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Jamaica: Alternative Spring Break – Community Engagement

On This Page:

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Leadership and Community Engagement

Program Feature

  • Service Learning


  • Jamaica

Program Term

  • Spring Break

For more information contact:

Alison Moore
Program Director

Global Opportunities



Spend one week this spring break in the Caribbean volunteering in Jamaican communities! During this two-city program, students will be immersed in Jamaican culture working at a local service partner near Mandeville, Jamaica. Experiential learning activities and learning include conversations with local leaders about history, politics, and environmental conservation.  End your week floating down the Martha Brae River and enjoying the pristine beaches of Montego Bay.  Join over 100 other Bobcats who have participated in this experience since 2015! 

Group of people holding flag

Highlights and Excursions

  • Travel together on a group flight from Columbus, OH to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • Depart for Mandeville with a Community Lifestyle Experience Tour of Beeston Spring Westmoreland along the way where you will learn about and support community-based tourism initives
  • In Mandeville, participate in service activities at a local school in the mornings, followed by afternoon visits to better understand everyday life in Mandeville
  • Enjoy an afternoon floating down the Martha Brae River before ending your week with a free beach day in Montego Bay

Living Arrangements 

Students will live in a centrally located 3 star hotel.  Breakfast is provided daily along with one lunch and four group dinners.

Program Dates 

This program is next scheduled to run Spring Break 2022. Please monitor this page for this updates.

This program is offered annually.

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu


Undergraduate students will earn a total of 3 OHIO credits: UC 2900 OR INST 4930: Independent Study.  

Graduate students will earn 3 OHIO credits: INST 6930: Independent Study. 


The program fee for this program includes: Student airfare (originating from Columbus, OH), accommodations, breakfast daily, some additional meals, excursions, airport transfers, transportation to all program-related activities, welcome and farewell dinner, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 3 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

  • An itemized Student Budget Worksheet will be published when the next travel dates are available.

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  

Looking for Funding Opportunities? 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program is open to all undergraduate students, regardless of major, with a minimum 2.0 grade-point average or above. Graduate students are required to have a 3.0 GPA. 

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now.

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here.