Caribbean Studies celebrates 25 years
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 02:10
The Caribbean Studies Program will celebrate its 25th year of operation this winter when University of Southern Mississippi students travel to the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica to study abroad. Students will spend four weeks in famed Montego Bay, Jamaica at the oceanfront El Greco Resort. The resort is a short walk from the city and features the option to study a variety of subjects, from mass communication to marine biology. The program lasts from Dec. 27 to Jan. 11, 2013. Students will bring in the New Year in the tropics. Excursions to Ocho Rios and Kingston will also be taken, so more of the island will be experienced.
“They [Jamaica] have the resources that we can show students,” assistant professor of social work Tom Osowski said when asked why Jamaica is an ideal location in which study such a range of subjects. “We can give them a variety of different experiences, and it’s beautiful.”
Osowski will be teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in social work during the program. Outside of class, students can relax on the beach, go shopping at craft and fruit markets and partake in the nightlife the isle has to offer. Students can also participate in a service project, such as painting a school.
Jessica Vinson, a USM graduate and graduate assistant at the University of Mississippi, took a social work class in the program last year. She said the culture and way of life in the country is eyeopening and to try the local cuisine.
“I really, really loved my time in Jamaica,” Vinson said. “I was glad that we weren’t put up in some isolated resort and not allowed to explore. We got to know the real flavor of Jamaica; [it is] nothing like what the commercials show you. The instructors were great, my classmates were great and the experience was great. Spending New Year’s there was especially cool and something I will never forget.”
Students must have completed 28 semester hours and have an overall GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for the program. The cost is $3,899 for undergraduates and $4,199 for graduates and includes round-trip airfare, tuition, fees, housing, international student identity card, ground transportation, field trips and some social activities. Students will earn four credit hours for their participation in the program.
Center for International Education Coordinator Jessica Lamb said studying abroad is an essential part of the college experience.
“Now is the time to study abroad, when you actually have the time and availability,” Lamb said. “When you enter the ‘real world’ you may find you have more money, but you won’t have the time. Never has a student returned from a program and regretted participating or taking out an additional loan to make it happen. The only regrets we hear are from students or alumni who didn’t take advantage of the opportunities available to them when they had the chance. It’s the chance of a lifetime.”
The deadline to apply for the Caribbean Studies Program is October 29, 2012. A $250 deposit is also due at that time. For more information, visit www.usm.edu/study-abroad/caribbean-studies-program.