Center for Black Studies launches study abroad program to Jamaica

Ashley Dwy

DeKALB — The Center for Black Studies developed a partnership between NIU and Mico University College, located in Kingston, Jamaica, to launch a study abroad program in Jamaica. The program will take six to 15 students and will run from June 20 to July 11.

The deadline to enroll is Feb. 14, but payment is not due at that time. There is a $200 nonrefundable application fee. Students who wish to participate will be responsible for their own passports and airfare. Joseph Flynn, associate director for academic affairs for the Center for Black Studies, said he recommends students get their passports as soon as possible because the process can take six to eight weeks. The cost of the trip, not including the cost of airfare or passports, is $4,255.

Flynn said students should not be intimidated by the cost of the trip because financial aid is available for those who wish to study abroad. Flynn also said he recommends interested students visit the Study Abroad Office as soon as possible.

“Back when I was in school, I wanted to study abroad, and I never did,” Flynn said. “I never looked into it because it seemed so expensive, and no one ever encouraged me to go to the Study Abroad office or the financial aid office at the time to see what my options and possibilities were. So, I never did it. If there was anything that I regret about my university experience, I regret not figuring out how to study abroad at least once.”

Flynn said he was asked to develop new study abroad options. After visiting Jamaica, he said he thought a study abroad experience there would provide a relatively inexpensive way for students to connect with African-American culture.

“A good friend of mine served in the Peace Corps for a couple years and was stationed in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, maybe four or five years ago,” Flynn said. “I visited him for a few days in the country, and it was lush and beautiful. More than it being a beautiful place, the people were just incredible with a completely different sensibility about the world than us Americans.”

St. Ann’s Parish is one of the places students will visit. Another is Port Royal, where many slaves during the trans-Atlantic slave trade were docked and sold, Flynn said. 

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad,” Carmorroa Siggers, sophomore double major in industrial systems engineering and business management, said. “Jamaica’s history is a big deal to me because the slave trade was a big deal in African-American culture. It’s a good learning experience.”

For more information about  study abroad expenses, contact the Study Abroad Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Williston Hall 417, and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Swen Parson Hall 245. For more information about the program, students can attend an informational meeting or contact Flynn at the Center for Black Studies at jeflynn@niu.edu.

The next informational meeting will be 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Center for Black Studies.

For more information about  study abroad expenses, contact the Study Abroad Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Williston Hall 417, and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Swen Parson Hall 245. For more information about the program, students can attend an informational meeting or contact Flynn at the Center for Black Studies at jeflynn@niu.edu.

The next informational meeting will be 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Center for Black Studies.

DeKALB — The Center for Black Studies developed a partnership between NIU and Mico University College, located in Kingston, Jamaica, to launch a study abroad program in Jamaica. The program will take six to 15 students and will run from June 20 to July 11.The deadline to enroll is Feb. 14, but payment is not due at that time. There is a $200 nonrefundable application fee. Students who wish to participate will be responsible for their own passports and airfare. Joseph Flynn, associate director for academic affairs for the Center for Black Studies, said he recommends students get their passports as soon as possible because the process can take six to eight weeks. The cost of the trip, not including the cost of airfare or passports, is $4,255.Flynn said students should not be intimidated by the cost of the trip because financial aid is available for those who wish to study abroad. Flynn also said he recommends interested students visit the Study Abroad Office as soon as possible.“Back when I was in school, I wanted to study abroad, and I never did,” Flynn said. “I never looked into it because it seemed so expensive, and no one ever encouraged me to go to the Study Abroad office or the financial aid office at the time to see what my options and possibilities were. So, I never did it. If there was anything that I regret about my university experience, I regret not figuring out how to study abroad at least once.”Flynn said he was asked to develop new study abroad options. After visiting Jamaica, he said he thought a study abroad experience there would provide a relatively inexpensive way for students to connect with African-American culture.“A good friend of mine served in the Peace Corps for a couple years and was stationed in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, maybe four or five years ago,” Flynn said. “I visited him for a few days in the country, and it was lush and beautiful. More than it being a beautiful place, the people were just incredible with a completely different sensibility about the world than us Americans.”St. Ann’s Parish is one of the places students will visit. Another is Port Royal, where many slaves during the trans-Atlantic slave trade were docked and sold, Flynn said. “I’ve always wanted to study abroad,” Carmorroa Siggers, sophomore double major in industrial systems engineering and business management, said. “Jamaica’s history is a big deal to me because the slave trade was a big deal in African-American culture. It’s a good learning experience.”

For more information about  study abroad expenses, contact the Study Abroad Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Williston Hall 417, and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Swen Parson Hall 245. For more information about the program, students can attend an informational meeting or contact Flynn at the Center for Black Studies at jeflynn@niu.edu.The next informational meeting will be 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Center for Black Studies.