The economic and social conditions that exist in Jamaica present a significant need for hands-on service. Without an infrastructure to support education, the Jamaican people are at a significant disadvantage in creating basic conditions that promote education of their citizens. SIUE’s 1-week (non-credit) Alternative Spring Break program in Negril, Jamaica offers students the opportunity to make a difference in an international setting. Project Jamaica offers students the opportunity to serve outside Southern Illinois and the United States while deeply exploring social issues and building lasting relationships.
Service, Education & Community Development Individual and group projects take place in community settings and are directed to respond to the unique theme of the trip - poverty relief and education. The purpose of these projects in the community service setting is to provide students with a context for learning about partnerships, reciprocity, capacity building, sustainability, cross-cultural understanding, and problem solving. Students will benefit from the cultural immersion and hands-on service, while the community benefits from our assistance and friendship.
Cultural Exploration An extraordinary benefit of Project Jamaica is the opportunity for participants to examine, experience, and engage with various aspects of the local Jamaican culture by working side by side with Jamaican students, teachers, workers, and professionals. Each day concludes with group reflection. This allows time for individuals to reflect upon the day’s experiences and share and exchange thoughts with the larger group and examine insights and impactful moments.
Orientation & Acclimation During the weeks leading up to the experience in Jamaica (October through February), participants will engage in orientation activities as a cohort. Students will be required to attend regular meetings that will include formal presentations, small group dialogues, and one-on-one conversation about issues specific to Jamaica as well as larger relevant social issues. Prior to departure for Jamaica, students will participate in a range of activities and dialogue to help develop the cross-cultural understanding necessary to contribute to the project with sensitivity. This awareness, combined with effective relationship-building, empowers students to solve problems with the community members and explore a broad range of issues in a very real way. Two Kimmel Student Involvement Center staff site leaders will serve as facilitators for this trip and lead all events prior to departure, as well as serving as the program leaders in Jamaica.
Who Should Participate?
For participation in an alternative break to be rewarding, it requires commitment and dedication. Committed and dedicated SIUE students with a minimum cummulative GPA of at least 2.0 may apply for participation in this program. Participation will be limited to 15 students.
Prices and Payments
The program fee includes:
Lodging (shared rooms in hotel
Some Meals (Breakfast and Dinner)
Materials needed for service work
Health and Evacuation Insurance
The Program Fee does not include:
Lunches all days and meals on travel days
SIUE Study Abroad Fee ($75)
$500 deposit payment will be due October 31
$1,000 payment will be due Jan 8
The balance of $500 will be due February 1
Payments are made online through your study abroad application.
Assistant Director for Civic Engagement
Kimmel Student Involvement Center
Depart St. Louis for Montego Bay, transfer by coach to Negril
Various activities as assigned in support of the local population. Each day concludes with reflection time, allowing students to articulate and record their experience.
Return to St. Louis from Montego Bay
This itinerary is subject to change. Part of the rewards of the experience is adapting to each day's opportunities.
Final itinerary information will be provided to participants by the program leader.
Housing and Meals
Students will be housed in shared rooms in private cottages at Whistling Bird Resort. The cottages are equipped with electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, free wifi, and a room safe. The SIUE group will NOT be the only occupants of the hotel during our stay. Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel and the cost is included in the program fee.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL DEMANDS OF THE PROGRAM
Participants must be prepared to encounter cultural and social situations that require a high level of mature independence and respond appropriately to such situations. Participants must be able successfully navigate transportation systems (air, train, bus, car) to the travel study destination(s) following all rules and laws pertaining to international travel and destinations. Participants must be able to independently and collectively travel as a coherent group and maintain emotional maturity as warranted by the trip and its variety of educational experiences. Participants must be prepared to independently walk long distances; carry personal luggage and groceries; walk up and down stairs; and navigate entrances and exits to public transportation, buildings, and cultural sites. Participants must be prepared to encounter environments different from the United States which can include cigarette/cigar smoke, automobile exhaust, loud noise, congested streets and crowded public areas and a variety of other environments which may not be known except upon encountering them. If you have any physical or emotional limitations, consider your health and capabilities carefully in consultation with your doctor before undertaking this trip.