The University of the West Indies

Students who apply to this program will enroll in the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus to pursue courses equivalent to their degree requirements. They will be registered full time students and will qualify for access to all campus services and amenities. Provided they meet the academic requirements students are allowed to subscribe to any courses offered by the UWI in their study abroad semester with the exception of the Medical Sciences. The UWI requires a 2.5 GPA to apply for study abroad.

The University of the West Indies is currently ranked #501 in the world and boasts a wide array of degree offerings. As a multi-campus institution The UWI has main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as several satellite campuses across the wider Caribbean. The University of the West Indies maintains a strong academic tradition that brings pride to the entire region.

The style of education at the University of the West Indies is British and students will be required to attend several lectures and tutorials. Lectures are two to three hours long and class sizes can number in the hundreds. Tutorials are smaller in size, no more than 25, and give students the opportunity to seek one on one assistance. Examinations are broken into mid-terms and finals. Mid-terms can take the form of projects or table exams while finals are usually essay or problem based exams depending on course. Students are required to pass both midterms and finals in order to pass the entire course. If students find themselves in difficulty during the semester they are advised to speak to the Director of Student Services to seek assistance via private tutoring. 

Below is a link to the course selection for each faculty at The UWI. Pay attention to whether the course you are interested in is offered in Semester 1 (Fall) or Semester 2 (Spring). You will not be allowed to pursue year long courses unless you intend to study abroad for the full academic year. You will not be allowed to select courses from The Faculty of Medical Sciences. In depth information and assistance with registration will be provided during on the ground orientation. 

Core Course

Contemporary Caribbean Studies: Trinidad and Tobago

All students are required to complete the Core Course, Contemporary Caribbean Studies: Trinidad and Tobago. This course will give a comprehensive analysis of Trinidad and Tobago from multiple historical and social perspectives and should enable students to contextualize their current lived experience. The course material includes several excursions that connect to lectures as well as a mid semester study tour to Costa Rica in Semester 1 (Fall) and Jamaica Semester 2 (Spring).

Costa Rica (Semester 1 - Fall)

The Costa Rica study tour is centered around Caribbean migration to Costa Rica as a voluntary labour force in the late 19th century and the lasting impact of this migration on the country’s socio-economic landscape. The geographic focus of the tour is Limon, referred to as the “Black Province” as it is the area in which the vast majority of Caribbean labourers settled. English, heavily influenced by Jamaican patois, is the primary spoken language in Limon. We examine how Caribbean immigration was perceived by the existing population of Costa Rica and how these perceptions affected the newly arrived Caribbean peoples. Students are also tasked with observing how Caribbean culture has been preserved and altered by the residents of Limon. The experience is delivered via a series of classroom sessions and excursions. Students enrolled in Sociology, Psychology, Human Rights and Social Justice courses may take particular interest however the curriculum should appeal to anyone with an interest in the Caribbean.

Jamaica (Semester 2 - Spring)

The Jamaica study tour focuses on a comparison between Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica regarding ethnicity, culture and the arts. Several classroom sessions and excursions give a perspective on Jamaica’s historical antecedents and economic development. We are also given an indepth look at the Jamaican music industry and how it has evolved over time. We are hosted by The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and spend the duration of the experience lodged at their residence halls. Our experience of Jamaica takes place in different areas of the island and students are tasked with observing how the Jamaican culture has developed as an export product in contrast to Trinidad and Tobago’s as well as how resistance has informed the development of culture on both islands. Students interested in Cultural Studies, The Arts, Music and Festivals may take a particular interest however the curriculum should appeal to anyone with personal or academic interests in Caribbean culture.

Note that a yellow fever vaccination is required for travel to both Costa Rica and Jamaica and students will be required to have this vaccination and the accompanying World Health vaccination card before arrival. This card must be on your person when embarking on both study tours.