Chewonki students represent a diverse range of beliefs and backgrounds. The passion and diversity of the students each semester makes the small, intimate community that forms one of the most memorable aspects of any Chewonki student’s experience. Learning to live and work together, to communicate honestly, to be sensitive and generous in spirit, and to take personal responsibility for the people and the place is immensely rewarding.
Many Maine Coast Semester graduates will tell you that they developed the deepest friendships of their lives here. Living in a small cabin with other students, working together to chop the wood that warms you and gather the food that sustains you – these experiences create strong bonds of respect and caring.
The community at Chewonki extends beyond the students to include Chewonki faculty and staff and the wider community. Many of the semester faculty live on campus with the remainder living close by in the surrounding towns of Maine’s midcoast region. The nearby towns of Brunswick, home of Bowdoin College, Bath, on the Kennebec River, and Rockland, site of the Farnsworth Art Museum, provide historical and cultural resources for students on field trips and during weekend activities.
Maine Coast Semester’s campus on Chewonki Neck is in Wiscasset, “the prettiest village in Maine,” as the welcome sign on Route 1 puts it. The Neck is a 400-acre saltwater peninsula, which reaches south into the estuarine waters that characterize midcoast Maine. The long sweeping beaches of southern Maine give way to many peninsulas in the midcoast with famed destinations such as Pemaquid Point and Boothbay Harbor, along with popular beaches at Popham and Reid State Parks, both at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Within minutes of campus, students are able to access a diversity of ecological landscapes, including rocky intertidal zones, salt marshes, freshwater streams, deciduous forests, and even cranberry bogs.