Dominica, located in the West Indies, is commonly referred to as “Nature Island” due to its extensive untouched nature. Studying abroad in Dominica will allow for the adventurous student to be submersed in a beautifully rich culture, a blending of Caribbean Indian, French, British, American and African, island living with the incredible backdrop of landscapes and the coast, and the chance to experience natural forests thriving with life.
Many students find the allure of Dominica too hard to pass up, with ample chances to unwind from studies by trekking through a forest, scuba diving and snorkeling on the rocky coast, or soaking in the beauty of the island while attempting to study. Dominica is a rare experience to study abroad in such an ecological lush place.
Photo credit: mripp
Emphasis on the student is key in Dominica academics. Student centered learning and research are most commonly found in a Dominica classroom.
English and French are the official languages in Dominica and therefore can be found in classrooms across the country. The local language is a form of Creole often referred to as Antillean Creole, a mixture of Carib, French and African languages, but Kokoy is also popular, which is similar to Creole. Many programs offer cultural classes that focus on the importance of maintaining Creole and Kokoy as a cultural importance.
International students are provided dormitory style apartments at many college campuses in Dominica that come with many amenities. Another option includes renting an apartment or home.
Planning Your Trip
To enter Dominica you must have a student visa, which can be filled out prior to arriving and picked up after arrival. The student visa has a few steps that include: valid passport, bank statement, employment or enrollment letter, recent police record and a medical report including HIV/AIDS test.
Social Life and Student Culture
Looking to blow off some academic steam and kick off a weekend? The Fort Young Hotel, in the capital Roseau, hosts a happy hour on Friday nights that will serve as a perfect social outing for anyone and a great way to start a weekend. Dominica also is a perfect location for hiking a weekend away, check out Hike Fest, usually hosted in May, is a great opportunity to hike the beautiful trails in Dominica and meet people. And don’t forget about snorkeling and diving in Scott’s Head, Champagne and Portsmouth.
Many American-based universities provide scholarships for potential study abroad students; so check with your university first, as well as the your potential university in Dominica. Universities in Dominica offer students scholarships based on grades.
Boren Fellowships: This scholarship provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to study in underrepresented areas.
Roseau is the capital and largest town of Dominica, and the location of All Saints University, a medical school, Dominica State College and the University of the West Indies. The town provides many opportunities for students to relax and enjoy the beautiful forest with the Botanical Gardens, ample opportunities to overhydrate on coconut water at the New Market and the abundance of hiking trails located just outside of Roseau with Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located just east and the Cabrits National Park just north.
Portsmouth is the second largest town in Dominica and is located near Picard where the Ross University School of Medicine is located. The Cabrits Garrison is an important historical site on the island and is home to Fort Shirley. Portsmouth is perfect for the nature enthusiast student with the combination of diving and hiking opportunities in the area with the Indian River situated nearby.
This village in the southwest of Dominica is a perfect weekend getaway to the coast. Scott’s Head Pinnacle is a bay with crystal clear water and an abundance of sea life that will leave any diver or snorkeler in awe. And for those students that enjoy the land more than the sea, hiking in Scott’s head is a great opportunity to view Dominica, the Caribbean Sea and the ruins of Fort Cachacou.
Named after the bubbles that rise from the water, Champagne is home to volcanic activity and a beautiful beach. Situated near the fishing village Pointe Michel, Champagne serves as a great opportunity to snorkel and dive, as well as a beautiful getaway for the stressed out student.
Dominica seems like the perfect place to procrastinate on an academic assignment, but if you’ve chosen the perfect program then the balance of enjoying your surrounding both inside and outside the classroom will come together harmoniously.
Contributed by Samantha Coughran
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