A+ World Academy is one of the most unique international boarding schools in the world. We give sixty 11th (VG2) and 12th grade (VG3) students as well as gap year students the opportunity to take Secondary and Advanced Placement courses in a fully accredited high school at sea that travels the globe to 20 port cities on the oldest fully-rigged sailing ship in the world. We offer a challenging, rigorous, one of a kind program that develops students into global citizens and leaders with grit, resilience, and perseverance. Students can either attend for one year or can graduate with A+ World Academy in two years with the AP Capstone Diploma. This requires writing a 5,000 word research paper and scoring a 3 or higher on the AP exams chosen by the student. The first year is spent on the ship and the second year is land-based. The land-based second year travels to six countries around the world with place-based experiential learning to a deeper level than the ship's Field Experiences.
A+ World Academy students are pushed to their limits in every aspect from intellectual, social, physical, and cultural while learning to be proactive problem solvers with practical experience and a global perspective. While creating strong academic achievement in our students, we engage them in an extensive experiential education program of rigorous maritime endeavor, close-knit communal living, study in foreign lands, and personal mentoring that cultivates their self-knowledge, resilience, problem-solving, and leadership abilities far beyond that of a more traditional school setting.
Our students don’t just worry about getting to class on time, they deal with real issues such as monitoring water consumption from a shared source, recycling’s impact on the environment and living in a socially conscious way to dramatically reduce pollution. They will take part in ship “watches” as part of the mariner crew and will participate in scrubbing, cleaning, and sharing the duties on board. Our students develop life skills such as leadership, resilience, grit, accountability, and team work…characteristics that will lead them to success in both university and in life. They overcome challenges on a daily basis that strengthen both their character and confidence. All of this occurs while attending a full load of AP and standard courses that prepares our students for the top universities around the world! What Harvard once called “the X Factor” of unique university applicants, we call the A+ Factor!
We have the great fortune of sailing aboard the ‘Sørlandet’, a 90-year-old Norwegian Tall Ship, that has a long tradition of educational endeavors. In her 90-year history, the Sørlandet has welcomed more than 10,000 students, providing them with a complete maritime education; teaching them to be navigators, engineers, and mariners. Not only was she the first ship in the world to welcome women to co-ed maritime education, she was also the first sail ship to offer Advanced Placement courses, and the first Nordic training vessel to complete a circumnavigation in 2017. Sørlandet is a living legacy and a historic leader at the forefront of education.