Life-Changing Learning in Nature

For High School Juniors and Seniors

Why Choose Maine Coast Semester?

Maine Coast Semester offers a unique, four-month educational program that takes students out of the traditional classroom and into a hands-on, experiential learning environment. Our program includes backcountry adventures, science field labs, and daily opportunities to learn about sustainable living. Graduates often describe Maine Coast Semester as “the place where I learned how to make a difference in the world.”

During the semester, students participate in rigorous and relevant academic classes, and interact with a diverse group of peers and educators from across the country. The natural landscapes of Maine, including rocky shores, salt marshes, boreal forests, and sandy beaches, serve as the primary setting for this educational experience. Students also have the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community, where we work collaboratively on tasks such as farming, wood splitting, and other responsibilities that are crucial to the functioning of the group.

Maine Coast Semester is the perfect choice for students looking for a unique and meaningful educational experience that will prepare them for college and well beyond. With our emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning, you will gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make a positive and lasting impact on the world.

What's so unique about a Maine Coast Semester experience?

The Coast of Maine

Over 400 unspoiled acres on the Maine Coast are yours for inspiration, education, and exploration, whether you’re modeling tidal changes, designing energy-friendly buildings, or hiking our network of trails.

The Academics

With a 3:1 student-faculty ratio, a rigorous curriculum, and the natural world as a laboratory, Maine Coast Semester challenges you to break through classroom walls and not just learn, but do.

The Backcountry

Not every classroom is in a room. You’ll learn life-long skills to hike, paddle, camp, and explore the natural world.

The Farm

Put your head, heart, and hands to work growing and harvesting food and caring for livestock on our sustainable, working organic farm. You won’t just learn about sustainability, you’ll live it.

To the Point

Our Student Blog

Chewonki Foundation Names Nancy Kennedy as New President

(Featured above: Trustee and President Search Committee Co-Chair, Marion Howard, President Nancy Kennedy, Board Chair André Heard) We are excited …

Wood Cove

The residents of the van squished behind a row of skis, sleds, poles, and bags, ready to take on the …

5 Things I will never forget about Chewonki

Polar Plunges – My alarm goes off and I realize it’s 6:45 AM, a bright and early start to my …

Total Eclipse of the Sun

It was electric. The most exhilarating atmosphere. It felt as if the world itself stopped in anticipation of this unearthly …


The Chewonki Lambcam is back!

Welcome to our next Director of Maine Coast Semester, Sarah Rebick!

Dear Chewonki Community, I am pleased to announce that Sarah Rebick has been unanimously chosen by our search committee and …

A Walk in the Woods

Since being at Chewonki, one of my favorite things to do is go on walks with my friends or by …

Birding Field Lab

Every week, as part of our science class, we spend an afternoon doing a field lab. We pile into the …

You should go!

“I learned what a positive and inclusive community really is, and I gained a much deeper appreciation for the natural world. I pushed myself academically through the small class sizes and hands-on learning.”

10 years later...

“…I am continually discovering new things about myself that I can trace back to Chewonki. It has been a hugely transformational experience, and not just in the short term.”

I was challenged...

“…academically, socially, and my world-view grew. I made lifelong friends who I am still in touch with, and I carry the memories and lessons from my time at Maine Coast Semester with me every day.” 

My semester experience...

“…was formative in my college choice, and my path as an educator. It was one of the single most impactful experiences in my life, and has inspired me to create and build community where I go.”

What Maine Coast Semester Alumni Have to Say!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser.