Expose Yourself to the World!

A study abroad in Jamaica experience includes picturesque beaches dotted with island palms. We can’t think of a much better place to study abroad!

Well known for its reggae and dancehall music, with artists such as Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, and, perhaps the most famous of all, Bob Marley (who has his own museum in Kingston), Jamaica also has produced players for the West Indies national cricket team, as well as Usain Bolt, recent Olympic and World Champion in sprinting, as well as top-notch rugby players playing in Jamaica as well as the U.K. Talented, yes, and Jamaican people are celebrated even more for their friendliness; this country is sure to bring out the good nature in anyone.

Geography of Jamaica

Pack good shoes for studying abroad in Jamaica! James Bond novelist Ian Fleming used Jamaica as the backdrop for many of his books, as did native author H. G. de Lisser. And hikers (and outdoor enthusiasts, in general) can see why while enjoying the varied elevation found in Jamaica. The Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains are joined by the aptly named Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park in northeastern Jamaica, while the Mocho Mountains can be found more centrally in the country. 

Other natural draws? Beachgoers may want to visits the famous Seven Mile Beach in Negril or family-friendly Doctor’s Cave in Montego Bay while studying abroad in Jamaica. Also in contention: climbing Dunn’s River Falls in St. Ann or visiting YS Falls and natural spring pools in St. Elizabeth. And no study abroad in Jamaica experience is complete without a jaunt to the freshwater Blue Lagoon in Portland, with its vibrant blue and green waters.

Oh, and did we forget to mention the fabulous weather? Students studying abroad in Jamaica see enviable average temperatures between 80°-90°F. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Language in Jamaica

Jamaica lies within the “Hurricane Belt” of the Atlantic Ocean, and is the largest English-speaking island found in the Greater Antilles. And though English is the official language, most residents of the lush and beautiful country speak a Creole language called Patois.

Cost of Living in Jamaica

As of October 2013, almost 104 Jamaican Dollars are the equivalent of one U.S. Dollar. Depending on what you’re purchasing, the cost of most items can be more than that in the United States, and you can expect the (approximate) price of items like rent in the city to be around J$55,000 to our J$98,280; while food looks to be more, as an inexpensive meal can be found at J$1,120 to our J$1,040; and the price of milk to be J$204 to our J$104. Getting around is about the same, as 1 kilometer by taxi is J$150 to our J$155.

Jamaican Culture

Jamaica lives the curious existence of an African nation in the Caribbean. Known as the home of Rastafarianism and reggae music, Jamaica has a fascinating mixture of experiences to offer. A turbulent history of slavery and tyrannous rule has left its mark on the population, a mark that can be seen in the conflicted lyrics of Reggae music and the poverty that still haunts the nation. Simultaneously, however, Jamaica has the beauty of its mountains and beaches and the hope of a nation poised to pursue recovery. From Kingston to Montego Bay, Jamaica is a study in beauty and potential.

As a student studying abroad in Jamaica, you’ll be happy to know that there is an abundance of coffee! Coffee, especially from the gorgeous Blue Mountain area, where the beans are harvested high above sea level, is one of the country’s main exports. 

The flavorings of Jamaica are a melding of many cultures, including African, French, and Spanish, making dishes—including salt fish, Jamaican patties, and goat curry—an exploration into a diverse cuisine. In addition, jerk chicken, made with pimiento wood, Jamaican spices, and the obligatory Scotch Bonnet peppers, is the pride of Jamaican gastronomy. 

Locals wash down this delicious fare with another well-known product of Jamaica: rum. The brands of Appleton or Myers both present rums deeply entrenched in Nassau history and tradition. These, as well as any Jamaican rum, could be a popular souvenir request made by family and friends back home.

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