Approx. Time Difference
Mid-Mar - Early Nov:
+ 3 hrs
Early Nov + Mid-March:
+ 4 hrs
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, health and safety, finances and much more.
Remember to visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Local UCEAP Support
Campus EAP Office
The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
UCEAP Systemwide Office
The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
Monica RochaE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
: (805) 893-2712
Student Finance Accountant
: (805) 893-8459; E-mail: email@example.com
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583
Bookmark the UCEAP Participants
Page for this program. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
UCEAP Study Center Abroad
Your program in Barbados is administered on site by study center staff who will be available to advise you on academic matters, assist with housing, and provide information on cultural opportunities.
UCEAP Study Center
Ms. Joan Cuffie
UCEAP Liaison Officer
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus
UCEAP Study Center
Bridgetown, West Indies, Barbados
UCEAP phone: (246) 424-1841
Department phone: (246) 417-4491
Cell phone: (246) 245-7805
Fax: (246) 438-0199
Ms. Lisa Alleyne
Cell phone: (246) 256-1264
UWI International Office
Mrs. Paula Jarvis, Administrative Assistant
Leslie Robinson Building, Main Campus
The University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus
P.O. Box 64, Bridgetown, BB 11000
Phone: (246) 417-4972
Approximate Time Difference
Add 3 hours from mid-March to early November
Add 4 hours from early November to mid-March
Please see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
for critical academic information and policies, including unit requirements, taking less than the program requirements, the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, and grades.
While abroad, you should continue to direct any questions regarding your UC home department degree or major requirements to your home UC department or college advisor. All other academic questions and concerns—selecting courses, the registration process, how to consult with faculty, etc.—to the Barbados Liaison Officer.
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies is a public university system with three campuses serving fifteen countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UCEAP students enroll at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados; the other campuses are located in Jamaica (Mona campus) and Trinidad and Tobago (St. Augustine campus).
UWI is based on the British university model, which means more formality, centralization, and structure than at UC, and more than you might expect within an island culture. This academic rigor and formal framework also encourages and challenges students to take responsibility for their own education in a way that is quite different from much of the U.S. system.
While Caribbean studies is the focus of the program, students enjoy a wide range of unique study opportunities. UCEAP students take courses in many fields at UWI, including gender studies, politics, chemistry, tropical plant biology, environmental studies, law and society, literature and art, African-American history, international economics, environmental law, and religious studies. Highlights of a few of these fields are listed below:
- Tropical plant biologists can take advantage of the university’s program at the Andromeda Gardens, the island’s botanical garden
- Global politics and economics students can learn about the special challenges facing small island states in today’s competitive world
- Social sciences and African-American studies students can compare socioeconomic and political realities of a black population living in a majority rather than a minority environment
- History majors can broaden their knowledge of settlement in the Americas
- Women’s studies students can examine the role of work and the family in Caribbean society
- Biology, environmental, and ecological studies majors will find living laboratories in which to investigate marine resource management and preservation and tropical horticulture
- Arts and humanities majors can study and experience the music, dance, and literature that make the Caribbean unique, particularly through the extensive offerings of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination
- UWI also has a special offering in the study of the history and social significance of cricket, the game that serves as a living metaphor for life in the Caribbean and a focal point of interest across the region
You are welcome to enroll in any course for which you meet the prerequisites. Past students say that finding courses to match requirements for interdisciplinary programs at UC can be challenging, so be prepared to be flexible. All instruction is in English.
The undergraduate degree at UWI is a three-year degree and local students are already specialized in their field by the time they enter second- or third-year courses. The typical student in Barbados has 13 years of education before entering college and spends approximately three years completing a bachelor’s degree. Admission to one of Barbados’ four universities is highly competitive and requires that students pass the Caribbean Examination Council exam at age 16 and earn the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate at age 18.
The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs, and Sports is the government agency responsible for developing educational policies and administering and regulating education in Barbados. The Higher Education unit of the Ministry coordinates activities pertaining to scholarships, awards, and grants so that Barbadian students may pursue tertiary-level education locally, regionally, and internationally.
If you plan to take courses in your major at Cave Hill, you need to be familiar with the methodology of your discipline and you should have completed some upper-division courses in your field.
Substantial emphasis is placed on individual research. You will likely receive an extensive reading list and are encouraged to find and read several books related to particular subjects. UWI professors seldom give course readers or packets, so you will be competing with colleagues for library books, making it slightly more difficult to obtain written materials than it is at UC. Develop informal networks and study groups to share academic resources. UWI Professors provide booklists for each course, which stipulate the required and recommended books. You may purchase these books from the UWI Bookshop.
Flexibility & Independence
You may find increased expectations of academic independence at UWI. You may not get regular quizzes or exams to verify that you are completing the required readings, or that you understand the material. This means that a course grade can be entirely dependent on one or two big exams, so you will need to maintain very strong study habits.
Prepare yourself for the challenges of life in a Caribbean country and learn to be flexible as you adjust to academic conditions different from those found at UC. A few UCEAP participants have considered UWI to be disorganized compared to UC. UWI has suffered from the funding issues that have plagued other universities in the region. As a result of scarce financial resources, some academic departments struggle to attract full-time teaching staff. Some instructors hold down multiple teaching commitments, some outside UWI, and these outside commitments may lead to faculty absenteeism.
While studying at UWI, you can expect to work more independently than you may previously have been accustomed to at UC. There is rarely immediate accountability for the material presented in lectures as students typically demonstrate their mastery of material in exams at the end of the term. With fewer or no regular tests and assignments other than papers to provide feedback, you may not know where you stand academically until completion of final exams at the end of the semester.
The advantage of such a system is you can set the agenda of your own education and tailor it to your interests. Students who generally succeed in UWI classes are those who keep up with their work, seek immediate help balancing their workload if they start to fall behind, and go beyond the required readings to explore suggested resources.
The UCEAP Liaison Officer is experienced in helping UC students adjust to the academic rigor and structure of the UWI system, and can also speak directly to faculty expectations. If you have difficulties managing your workload, see the Liaison Officer as soon as possible. Do not wait until the term is nearly over to address issues with faculty or the Liaison Officer.
Relationship with Faculty
Students and professors at UWI share respectful, polite, and appreciative relationships. Faculty members prepare students to be distinctive graduates of the 21st century, capable of thinking critically, communicating effectively, and engaging in socially and culturally responsible activities.
Experiencing anti-Americanism in the classroom is uncommon, although some instances have been reported. It is important to remember that these comments are not personal, but rather political in nature. Students who report such issues to the Liaison Officer generally find that it does not adversely impact grades.
Courses typically consist of two hours of lecture and one hour of tutorial each week. Lectures usually do not include discussion and students are required to take detailed notes. Tutorials are discussion sessions in which students present papers for discussion and critique. While methods of evaluation vary from subject to subject, expect to be graded primarily on coursework submitted during the semester and written exams conducted at the conclusion of each semester. Some courses may depend on one final exam.
Upon completion of the on-site orientation (held after arrival), you will finalize your study plans and register for classes with the assistance of the UCEAP Liaison Officer. Although you are assigned to one faculty, you can select courses from any faculty at UWI if you meet the course prerequisites. You register by signing up for courses with various faculties. UWI professors may determine that your background does not meet prerequisites and may prohibit registration. In addition, some courses (such as law and natural science courses) have quotas limiting the numbers of students.
Since you are simultaneously enrolled in UWI and UC, you are obligated to abide by both institutions’ policies and regulations. Any changes in your course schedule must be registered at UWI and with the UCEAP Liaison Officer.
- Do not drop any courses directly with UWI until after first consulting with the Liaison Officer to ensure that you are meeting the minimum program requirements!
The Liaison Officer will give you specific deadlines, including the final deadline to make any course changes such as drops or grading option changes. Be sure to read every e-mail from the Liaison Officer or her staff.
All students are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad.
- You must enroll in at least four courses each semester for a minimum of 24 UC quarter units (equivalent to 16 UC semester units).
- You may select one course for Pass/No Pass.
Co-curricular courses (COCR) are often graded for pass/no pass credit only, but will not count against your one course P/NP limit.
Be advised that physical activities courses (PA) do not count toward the minimum required load.
See the UCEAP Guide To Study Abroad
for more information.
The exam process at UWI is extremely centralized and formal, again based on the British system. There is a Board of Examiners that coordinates all aspects of all examinations, and they are not flexible about changing exam dates. The examination timetable is usually published about one month into the semester, but has occasionally been published later. Professors cannot offer early or make-up exams for any reason.
In order to be admitted to the examination room at UWI, you need to collect an examination card just prior to the commencement of exams. This card will supply information on the dates of the exams. However, it is your responsibility to check notice boards to ensure that the dates have not changed and to determine the room in which the examination will be held.
The exam format usually consists of essay questions. Good writing skills are important. In many cases, the final exam is 60 to 100 percent of the course grade, and you must know all of the material thoroughly in order to perform well. UCEAP alumni say it is important to keep up with readings and maintain good attendance throughout the term to avoid unnecessary stress during exams. Certain courses require that you pass both your coursework and exam in order to pass the course. Check course guides and ask your lecturer to see if this is the case.
As is common with most British-derived educational systems, considerable emphasis is placed on final exam performance at UWI. Past students say that the laid-back aspects of Barbadian culture can be deceptive when it comes to academics. While the island atmosphere can be very relaxing, do not lose sight of your academic responsibilities.
If your performance falls short in an exam, the course grade will not be adjusted, even if you demonstrated substantial effort in the course. In the UWI system, professors often have little flexibility to manipulate grades, since the grades are based on the exam and are awarded after consultation with a second UWI professor, who is referred to as a second marker.
Grades for this program are typically available within two or two and a half months after the end of the semester.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
A mentorship program is available to participants in the year program. The mentorship option would pair you with a faculty member in a particular field of interest. Practical opportunities are available in accounting, architecture, banking, biology, chemistry, computer science, law, human resources development, international business, physical therapy, and tourism. Inquire about mentorship opportunities after arrival if you are interested.
Extending UCEAP Participation
You may request to extend your stay in Barbados from the fall semester to the academic year or from the spring semester to the following fall semester. To take advantage of one of these options, follow these steps:
Your extension request will be considered if there is space at UWI. The request must be approved by UCEAP, your UC campus department, and the UC dean or provost.
Once your extension is approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar and Financial Aid Office. For information about the steps you need to take regarding finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Recommended Course Preparation
You are encouraged to take at least one relevant course in Caribbean, Latin American, or Third World studies by departure. Other relevant pre-departure courses include development economics, colonial histories, post-colonialism, or liberation and neocolonialism. You will attend classes almost exclusively with students from the region, and such preparation will enable you to become familiar with the context in which Caribbean issues are discussed.
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet
, are excellent resources.
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals, and make an effort to understand the local culture and history. These sources can provide insight into the local culture and history and will help you prepare before departure.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Specific Arrival Instructions are included on your Pre-Departure Checklist. Print and take the arrival instructions with you to Barbados.
There is no group flight to Barbados, you are responsible for reserving and purchasing your own airline ticket to the Grantley Adams International Airport near Bridgetown, Barbados, even if you are on full financial aid. Standby tickets are not appropriate for this program; you must have a round-trip ticket when you arrive in Barbados.
Make arrangements to arrive on the mandatory arrival date indicated in the program calendar located on the calendar tab of your Pre-Departure checklist. If you arrive in Bridgetown on the mandatory arrival date, you may request an airport pickup by a UCEAP representative. To arrange your airport pickup, send your flight itinerary to UCEAP Administrative Assistant, Lisa Alleyne, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you arrive prior to the official arrival date, UCEAP cannot guarantee airport pickup, but you must still send your arrival information to the Administrative Assistant.
Refer frequently to the UCEAP program calendar as the program dates can change due to unforeseen circumstances and you will be responsible for making any related modifications to your travel itinerary. UCEAP is not responsible for unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for travel arrangements, so it is best to purchase a changeable airline ticket.
If you arrive in Bridgetown before the program begins, you will need to make your own arrangements and pay for accommodations independently.
Orientation Upon Arrival
The program begins with a a mandatory UCEAP/UWI orientation. A variety of orientation activities introduce you to the University of the West Indies (UWI) and aspects of the culture that are not immediately evident or accessible to the casual visitor.
You will spend the first three nights of the program with the UCEAP group at a guest house near the Cave Hill campus. The cost of orientation accommodation is included in your UCEAP fees so no payment will be due to the guest house during orientation. The Arrival Instructions included in your Pre-Departure Checklist include further details about arrival and orientation.
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
When traveling, always keep your passport, UWI offer letter, ticket, prescription medications, and money with you. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Do not ask others to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to take them or customs abroad may charge you a high duty. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Camouflage: Don't bring or arrive in Barbados in any kind of camouflage clothing and don't wear it during your stay. It is illegal in Barbados for civilians to dress in camouflage or to carry items made of camouflage material. If you wear or carry camouflage, you will be stopped by the police, your items may be confiscated upon entry, and you could be fined or arrested.
All travelers to and from the Caribbean and Bermuda, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a passport. Without your passport you will face difficulty when reentering the United States. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State
website or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Keep your UWI offer letter! You will need to present it upon arrival at the airport in Barbados. Carry it with your passport and other important papers. You also need to show proof of a round trip ticket upon entry to Barbados.
You will be required to complete and submit a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status before your departure. In addition to the completed form, you will need to submit an official passport photo and an application fee (current fee is $150) in the form of a cashier's check. You will receive your student visa when you arrive in Barbados.
NOTE: Students with citizenship from other countries may have different requirements or procedures and should check with the Embassy of Barbados
in Washington, D.C.
Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students
Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.
If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at https://law.ucdavis.edu/uc-undocumented/
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
In general, the climate is warm and sunny throughout the year with an average daytime high of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit; nights are cooler. Fall and year students will arrive during the hurricane season, which can last until November. However, most storms pass to the north of Barbados, producing only high winds and heavy rains in the local area.
Barbados is a tropical island; clothing should be lightweight and suitable for a climate that is warm all year and fairly humid throughout the summer and into the early fall. UWI recommends that you travel with at least one semi-formal outfit.
Make sure to travel to Barbados with:
- Passport (plus copies)
- UWI Offer Letter
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Mosquito repellent
- Electrical items such as laptop, hairdryer, MP3 player (the voltage in Barbados is 110 volts, the same as in the U.S.
- ATM cards, credit cards (always have at least two ways to obtain cash)
- Enough prescription medication to last the length of your stay (see the Health section of this guide for more information on taking prescription medications abroad)
Do not travel to Barbados with:
- Illegal drugs
- Camouflage clothing
- Pain killers that contain Asprin
- Fruit, vegetables, or any other agricultural product
You will be required to complete a Customs Declaration form during your flight to Barbados, so be familiar with your packed and carry-on contents. Pay close attention to your baggage allowance. Be aware that your luggage is subject to search by Customs Officials on arrival.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property. In spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP Travel Insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage. UCEAP strongly recommends that you examine the details of the UCEAP Travel Insurance benefits and purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, Smartphones, tablets, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss.
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
As part of the requirement for your student visa, you must travel to Barbados on a round trip airfare. Flights from Barbados to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early so if you decide to change your return date after arrival, be sure to do so well in advance.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
- Contact information for finance questions
- How to estimate the cost of your program
- Budget instructions and information
- Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
- UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
- Banking before and after arrival
- Fees and penalties
- Loan information
- How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
- Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget
. Program fees are subject to change.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
- Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
- Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
- Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions
The official currency unit in Barbados is the dollar (BDS$).
The local currency is the Barbadian dollar. Most goods are imported to the island and are more expensive; you will need to learn how to economize. Food and staples cost about two times more than in the U.S.; produce is especially expensive. During the orientation, you will be given a tour of Bridgetown and shown where you can buy items at the most reasonable prices. Do not plan to buy major personal items in Barbados; take them from home.
U.S. dollars are readily accepted throughout Barbados and there is no need to convert American currency before arrival. Request information on the cost of taxis in Barbadian dollars; vendors will readily accept the U.S. equivalent, but they will not generally be in a position to give change in U.S. dollars. Make the mental conversion to ensure that vendors and taxi drivers are being accurate and fair.
The conversion of U.S. drafts and other transactions at local banks can take up to six weeks and may require that you hold an account with that banking institution. Use an international ATM credit card and Western Union facilities, which are available on campus and at several convenient locations throughout the island. Be aware, however, that these facilities will only deliver local currency due to exchange control regulations.
Money can be transferred to you in Barbados through an ATM. ATM cards, Visa, or MasterCard may be used at the Royal Bank of Canada, which is linked to the Plus and Cirrus systems. ATM cards provide a convenient way of getting cash, making deposits and transfers, and verifying account balances.
Most U.S. banks and credit unions offer ATM cards. They are usually connected to a checking account. The bank will issue an ATM card and a personal identification number (PIN). This should be all that is needed. Once abroad, you can use your ATM card and PIN to withdraw money from your U.S. account. There is no waiting period; money deposited in the U.S. is immediately available for withdrawal abroad. There may be limitations on the amount of cash accessible per transaction, and there may be fees. Check with your bank to see what options are available.
You can open a bank account with a wire transfer of funds or any other deposit. The Royal Bank of Canada has the largest number of branches of any bank in Barbados, including a branch near the UWI campus. To open an account in Barbados, you will need to get an official letter from UWI. Speak to your UCEAP Liaison Officer after arrival if you would like to open an account in Barbados.
Major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted in most restaurants, stores, and at UWI for payment of dorm deposits or other university-related charges. Funds can be drawn from a local bank with a credit card. Check with your bank or credit card company to see what services are offered and where.
You are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet while abroad. Wireless connections are available at various locations on campus, including the UCEAP Study Center.
Although computers are available to the entire student body at Cave Hill, they are booked for classes much of the time. To use the computer labs available on campus, you will need to register with the computer center after arrival at the Cave Hill campus. The computer lab schedule follows (lab hours vary during campus breaks and information about accessibility at those times will be available at a later date). See the Campus IT Services
website for more details.
Computer labs 1–4 are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Computer lab 6 is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Computer lab 5 is open 24 hours
Computer labs 1–4 are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Computer lab 6 is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Computer lab 5 is open 24 hours
Computer lab 5 is open 24 hours
Approximate time difference: add 4 hours (3 hours when California is on daylight saving time)
There are two options for using a cell phone in Barbados. You can bring an unlocked cell phone with you to Barbados and purchase a local SIM card for about BDS$5. Or, you can purchase a discounted cell phone in Barbados for about BDS$100 and get a plan with a local provider (DIGICEL or LIME).
Barbados has a reliable phone system and a multitude of public phones. Local calls are free except those made from call boxes, which average 25 cents. The residence halls have phones, but there are not many and there is substantial competition for usage; there is only one telephone on each floor of each block. There are no private phones in the dorm rooms.
Prepaid phone cards purchased in the U.S. do not work in Barbados. If you want to use a phone card, you should buy one when you get to Barbados.
Many students use Skype
for long-distance calls. You can Skype family and friends from any computer with Internet access and computer-to-computer Skype calls are free. You will need a headset or a microphone.
If you are living in Frank Worrell Hall, Sherlock Hall, or Keith Hunte Hall, you can be contacted at the following address during the semester:
Frank Worrell Hall/Sherlock Hall/Keith Hunte Hall
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus
PO Box 64
If you live elsewhere, you can have regular mail sent to the UCEAP PO Box in Barbados:
University of California Education Abroad Program
PO Box 5105
Warrens St. Michael
Regular mail sent to the above address will be taken to the UCEAP Study Center on the Cave Hill campus. However, if the sender is using a courier or express delivery service such as FedEx or DHL, the PO Box should be removed from the address and your local contact information should be included on the package.
You can choose to live in a UWI residence hall or seek accommodation off campus in private apartments or shared rental houses. Living on campus is strongly recommended. Whether living on or off campus, you must make your own arrangements and payments for housing.
The housing application process works as follows:
- You will complete a housing questionnaire as part of your Pre-Departure Checklist. If you decide to live off campus, there is nothing more required of you during predeparture. Upon arrival in Barbados, you will be responsible for finding and securing your own accommodations without the assistance of the UCEAP study center. Although the apartment-hunting process can be hectic and somewhat stressful during the first few days, past students have reported that, in the end, it is easy to find suitable and comfortable housing. Though assistance is provided in locating possible housing options, you are ultimately responsible for your housing decision and must follow through with the finalization of a rental contract, arrangements for use of utilities, and all payments. Most students who live off campus end up sharing a flat or apartment with other UCEAP participants. Please note that UCEAP students who choose to live off campus must select their housing from the options as provided by the UWI Accommodations Office off-campus listings.
If you decide to live on campus you must complete an Application to Reside on Halls of Residence, which will be availbale to you on your Pre-Departure Checklist. Complete the form and return it to UCEAP with your photographs and visa application/fee. If you receive an assigned space in one of the residence halls, UWI housing management will contact you directly to issue you a housing contract and deposit. From that point forward, you will deal directly with UWI housing management regarding the housing contract, deposit, and payment for the semester. Read the housing contract carefully before signing, and be aware that financial penalties are applicable if you cancel the contract. Sign and return the housing contract to UWI housing management. Be prepared to pay the deposit to them per their instructions.
If you receive a spot in on-campus housing, the UWI housing office will bill you directly. Two deposits will be due and payable directly to UWI upon receipt of the contract:
- The advance deposit (non-refundable) holds your place at the UWI residence hall. You must pay this advance deposit even if you receive financial aid.
- The security deposit (refundable) is held against damages and the safe return of your room key. It is only refunded after an inspection of your room. For a quicker return of your deposit following the program, make sure to select the option for direct deposit rather than having a check issued to you and mailed to the U.S..
Hall fees are payable in full at the beginning of the semester, unless other arrangements with the UWI Bursary have been approved.
Q: What are the residence halls like?
Frank Worrell Hall consists of a cluster of ten modern buildings on a ridge overlooking the campus. The halls house approximately 180 students. Each hall has three floors, and each floor has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen that is equipped with a gas stove, refrigerator, sink, and cupboards. Each bedroom has a single bed, a desk and chair, a sink, and cabinets. You can see more photos of the housing on the UCEAP Barbados Facebook page
Sherlock Hall houses approximately 90 students. You are more likely to be placed in Frank Worrell, however, as it has more spaces for international students.
Keith Hunte Residence Hall is a new hall close to the UWI Cave Hill campus and houses approximately 60 students.
Q: Do I need to take linens for the residence halls?
A: Yes, you need to take (or purchase after arrival) the following: sheets for a single bed, pillowcases, pillows, and towels. There are no curtains, so you will want to bring or purchase those as well.
Q: What about meals?
A: Frank Worrell Hall is self-catering, with no dining commons attached. You can prepare meals and snacks in the common kitchen areas described above. The student cafeteria, located on the ground floor of the Sherlock Hall dorm, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack items daily. Meals are international and the cuisine varies each day.
Q: Should I bring my own utensils and cooking equipment?
A: The residence halls are not equipped with pots and pans, cooking utensils, dishes, or cutlery. You will have to pack or buy locally what you need (note that local prices are likely to be significantly higher than those in the U.S.).
Caribbean roommates may have cookware to share. Many students buy and prepare meals on a cooperative basis.
Selecting the Right Housing for Your Lifestyle
Whether you choose to live on or off campus depends on your preferences. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, and UCEAP participants have been happy with both.
- Students report this is the best way to integrate into campus life and meet both local and international students
- It is conveniently close to classes
- You will receive confirmation of space before departure and you can move in directly after UCEAP orientation is over (no apartment search)
- 24/7 security
- Facilities are older and have fewer amenities than is typical at UC
- Dormitory rules must be followed and are generally stricter and more conservative than you will be used to. For example, guests may not stay in the dormitories overnight under any circumstances
- New student initiation, which mostly takes place in the dorms, has made some students uncomfortable. Keep the following in mind about initiations in the UWI dorms:
- Nobody will force you to participate
- Security guards are present in the residence halls
Some students find initiations at UWI harmless, and even find that they create a unique bonding experience with other students. The initiations that occur at UWI do not involve any type of physical abuse. Traditionally, they focus on waking students up early for some sort of group exercise, dancing suggestively in front of a crowd, or getting dubbed with a silly nickname.
During new student initiations at UWI, be sure to tell the UCEAP Liaison Officer immediately if you feel that you are being pressured against your will to participate.
- There is a wide choice of relatively inexpensive options near the beach, downtown, etc.
