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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Negril, Jamaica
  • Program Terms: Spring Break
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Area of Study: Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science Recommended Program: YES
Program Description:
Jamaica Community Health Promotion Service Learning

Negril, Jamaica
3 credits in HPEX 391 Jamaica: Community Health Promotion
3 March 2018 – 10 March 2018
$1,500 + airfare + applicable VCU tuition
Program Director
Dr. Joann Richardson
Registration deadline: 30 November 2017
The VCU Global Education Office and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences are pleased to offer an innovative opportunity for global community engagement. The Alternative Spring Break, Service Learning, Study Abroad experience in Jamaica offers an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in Jamaican life and culture. In addition, you will be able to study Jamaica's community health needs, health priorities and health resources as well as to participate in planning, implementing and evaluating a community health promotion program. During the 8-day experience on the beautiful island, students will participate in both academic and social activities and enjoy cultural learning excursions to explore the splendor and leisure activities of the island. 
Course and credit options
HPEX 391 Jamaica: Community Health Promotion, 3 credits

The Education Abroad office will enroll students in the course upon receipt of the registration.
Course description
This course will provide students with an immersive study of Jamaican life, culture, community health needs, priorities, and resources. The course is a unique blend of global community engagement and cultural exchange. Prior to traveling abroad, students will be involved in conducting a community needs assessment and developing a community health education/health promotion (CHE/HP) program in collaboration with community health counterparts in Negril, Jamaica. While on the island, students will be fully integrated into the community and involved in implementing and evaluating the CHE/HP program which will address priority health needs in the Negril community. Upon returning, the students will plan and present a Study Abroad Symposium to share reflections on their experiences with the VCU community.


Program cost: $1,500 + airfare + tuition 
The program fee is $1,500 and includes the following:
  • Housing accommodations (double occupancy) in a bed & breakfast in Negril
  • Breakfasts at hotel
  • Ground transportation throughout Jamaica
  • Three cultural learning excursions
  • On-site Program Director support
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • International Student Identity Card
  • VCU administrative fees
  • Application deposit
The following are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for:
  • VCU tuition and fees
  • Airfare
  • Lunches and dinners (estimated at $20-25/day)
  • Meals for travel days
  • Single room fee, if applicable
  • In-country transportation for personal trips
  • Passport application or renewal fee, if applicable
  • Personal expenses during the program, including money for souvenirs, estimated at $100-200
Ground transportation in Jamaica will be provided by local taxi/van services from the airport in Montego Bay to Negril, in Negril to the community sites for the health promotion activities, in and around Jamaica for the cultural excursions and from Negril to the airport in Montego Bay for departure back to the U.S.
Each applicant will be required to meet with the Study Abroad Program Director for a face-to-face interview. Students should have an interest in assisting disadvantaged communities in meeting the health needs of underserved populations with low socioeconomic status, low literacy, and low occupational attainment. Students should be comfortable engaging and working with diverse populations and willing to become skilled in cultural competency to effectively engage in an international setting. Students interested in Global Health, Public Health, Health Education, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Health Sciences, Medical Anthropology, Health Psychology, Medical Sociology, Comparative Health Systems, Health Communication and other relevant topics/disciplines are encouraged to apply. An academic letter of reference is required.  Please submit this with your application materials after submitting the online form.

JamaicaAccommodations, Meals, and Excursions
In Negril, housing accommodations will be shared rooms at a bed and breakfast, the Negril Treehouse Hotel. A full-service breakfast will be provided daily. Lunches and dinners will be the responsibility of the travelers.

Students will participate in excursions to visit cultural, historical, and recreational areas of Jamaica.

Planned activities will require walking, sometimes on rocky, uneven ground, working outside in temperatures in the upper 80s, and traveling in van to elevations above sea level.
Program director
The program will be led by Dr. Joann T. Richardson, the Department Chairperson and an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. She has  also served as the Degree Program Coordinator of the Community Health Education and the Health Science concentrations. Dr. Richardson held the designation as a VCU Globe Faculty Fellow in 2014-15 and 2016-17. She was also a member of the VCU Faculty Development Seminar delegation to South Africa in summer 2014. Her research interests crosscut the areas of:  health disparities, access to health services for  underserved populations, global health, women’s health, primary prevention of HIV, secondary prevention of chronic diseases (i.e., breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease), and e-health education technology. She teaches courses in Community Health Program Planning and Evaluation, Community Health Promotion in Global Environments and Cultural Contexts, Disease Trends, Prevention and Control, and Health Disparities. She really enjoys working with students and engaging them in research and in planning, implementing and evaluating community health promotion programs. 

Financial Aid      
VCU students may apply for financial aid to participate in this program. Contact VCU Financial Aid, Harris Hall; phone 828-6669; or visit their website for more information.

Please visit the Funding Options section of the Education Abroad website for detailed scholarship information. We recommend that all students who receive Federal Pell Grants apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Please contact the Education Abroad Office with questions about scholarships.

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 one charge to their student accounts for this program reflecting the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee). This bill will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May.
Please note: 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.
Travel health
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.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.

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