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The Daily Wildcat


Students take to the sea and study abroad in the Caribbean


Jean-Louis Lascoux / Via Wikimedia Commons / Modified by The Daily Wildcat / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fort-de-France, Martinique, as viewed from an arriving ship on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The University of Arizona now offers a study abroad program in Martinique.

Arizona in the French Caribbean is a new study abroad option offered to UA students that wish to travel abroad and earn direct UA credit.

This five week summer program will be offered in Fort-de-France, Martinique, and is a collaboration between the Africana Studies Program and the French and Italian department.

Jennifer Donahue, Faculty lead and Africana studies visiting assistant professor, said she is very excited for this action packed program which will give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Caribbean.

Africana Studies majors will be given preference, but this is an opportunity for students who are interested in the program to possibly receive some extra funding. There are 11 competitive awards of $1,500 available for this program, according to Alain-Philippe Durand, director of the School of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Donahue said there will be excursions almost every weekend to many different historical sites, including rum distilleries and slave museums, as well as beach tours and hiking trips.

“I think going there and seeing some of these sites where slaves were sold and seeing where people worked in the fields really gives you an appreciation of the past,” Donahue said.

Rudo Sandy, Study Abroad Programs coordinator, said this is an exciting program and a great opportunity for students to get general education credits out of the way and take a year’s worth of French in five weeks. Students who go will be able to earn a total of six units in either accelerated French or in Africana Studies.

“Why wouldn’t you want to do your gen eds in the Caribbean? Martinique is a really great blend of both French and Caribbean culture and you’ll get to learn about the history and literature of the region,” Sandy said.

Donahue said students will have the option to choose an apartment or home-stay and that the home-stay would be a good choice if taking French, because it will provide a more core immersive experience.

“I think a lot of people have misconceptions about the Caribbean and think of it as a place of paradise and relaxation, which it is, but it’s so much more,” Donahue said.

May 21 through June 25 are the tentative dates for the program. Visit the Global Initiatives’ study abroad page for more information.

Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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