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  • Locations: Kingston, Jamaica
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 03/10/2017
Rolling Admission 06/04/2017 06/17/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirements:
Level of Study:
Graduate, Undergraduate
Credit Offered:
Program Advisor:
Nancy Di Bella
Sponsoring College:
University Wide
Program Primary Subject:
Communication, Humanities, History, and Media Studies, Mass Communication, Social Sciences
Program Description:

Vendor of coconuts


Program Overview


The Communication, Culture and Environment study abroad program in Jamaica is designed to introduce you to Jamaica: its culture, environment and media. The summer program includes two weeks in Jamaica in June, during which we will explore important historical and cultural sites and engage in an examination of media and communication, ecotourism and environment, and culture and history that will afford meaningful insight into this Third World mecca of reggae music and track and field greats. You will become acquainted with how the Jamaican media is structured, gain insight into the cultural and environmental issues in the country and pursue a digital media project on one aspect of Jamaica’s culture.

The last island on the archipelago stretching up from Guyana, known as the West Indian islands, is also the largest and most populous island today. It is the venue of change and of firsts. Jamaica is the island that experienced the most successful slave rebellions during slavery, including the 1831 rebellion led by Sam Sharpe which catapulted the move toward slave abolition. Jamaica is also the venue of the post-slavery Morant Bay Rebellion, which saw major political changes across the islands—not necessarily all good. In the 20th Century Jamaican leaders, like their counterparts in the other islands, fought for self-governance and, later, independence. Jamaica was the first island to gain independence. This makes Jamaica the best venue for a peek into the British Caribbean.


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Jamaica, the largest island in the British Caribbean, has a population of approximately 2.7 million people. The birthplace of reggae music and its predecessors, ska and rocksteady, as well as dancehall music, Jamaica boasts strong talent in track and field. Ninety-percent of the population is black. Jamaica, like many countries in the region, has had a history of 250 years of African slavery, a legacy of European (specifically British) colonialism, along with imported Indians, Chinese and Lebanese as indentured servants and/or merchants. This clash of foreign cultures in the land of the now extinct Tainos has impacted every facet of the country's history. The Jamaican motto--"Out of Many One People"--reflects the kaleidoscope of ethnic groups and diversity in its culture. The goal of this program is to explore these diverse cultural roots to provide an understanding of this motto.

The first week will be spent in the capital city Kingston, where students will tour local media and visit appropriate cultural sites including: Port Royal, the one-time wickedest and richest city in the world and home of the buccaneers; and Devon House, a Georgian Great House built by the first black millionaire in Jamaica in the 19th Century; and the Bob Marley Museum. After a brief visit to St. Ann, the Garden Parish, to explore ecotourism sites and the birthplace and final resting place of reggae king Bob Marley; we will move to Montego Bay, the second city, from where we will visit historical sites such as Rose Hall Great House, home of Annie Palmer who allegedly murdered her husband and several lovers;  the Sam Sharpe Square, commemorative of the Jamaican slave who led the largest rebellion which ultimately led to the abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean; and venture out to Accompong Maroon Village, home of runaway slave descendants in the parish of St. Elizabeth.


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Host Institution

University of West Indies

The University of the West Indies is a public university system. It serves 18 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean such as: Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica houses its founding campus which encompasses a square mile. 33 medical students from across the West Indies were its first graduates in 1948. Beginning with medicine, it added Natural Science in 1949, Arts in 1950 and, now it offers a full range of majors.


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Academic Program and Course Information

Download the required course approval form hereCAF Field Studies in Jamaica 201705

MMC 4936: Field Studies: Communication Culture and Environment in Jamaica (3 credits)

Students will have one week of lectures before they go to the island. These lectures will be instructional in nature dealing with aspects of the country's history, geography and media structure and, also, methods for keeping safe and culminate with presentations by the students themselves of assigned sites that we will visit. An important part of preparing for media work is to do prior research on the community you intend to write about. This research will be helpful to the students, their classmates, and faculty in negotiating and navigating the new community that they enter and also provide an opportunity for them to get to know students from other disciplines who will be on the trip with them. At the end of the trip they will return to Tampa to complete their website for submission.

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Dr. Roxanne Watson
Born in Manchester, the coolest parish in Jamaica, Dr. Watson was raised between St. Ann, the Garden Parish, and Kingston, the capital city. Prior to joining the University of South Florida’s Zimmerman School, Roxanne Watson worked variously as a journalist, public relations practitioner and attorney-at-law in Jamaica. Today Dr. Watson is an associate professor at the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications and teaches classes in newswriting and media law. She has also taught classes in global media at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in spring 2015. Dr. Watson’s philosophy on teaching includes three components- mentoring students; setting high, but reasonable, educational standards; and fostering critical thinking. Her research focuses on aspects of media law and legal history in the British Caribbean with specific emphasis on Jamaica.


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Program Costs

Program costs for 2017: $2,595 + tuition ($520.17 UG; $1,180.89 Graduate)

On-site leadership of USF professors
Cultural Events and Program Related Excursions
Transportation in country
All Meals 
Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance

International Airfare
Passport and visa fees if applicable
Personal Expenses

NOTE: Tuition charges may not show up on your Oasis account until the first week of summer session A.



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Living Arrangements

Street grill

For the first week the students and faculty will be in Kingston, accommodated at the AZ Preston Hall at the University of the West Indies. During the second week the students will be staying in Montego Bay and Portland at double occupancy hotel rooms. 


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Who Can Participate?


Enrollment is open to students whose academic focus is in mass communication, history, and culture.

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How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.

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Getting There

Students will be responsible for reserving and purchasing their international transportation to and from Jamaica. Please do not purchase your ticket until the USF Education Abroad Office has released the official flight schedule, as these will be the flights that the USF program director will travel on. It is highly advised that program participants travel on these flights. This is the arriving and departing flight schedule that will provide group ground transportation to and from the airport. Participants who must travel on other than the designated flights must arrange to arrive at the airport in Jamaica at approximately the same time or earlier than the director's flight.

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Medical Insurance and Travel Documentation

USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.

Please click here for more detailed information.

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Safety & Health

Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed country-specific safety and health information given in our Country Study Report. Make sure to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

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Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding

Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.

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Special Terms

Students should carefully review the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.

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Contacts for More Information

Faculty Leaders:
Roxanne Watson
Associate Professor in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications
Phone: 813/974-2591
Office: CIS 3102

Education Abroad Advisor
Nancy Di Bella
Phone: 813-974-1969
Office: CGS103



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This program is currently not accepting applications.