Qualified St. Lawrence University students have the opportunity to spend the spring semester in Trinidad and Tobago with the Pacific Lutheran University program. Students take three courses with the program, and two courses directly enrolled at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad.
- Based in St. Augustine
- Spring semester
- Pre-requisites: 2.8 GPA; at least one course in Caribbean, Latin American & Latino Studies, India or the African Diaspora
- Participate in Carnival
- Live in program housing
The nation of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the southernmost islands of the Caribbean archipelago and offers a unique experience because of its blend of African, Indian, European, Chinese, and Lebanese cultures. Conversations about race, gender, class, nationhood and the environment are often acted out artistically in song, dance and theatre and the program benefits from exposure to complex and open discourses on race and ethnicity, a set of rich and diverse ecosystems in its oceans, rainforests and mineral wealth in the tropical setting of a high-income Caribbean nation.
Students travel to Trinidad and Tobago in early January. All students take five courses -- 3 required courses and 2 elective courses at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
- J-Term course: topic varies by year, taught by PLU/SLU faculty (4 PLU credits, 1.11 SLU Units)
- Caribbean Culture and Society (4 PLU credits; 1.11 SLU units).
- Living and Learning in Trinidad and Tobago (4 PLU credits; 1.11 SLU units)
- Carnival Performance (1 PLU credit; 0.28 SLU Units)
For more information about the required courses in Trinidad please visit PLU's program website.
- Students select two courses at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. UWI is the most prestigious university in the region and serves 18 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean. Courses are available in most disciplines including Education, Modern Languages, Medical Sciences including Veterinary and Dentistry studies, IT & Computer Science, Life Sciences, Math and Statistics, Physics, Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management, Economics and Accounting, Psychology, Sociology, Government, Engineering, Agriculture and the Creative Arts.
The program draws students into Caribbean culture and society through involvement in the artistry, folklore, and festivals of the country. Students participate in the events of Carnival, focusing their study of its complex history primarily on the traditional aspects of Trinidad’s world famous pre-Lenten Carnival. Group study tours guide students through the cultural, environmental, religious and artistic diversity that make up the two islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Students spend time in Tobago studying marine biodiversity up close and participate in cultural events such as the Hindu festival of Phagwa, the West African Orisha and Shouter Baptist festivals and the Muslim Hosay commemoration. A photo gallery of the program is available here.
During the month-long orientation students will spend a few days with host families on Trinidad, and one week in beach cottages in a small fishing village on Tobago. For the remainder of the semester, students will be housed at the Caribbean lodge, a guest house within walking distance of the University where students prepare their own meals in a shared kitchen. Students will be given a stipend to cover meals.
Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program. This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session lead by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.
On site: Students must take an intensive course in January taught by the program director. This course will acquaint students with some aspects of Caribbean Studies and culture. (4 credits; 1.11 SLU units).
If you are interested in learning more about the Trinidad program please contact one of the following people.
CIIS Office: Kirk Amarh-Kwantreng, Assistant Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.