The Student Experience

Engage in a Full, and Fulfilling, Island School Experience

Life as a Semester or Summer Term student is a non-stop whirlwind of learning, exploring — and fun! During six busy days of study, you’ll immerse in academics, exploring your environment, and conducting real-world research. But, as you can imagine, on a beautiful tropical island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find plenty of recreation and relaxation, too!

While there really is no “typical” day for students at The Island School, the following provides a sense of the busy schedule that you’ll live as a Semester or Summer Term student:

Wake Up
Wake up and get ready for morning exercise.


Morning Circle
Led by student leaders, students participate in announcements and sing the Bahamian National Anthem, a ritual that brings our community together and honors our host country.


Morning Exercise
Students train for either the culminating half-marathon or super swim events through a variety of exercises that include running, swimming, and calisthenics.


Students work alongside staff to take care of our campus and community through daily chores including cleaning classroom spaces, dishes in the dining hall, feeding the tilapia, or maintaining the farm and recycling center.


Personal Space
Students tidy up their bed space and get ready for the day.


Students and staff share meals and the responsibility of doing dishes at three or more mealtimes each week.


Classes begin: Histories of The Bahamas
Students discuss the complexity of defining the term culture and reflect on their own worldview.


Land and Environmental Art
Students examine the works of an environmental artist, such as Andy Goldsworthy, and brainstorm ideas for the creation of their own artworks.


The dining hall is full of learners, leaders and educators both living within our school community and visiting from other schools and universities for visiting educational programs and research projects.


Marine Ecology
Students discuss their SCUBA dive earlier in the week, working on their fish identification skills in order to better understand their environment.


Students head out into the field to survey Lemon sharks in a nearby tidal creek.


Down Time
Students relax with friends after a busy day, explore the nearby coastline, or simply catch up on work or rest.


Dinner Circle and Dinner
Led by the student leaders again, dinner circle includes announcements and a reflection on the day.


Study Hours
Ample time is provided each night for students to attend to their assignments. Faculty are readily available to meet with students as needed, and each student gets a 20-minute phone time slot once every week during this time.


Students are expected to check in to the dormitory with faculty.


Lights Out
In order to ensure that students are well rested, a 10:00 PM lights-out rule is enforced every night.

The Island School Stories

I acquired new knowledge about the environment and climate change, I learned more about living a sustainable life, and developed skills to help me be a leader in my community.

Ava Kaplan S20

Semester student

I came to The Island School to be among people that share the same values as me, to be surrounded by a community that would challenge me physically and mentally, that would bring out the absolute best in me.

Tess McCormick F18

Semester student

An Exercise in Strength and Perseverance

Rounding out Semester and Summer Term experience are our physical and outdoor education programs. Not only will you start each weekday with an exhilarating, hour-long morning exercise activity with your classmates, but you’ll also take part in kayak expeditions, scuba excursions, wilderness experiences, and more.

Learn more about our outdoor and physical education programs.

A Weekend in the Life

Typically, you’ll have class on Saturday, as it’s part of the academic week. Once classes are wrapped up for the day, you are free to unwind and enjoy the relaxed and recreational side of our beautiful island home.

On Saturdays and Sundays, you might pursue any number of island activities. Swim, snorkel, or possibly take a boat trip to the nearby sandbar. Join a game of beach volleyball or a basketball or softball tournament. Jump on a cruiser with faculty and friends to explore the Cape, join a staff member for a trip into a local settlement, or stop by the ice cream shop. If it’s R & R you seek, you might just want to lie in the sun on a beautiful sandy beach.

Our weekend nights are just as full as our weekend days. Students often create their own fun and entertainment on campus, enjoy a pizza party, games, or outdoor movies. Help plan, or take part in, talent shows (we call them Coffeehouses). Go snorkeling or participate in a scuba night dive. A special occasion might include a trip to a local fish fry or festival in a nearby settlement.

Whatever you enjoy, you’ll find plenty of activities on the weekends — and plenty of others who will enjoy doing them with you.

The Island School Stories

Being able to disconnect from almost all technology was also an incredible thing. It meant that I could fully experience Eleuthera, and I also credit my incredible relationships from The Island School in part to the lack of technology.

Reed Taylor F19

Semester student

I loved disconnecting from technology because it allowed me to enjoy where I was and what I was doing so much more.

Max Mallett F19

Semester student

Getting to Know Our Neighbors

Some of the most important work we do involves partnerships with local community groups and schools. Engaging in thoughtful conversations with local schools, youth, families, community leaders, and organizations allows students to foster meaningful relationships focused on education, conservation, and sustainability, all to advocate living well in a place.

Learn more about our community engagement and collaboration.

The Island School Stories

In our community on Eleuthera, we live as one. We are intentional. We support each other in all endeavors. We are connected to our place of South Eleuthera. We embrace differences and strive to understand the views and opinions of others.

Christina Wickman

Semester Director

Living Sustainably — By Design

At The Island School, you’ll not only learn about sustainable living, but you’ll practice it each and every day. Our green campus allows all in our community to live what we teach and learn. Our buildings and grounds incorporate systems and design principles that minimize our ecological footprint through the conservation of collected resources like energy, water, and waste.

Learn more about our sustainable campus.