- Living off campus allows for more independence and privacy
- Facilities and amenities can be of high quality depending on how much you are willing to pay (although even nice places are often much less expensive than the equivalent in coastal California)
- You will have less contact with Caribbean and international students
- It is not as convenient as on-campus housing for classes and student activities
- You will have to deal with landlords, rental contracts, utilities, and furnishings (although it is also possible to find furnished apartments)
- You are limited to the UWI Accommodations Office off-campus listings and you will have to consider the security of the neighborhood when making your selection
- It can be stressful to find housing during orientation, although most students find that it ultimately works out well
There are fast food outlets close to the campus as well as a Campus Mart and Student Cafeteria. There are also supermarkets that are close to the campus. Remember that most goods are imported to the island and as a result are more expensive; you will need to learn how to economize. Food and staples cost about two times more than in the U.S.; produce is especially expensive.
If you are a vegetarian or if your diet is high in fruits and vegetables, be sure to budget for this expense.
Students usually arrange to chip in on groceries and prepare meals as a group which allows them to eat produce on a regular basis at a lower cost.
When off campus you will find plenty of opportunities to sample the local specialties. The national dish of Barbados is cornmeal cou cou and flying fish. Also very popular among locals is a dish known as "pudding and souse" (made of sweet potato and pork) and "a bread and two" (salt bread and fish cakes).
If you have food allergies, refer to the Health Section in this guide.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
To get around in Barbados, you have the following transportation options from which to choose:
- Government-owned buses. Look for the blue buses with yellow stripes. The Campus is located on Route 24 - Wanstead.
- Privately owned minibuses, which are yellow with blue stripes and feature the letter ‘B’ on the license plate. The Cave Hill campus is serviced by the Wanstead buses.
- Privately-owned route taxis known as “ZR” vans (due to the ZR identifiers on the license plates). Look for the buses with the number "3" on the front; they work the Wanstead, Black Rock, Redmans Village route, which passes outside the main entrance of the Campus.
The fare to ride on all of these is BDS$2.00 one way. When you are waiting at the bus stop, you need to wave and signal the bus driver that you want to take the bus; the driver will not automatically stop for you without being hailed.
Campus Bus Service
The Campus Bus Service operates three routes to and from the city center and the immediate surroundings of the campus.
All registered students are eligible to ride on the Campus Buses free of charge. Take your student ID card with you (at all times); you must present it to the driver as you get on the bus.
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while abroad is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community.
The Barbados Campus at Cave Hill offers students an assortment of clubs and student societies to join. While they provide all of the usual academic and arts societies, they also include a group of societies dedicated to the integration of the various island communities. Outreach societies, in which students can volunteer and contribute to society, provide the opportunity to learn about the island culture from a unique perspective unavailable to most students. You can also get involved in one of the many sports societies, including the national pastime of Barbados, cricket. The variety of student societies at the University of the West Indies provides you the opportunity to enjoy island life with new friends and to come home with some completely new and exciting experiences. In addition to the enriching campus life, you will find that the capital city of Bridgetown is just a short 4 km journey from Cave Hill. Bridgetown is the center for all activity in Barbados, and you can enjoy a variety of festivals throughout the year, including Carnivale and the Barbados Jazz Festival.
See the Barbados Tourism event schedule
for activities that you can attend independently throughout the year. The UCEAP Study Center arranges the following group activities for you during the semester and also has more information on cultural and social events.
- Dinner in Oistins Bay
- Island Safari
- Visit to Harrison’s Cave
- Lunch at Brown Sugar Restaurant
- Thanksgiving Dinner
- Dinner/Show Night
Students with Disabilities
While in Barbados, students with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what is found in the United States. There are no laws that specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, or the provision of other state services, other than constitutional provisions asserting equality for all. While no legislation mandates provision of accessibility to public thoroughfares or public or private buildings, the Town and Country Planning Department set provisions for all public buildings to include accessibility to persons with disabilities. As a result, many new buildings have ramps, reserved parking, and special sanitary facilities for such persons.
However, in general, access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent. Many restaurants, hotels, and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps major hotels and retail areas. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
For more information:
Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?
You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
The Caribbean area presents the greatest risk for LGBTQ individuals in the Americas. Many Caribbean nations criminalize homosexual activity and prevailing social norms are largely unaccepting of the LGBTQ community.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s Human Rights Report, Barbados’ law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults and does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, or healthcare. A recent study of attitudes toward gay men and lesbians among local university students found that stigma against LGBTQ persons continues to exist. While study participants demonstrated a broad range of attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, overall participants’ feelings were moderately negative. Discrimination against LGBTQ individuals occurs.
For more information,
Know Before you Go
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy
. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.
You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim proces
or about non-medical claims
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance. Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter
For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims Status
ACI at email@example.com.
Adequate medical care is available at 1 small hospital and a few small private clinics but is not up to the standards of industrialized countries. Ambulance services are often slow.
Local private clinics can provide good basic care; the state hospital can handle many surgical requirements but serious cases might require evacuation to the U.S. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is Barbados' only major trauma facility and 24-hour emergency room. QEH operates ambulance service.
