Learn, Sail, Discover

Founded in 1984, Class Afloat - West Island College International is one of the world’s leading experiential education opportunities. This Canadian school offers rigorous and internationally acclaimed academic programmes for Grade 11, 12, University and GAP year students, while sailing aboard a historic tall ship and exploring over 20 ports of call worldwide. Attaining high standards in academic excellence, community service, leadership, and personal development, more than 1500 Class Afloat students from around the world have had the experience of a lifetime, developing as individuals, excelling as citizens, forging lifelong friendships, and exploring the world.

Application Process

For information about our application process, please click here.

Video and Brochure

To view a short introductory video of the programme, please click here.

To download a programme brochure, please click here.

Secondary (High School) and University Programmes

Fully accredited high school and university courses lead to outstanding academic results and admission at the world’s best colleges and universities.
  • Grade 11 and 12 students follow the Nova Scotia High School Curriculum. If enrolled in a complete Grade 12 programme, students will be prepared for a Nova Scotia Ministry of Education High School Diploma. 
  • University students are enrolled in Acadia University, one of Canada’s top-ranked undergraduate institutions. Credits earned can be transferred to leading post-secondary institutions in Canada, the United States and around the world.
  • Gap year students can choose to enrol in high school or university courses.
  • Small and personalized classes (class size average of 12)
  • 1 semester (5 months) or full academic year (10 months) enrollment
  • ESL and English immersion classes
  • Class Afloat is accredited by the Nova Scotia Department of Education, a partner of Acadia University and a Quebec Ministry of Education approved partner of Cégep Marie-Victorin.

Experiential Education

Whether at sea or in any of 20 ports of call worldwide, learning is hands-on. Students learn and retain more when they are experientially engaged.
  • Personal development is accelerated in our shipboard environment where responsibility, accountability, independence and good judgment become the hallmarks of each student’s profile
  • Sensible, sensitive and sustainable practices are nurtured and become the pillars of global citizenship for our students

Sail and Explore

Sail to to over 20 ports of call on 4 continents where unique and life-changing port programmes are filled with local cultural experiences, visits to important historic sites, voluntary service projects and activities such as hiking, snorkelling and surfing.

  • Become crew on a majestic tall ship 
  • Take the helm and feel the thrill of a 500 ton vessel carving the ocean as you sail at 12 knots
  • Stand watch, hoist sails, learn astronavigation and contemporary navigation skills

Discover Yourself, Your Community, Your World

  • Develop leadership and teamwork skills
  • Define your goals and pursue your passions
  • Make a difference in your life and the world around you
  • Develop your strengths, explore your weaknesses
  • Explore diverse cultures and values as an active global citizen
  • Consider social responsibility and examine social justice issues
  • Embrace environmentally sustainable behavior
  • Build life long friendships


In 1984 the United Nations, under the banner of "International Youth Year", invited schools and agencies worldwide to interpret the themes of "participation, development, and peace." Since that date, more than 1500 West Island College Class Afloat alumni have committed themselves to those themes. They have sailed more than 700,000 nautical miles to over 250 ports of call worldwide. Today, and now between the ages of 16 and 45, these former students are engaged citizens whose sense of the possible has been enhanced and re-defined by their Class Afloat experience.