Dr. Bernard Moitt
15 May 2018
The Global Education Office, The Department of History and the Department of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to study on site in Barbados. This program will highlight the historical and cultural heritage of the Caribbean at a festive time in Barbados (the Crop Over festival) when the island is in the midst of celebrating its African cultural traditions mostly through music and dance. Lectures will be held at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies. Most of the lectures will be delivered by the program director, Professor Bernard Moitt. Other lectures will be given by the faculty from the University of the West Indies and other institutions depending on availability.
Course and credit options
Students are required to take a minimum of 3 credits (maximum 6 credits):
- AFAM 491 Caribbean Perspectives on the African Diaspora (3 credits)
- POLI 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
- ANTH 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
- ENGL 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
- HIST 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
- HIST 391 The Atlantic Slave Trade (3 credits)
The Education Abroad office will enroll students in the course upon receipt of the registration.
Through lectures and field visits led by faculty members, students will explore the evolution and development of Caribbean societies from around the 15th century to the present, as well as the responses of Caribbean peoples to forces that have shaped their lives. This exploration will include, but not be limited to the following: plantation slavery, gender, language, migration, education, religion, race, identity, sports, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, the Kadooment Day celebration, and cuisine. The Barbados study-abroad program is designed to give students, with or without a background in Caribbean studies, an authentic, stimulating and memorable Caribbean experience. It will appeal to broad-minded individuals who are open to ethnic and cultural diversity. Participants will gain a greater appreciation of the history and culture of the Caribbean, and the significance and uniqueness of Barbados in particular.
This program is open to all students, regardless of major, who have at least a 2.0 GPA. Students who apply to the program will be interviewed by the program director prior to approval. No academic letter of reference will be required. This program is open to non-VCU students.
Students must be able to walk for lengths of time across uneven, sidewalks, cobblestone and other ground surfaces of Bridgetown.
Accommodations and excursions while in Barbados
Students are housed in the dormitories on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies overlooking the enticing Caribbean Sea. Meals are not included.
Students will swim with turtles in their natural habitat in the Caribbean Sea and be given the opportunity to view fantastic coral formations, exotic aquatic life and undersea wreckage. Other program highlights include Family Day, where students are hosted for the day by Bajans and other gracious Caribbean hosts. In addition, participants will visit the Barbados Museum, the Speightstown Museum, local potteries and art galleries. There will be a guided historical walking tour of the city of Bridgetown – a major Atlantic port of call from the 17th century and an architectural delight – with a stop at the Jewish Synagogue and the adjoining museum. Other outings include a visit to Harrisons’ Cave – a stunning cavern formed hundreds of thousands of years ago from crystallized limestone – and local folk festival events during the Barbados carnival called Crop Over.
Dr. Bernard Moitt is Professor of History at VCU and former President of the Association of Caribbean Historians. Born and raised in Antigua, his expertise in Atlantic history is recognized globally. He specializes in the histories and literatures of Africa and the Caribbean. He has a keen interest in gender and slavery, and is nationally and internationally recognized for his scholarship and intellectual activities. His vast knowledge of Africa and the Caribbean, and his extensive personal and professional contacts in Barbados and other parts of the region, make his study-abroad program a unique opportunity that should not be missed. This is his 21st year leading the program to Barbados.
A valid passport is required to leave the US. If a student does not already have a passport, they are advised to begin the application process as soon as they are accepted into the program. The processing time for new passport applicants can be as long as 8 weeks. For students who already have passports, they will need to verify that the passport’s validity dates extend 6 months past their return date. For more information about passports and the application/renewal process, please consult the State Department's website
Payment of fees
In order to complete the application, students are required to submit a $250 registration fee and deposit. This $250 registration fee and deposit is refundable in two cases: if the program is cancelled, or if a student is rejected by the faculty member based on their qualifications to participate in the program. Reasons for rejection could include, but are not limited to, GPA, lack of a pre-requisite, unacceptable or inappropriate statement of interest, etc. and are at the discretion of the faculty program director. However, if a student pays the fee and is not given final acceptance to the program based on failing to complete application requirements, as determined by the Education Abroad office or faculty director, the $250 is non-refundable.
Students will receive two separate charges to their student accounts for this program: one charge will reflect the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee) and the other charge is for VCU tuition costs (based on the number and type of credits being taken by the student). These bills will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May 2018.
Please note: While these charges may post to the student’s account simultaneously or separately, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure the account balance is paid before the billing due date.
Withdrawal procedures and financial commitment policy
All withdrawals must be made formally in writing and submitted to the Director of Education Abroad. Otherwise, the program fee will not be refunded. After committing to the program, students deciding to withdraw will be held accountable for a portion of or the entire program fee based on the following schedule:
- Formal withdrawal submitted later than 30 days before the first day of the program abroad: 100% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 30-60 days before the first day of the program abroad: 75% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 60-90 days before the first day of the program abroad: 50% of the program fee will be charged
In the event an unexpected emergency occurs within 30 days before the first day of the program abroad, students must provide a physician’s certification that his/her condition prohibits participation. In this case, refunds will be limited to only those funds VCU is able to recover or that have not already been spent on behalf of the student.
See above for refund policy on $250 registration fee and deposit.
Students should schedule an appointment with their physician or at a travel clinic (such as VCU Student Health) at least 4 to 8 weeks before the program to inquire about recommended and/or required vaccines/immunizations. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all routine and travel immunizations are up-to-date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on recommended and required immunizations for travelers. To view the health risks and requirements for the country to which you will be traveling, please visit the CDC's website
Health Alert: Zika Virus
The CDC has issued a travel alert for countries where the Zika virus is prevalent. Check the CDC’s travel notices
regularly as new countries are being added to this list. Check VCU Student Health
to stay updated as well.
VCU Student Health offers in-depth pre-travel consultation with a health care provider as well as most of the vaccines recommended for safe travel. Prescriptions for recommended medicines are also available. Please visit their website
for full details.
Every effort is made to provide updated and accurate information at the time of publication. The sponsors reserve the right to make necessary changes to the programs and costs. The university reserves the right to revise or alter all fees, regulations pertaining to student fees, and fee collection procedures at any time.