Contact information for Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Martindales Rd, Bridgetown, Barbados
Emergency Ambulance Service: 511 OR +1 (246) 426 0015
Main Switchboard: +1 (246) 436 6450
Accident and Emergency Operator: +1 (246) 436 6450 X5540
Ambulance service is improving and now includes trained paramedics that can administer advanced life support, but long waits for transport are common.
If you become sick, go to the student clinic on campus. For more serious conditions, go to the emergency section of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or the private FMH Emergency Clinic located in St. Michael. The Sandy Crest Medical Centre in Holetown, St. James is also available 24 hours. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.
If you are sick or injured contact the UCEAP Liaison Officer. The Liaison Officer can recommend a clinic to visit, advise you on the UCEAP travel insurance claims process, and make arrangements with your professors if extended absence from class becomes necessary.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.
Know Before you Go
Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health
web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
- Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
- Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country. If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a pharmacy will fill. Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance. It may be covered if you are insured through your campus health insurance plan. It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name.
- If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
- Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.
- If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication prescribed by a licensed physician when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program). Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
- Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
- If intending to travel with prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
- Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
- Get a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.
Traveling with prescription medications
- Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.
- Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
- Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor. If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects. The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
Your mental health is important to us all. Create a plan with your treating doctor. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
In spite of careful planning, you can still feel homesick or sad. Feeling
down, anxious, homesick, depressed or stressed might be your body’s
reaction to the new environment and different life away from your usual
support network. Don't cope alone. Reach out for help to the local
UCEAP program staff and your friends. If you have been feeling unhappy
for longer than a few days, or it is staring to affect your enjoyment of
life and/or your studies, then you should see a doctor immediately.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., discuss your UCEAP program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for going abroad. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy
covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process
. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at email@example.com.
Drinking water may be unsafe in Barbados, especially in rural areas. Use only bottled, boiled, or otherwise purified water for drinking and cooking. Do not use ice cubes made from unpurified water sources. Eat only thoroughly cooked food served hot, or fruits and vegetables that you have cleaned and peeled; avoid salads. Consume only pasteurized milk and dairy products, or use powdered or canned milk and cured cheeses. Avoid street vendors and unregulated food establishments.
In fall, 2016, local transmission of Zika virus infection (Zika) has been reported. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people. The Zika Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, mostly during daytime hours, or sexually through an infected partner. Mosquito-bite prevention and practicing safe sex are essential. In many cases, Zika virus is asymptomatic, however, in some it may cause symptoms similar to dengue and
chikungunya; fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Significant birth defects have been associated with Zika virus infection in pregnant women.
Partners of women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika virus circulation are encouraged to use condoms for at least six months or for the duration of a partner's pregnancy. Risk of infection exists countrywide. Risk of infection exists countrywide. Risk is year-round; however, the risk of infection is typically highest June-November.
Consult a travel medicine specialist to determine your need for the following vaccinations. Visit a healthcare provider two to four months prior to travel to complete multi-dose vaccination series, as necessary, and fully develop immunity following vaccination.
For vaccine and health guidance, please visit the Student Health Center on your UC campus and see CDC guidelines:
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies.
Precautions to take include:
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, Health chapter
, Allergies section.
Outdoor air pollution contributes to breathing problems. Comply with air pollution advisories (ask around and observe what locals are doing) and avoid strenuous activity. If you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), consult with your doctor before departure. Carry an inhaler, antibiotic, and oral steroid, if prescribed.
Many students and their families have concerns about safety and security abroad. Study abroad, like most other things in life, does involve the possibility of risk. UCEAP makes every reasonable effort to ensure a safe environment in its programs abroad and to counsel students on potential risks and necessary precautions. However, no one can guarantee security either in the U.S. or abroad.
- Guarantee the safety of participants or ensure that risk will not at times be significantly greater than on a UC campus.
- Monitor the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants any more than is the case on a UC campus.
You and your family have a role to play in minimizing potential dangers, and UCEAP expects you to participate actively in minimizing your risks while abroad. The host university will provide safety information sessions during orientation. Pay careful attention to all safety information and to any updates during your stay in Barbados. Your safety and security are UCEAP’s top priorities, and you are expected to observe all precautions and warnings.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing risks.
You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Consider an action plan.
Risks to health and safety while abroad can be more difficult to manage due to local health and safety standards, and language and cultural difference. Take time to assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing risks. To be able to identify risks at any of your destinations, you need to properly outline what activities you will be engaging in through your program and/or during independent travel. Name the risk and rate it based on the severity and likelihood. Consider what measures you will be taking to reduce the severity and chance. If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel. Car accidents are often a higher risk in developing countries.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and contracted with emergency service and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety.
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from absolutely. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed. Report anything suspicious to local authorities. Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff. Schedule direct flights, if possible. Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency. If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible. Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
Steps to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime
- Assess your surroundings.
- Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.
- Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
- Research potential risks you can encounter while traveling.
- Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking.
- Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety. This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other. Choose your buddy wisely. The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
- Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Know what to do in a possible risk scenario
Locate the nearest emergency exits. If evacuated in a group, remain in the center of the group with as many people around you as possible. Don’t take the lead or straggle behind.
