Study year abroad in Barbados is a thing!!!
Sun, Sand, Beach
Who knew studying abroad in Barbados was an option? The first thing people think when you say Barbados is “Sun, Sand and Beach” of course I would pack up and study there. However, many people forget the fact that it wasn’t a holiday, I wasn't a tourist, I was essentially a Barbadian citizen. I was going to live and study there! A whole new experience along with situations to deal with, in one big bundle of bitter sweet emotions.
“The only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches”. When I was given the opportunity to study abroad, I would have never guessed The University of the West Indies (Cavehill Campus). The first thing I thought was Barbados?! Am I sure, is this real, will they be friendly towards me? Many Universities do not offer the chance to study in the Caribbean but thankfully Kingston University gave me the opportunity to do so. Many of you are probably thinking, you wouldn’t think twice but surprisingly I was very hesitant. I took some time to gather my thoughts and make the decision to move. I was leaving everything behind, my family, friends, my job and my comfort zone. On top of that thinking about doing an extra year at uni was dreadful. I was pretty much scared but I sucked it up and realised when will I ever be given this opportunity again?!
Studying in another country was a scary experience as I would be alone, have to make new friends, make a new place home, get used to a foreign culture and get into the rhythm of studying elsewhere with a different teaching style. It wasn’t easy.
Was all the challenges and tough situations worth it all? Hell yeah! While ‘studying’ I had gained a number of life skills and learnt some amazing things about myself. That’s the beauty of studying abroad, having everything taken away from you, leaves you with no choice but to grow and move forward in life. You couldn’t really ask for more.
Having to adjust to the style of teaching, culture and Barbadians, was not straightforward. The accents were very challenging at first, I just nodded my head to everything, showing I understood when really I didn’t catch a thing. After some time, I started catching on to the dialect and the fast Bajan tone, its quite amusing to be honest. The culture in itself was interesting as everyone was so polite with their “good mornings” and “good nights” to random strangers passing by. We don’t get that in London so this was such an unusual concept. And the teaching was definitely the most challenging part as the lecturers do not spoon feed you. Mid semester exams came like there was no tomorrow, then finals came straight after. The amount of reading was ridiculous and on top of that participation marks?! Say what?! We don’t do that in London, when I heard that I knew I HAD to read and be on top of my game.
And when the weekend came it was all about Sun, Sea and Beach. Along with the general parties and a drink here and there. That was the most amazing part of the experience, knowing that the beach is only 5 minutes away and the fact that you can catch a beautiful tan all day long. Not only that but I had the most interesting time, seeing Rihanna ‘Face of Barbados’ at a random roof top party. That was a surprise I wasn’t expecting. Seeing her in her zone and being herself was something different, as the locals didn't pay her much attention. Myself and the international students started gazing over her and wanted a picture and maybe a little cheeky chat. Sadly, her one security guard didn’t allow any of us to do so. I took every second in and do not regret a thing. As much as this was a study year abroad, I was given the opportunity to be in a fantastic island. I studied, got drunk, partied, became a beach bum, tanned and met amazing people.
Growing within myself, studying, gaining skills and coming out of my comfort zone was definitely worth all the emotions and struggles. Plus being in Barbados was a win-win situation. No regrets, moving forward was the best decision in my life. I genuinely encourage those that are considering studying abroad or moving away for a couple of months to do so. It is all worth it. You become more appreciative towards home, family, friends and life within itself. It’s amazing, go and try it yourself!
SUN, SAND and BEACH. STUDY ABROAD!