will be held as weather permits. Prereq: PHYS 1513.

RECR 1263 - Foundation of Leadership Theory and Practice: A theoretical and experiential investigation of leadership and group dynamics for professional and voluntary settings. Emphasis is given to the application of theory for effective leadership of groups and organizations.

SOCI 1033 - Introduction to Sociology: Social Problems: This course introduces sociological concepts, principles and approaches through a focus on social problems in contemporary societies. Problems to be explored include but are not limited to: consumerism, population growth, hunger, poverty, economic development, environment, disease, indigenous groups and ethnic conflict, peasant protests and resistance, intimate violence, drug use, immigration, and sexual.

Tuition fee:

CAN$ 34,000 Single Semester
CAN$ 49,400 Full Year