Traces of the Zika virus have been found in the Virgin Islands. To learn more about Zika and how to avoid getting infected, read the Washington Post's article on Zika precautions.
As a part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) are a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean. The BVIs are located in a tropical climate, making it a strong contender for high school abroad -- after all, who wouldn’t want to spend time on an island while gaining new life experiences before college?
The British Virgin Islands are best for students who love the outdoors and want to spend time around the ocean, learning about marine life, diving, and conservation.Photo credit: Traveller-Reini.
If you're interested in studying abroad in the British Virgin Islands, you can choose from:
- A teen travel program
- A volunteering program
Because the BVIs are so small, the main form of programs for high school abroad is teen travel. On these trips (which can last anywhere from a week and a half to a month), students have the opportunity to partake in hands-on activities that are also academic in nature. Interested in coral reefs? You can actually go snorkeling and scuba diving and see them with your own eyes!
Volunteer and Service Learning
Some programs offer volunteering and service learning opportunities. These can include beach clean-up and marine life care and restoration.
The BVIs are made up of around sixty islands, some of them inhabited and some of them not. The four main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Tortola is the largest island of the BVIs, containing the capital city Road Town. These islands offer a mix of forest, mountain, and beach regions, and are filled with trails boasted sweeping views of the area.
Visitors from most Western countries do not need a visa to enter the BVI for 30 days or less. Otherwise, ask your nearest British embassy or the BVI Immigration Department on how to obtain a visa. Don't forget your passport!
The U.S dollar is used throughout the BVIs. As a general rule, islands are quite expensive because many things are imported. However, if you are enrolled in a student program, the program will generally cover most expenses, such as room and board.
Due to the small nature of the islands, programs tend to take students on boats to travel around. These can range in size depending on the program.
Because the BVIs are home to a tropical climate, it is hot, hot, hot! U.S. residents will be able to use their electronics without an adaptor. Don't forget to pack:
- Bathing suit and goggles
- Comfortable lightweight clothing
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Bug spray
The CDC recommends routine vaccinations for travel to the BVIs. Your doctor might also recommend other vaccinations so make sure to check before your departure. Mosquitoes and small sand bugs can be a nuisance as well, so be sure to bring some bug spray!
The BVIs are quite safe, though students should take typical precautions at night and when by themselves. Be aware of where you are swimming and do not go out alone in the dark, especially in deserted areas or isolated beaches.