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
(STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Crime in Barbados is characterized primarily by petty theft and street crime; however, incidents of violent crime, including rape, do occur. Be especially vigilant on the beaches at night and never walk alone at night.
If approached by an assailant, surrender all valuables without resisting. Some tourists have been targeted during daylight hours on isolated beaches such as Long Beach, Christ Church, and Maycocks Beach, St. Lucy. Exercise caution if you visit these and other isolated beaches; do not go alone. Use caution in populated areas, particularly in the poorer sections of Bridgetown, such as Black Rock and Lower Bay Street. Do not walk alone at night or at any time in isolated areas.
You may experience some harassment from drug dealers and street vendors in tourist areas. Be courteous but firm when turning them down. Barbados enforces laws prohibiting the purchase, possession, transportation, sale, or use of illegal substances. Regardless of nationality, violators will be placed under arrest and held for trial if bail is not paid. Convictions carry fines and/or jail time.
Be responsible for your own safety while abroad. Use common sense and follow normal personal protective measures. Island life is beautiful, but don’t be lulled into abandoning sound judgment.
- Go to the beach in groups and never leave your belongings unattended.
- Avoid isolated areas, both during the daytime and at night.
- Whether living on or off campus, take responsibility for the security of your living quarters; lock doors and windows.
- Use discretion when making new friends, especially when they are not UWI students.
- Avoid the company of anyone you suspect might be involved with drugs or any other illicit business.
Along with personal safety behaviors, consider having a good-quality, loud, rescue whistle easily accessible to enhance your safety. The loud sound of a self-defense whistle or alarm may cause temporary disorientation and it can also signal for help, giving you the necessary time to get away.
Note for females: In this small society, foreign women stand out and female students might find themselves targets of unwanted attention and theft. Female students need to secure their homes and take special precautions when they travel.
There is a strong police presence in many of the tourist areas. The Royal Barbados Police are well trained and attuned to the needs of travelers. Their response may be slower due to limited resources. There are police stations in rural areas; emergency response times may vary. The closest station to the campus is the Black Rock Police Station.
Campus Security Services are responsible for security at UWI. The campus is patrolled 24 hours a day by a highly trained staff of security officers, senior security officers, a chief security officer, and the Director of Security. In addition, the Royal Barbados Police Force patrols the campus at various intervals during the day.
While you are in Barbados, you are subject to its laws despite your U.S. citizenship. Persons violating Barbados laws—even unknowingly—may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Barbados are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Violent public protests and demonstrations are practically non-existent. Very little civil unrest occurs on the islands. Most unrest is connected to labor issues, which are usually settled by union and government intervention.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Do not drive cars, mopeds, or motorcycles while abroad. Driving conditions differ markedly in the West Indies and accidents are frequent. Drivers proceed on the left side of the road in Barbados, as opposed to the right, as in the U.S. If you choose to drive, become familiar with traffic regulations and road signs before you drive. Be extremely careful when riding in a vehicle (wear a seatbelt), or crossing roads on foot.
Registered taxis and large public buses are generally safe. Private vans and small buses are often crowded and tend to travel at excessive speeds. Avoid riding in private mini-buses, known as “Z buses,” as the operators frequently drive erratically.
Travel by public transportation in Barbados is usually secure although you should always exercise common sense and awareness, especially when you are unfamiliar with the local crime situation. Carry cash and any valuable items out of plain sight.
Driving in Barbados is on the left-hand side of the road.
- Always use the footpath where available and keep away from the edge of the road.
- Walk in single file, if there is no footpath, walk facing the oncoming traffic.
- Always use the pedestrian crossing while crossing the road. If there is no pedestrian crossing, cross from a point where you have a clear view of the traffic on both sides of the road.
- At night, carry a flashlight. Make yourself visible to drivers.
The law criminalizes rape, and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. Rape has bene underreported due to fear of further violence, retribution, and societal stigma. Survivors expressed some concerns about the method of evaluation by the designated police doctor. There are limited forensic medical services offered to assist rape investigations.
Violence and abuse against women continued to be significant social problems. Survivors reporting a sexual assault have been subject to lengthy waiting procedures at the police station and for examinations at the hospital staffed primarily by male doctors. There have also been several reports police did not respond promptly or adequately to complaints of sexual assault and domestic violence.
No law contains penalties specifically for sexual harassment.
All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Fire - Dial 311.
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
- Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
- Know how to call the local fire department.
Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
- Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
- Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
- Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
- Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
- If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
- Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.
Program Suspension Policy
If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
What Is an Emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
- Any life/death situation
- A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
- An arrest
- Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country
In an Emergency
Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
If you are in the U.S.
- During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
- After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times. If you have a health or safety emergency call the UCEAP Liaison Officer, Joan Cuffie, listed in the first section of this guide (Your UCEAP Network).
Useful phone numbers while on Cave Hill campus:
Campus Security ....................417-4159
Police/Black Rock Station .......417-7500
Embassy of the United States
Wildey Business Park, Wildey
St. Michael BB 14006
Main switchboard: (246) 227-4000
Consular section: (246) 227-4399
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