Since 2008, we have been providing study abroad programs in South Andros, Bahamas. As part of our commitment to promoting cultural immersion and experiential learning, we offer several opportunities to students from colleges and universities such as the “Spring in The Bahamas” study abroad program, among others. The following is what students can expect when they participate in this program.
Students have come to our South Andros Island study abroad experience many times over the years. The topics of the Spring in The Bahamas groups have covered:
- Marine biology: The Andros Barrier Reef, Blue Holes and mangroves
- Ornithology: Native and migratory birds of South Andros
- Social and cultural practices: The traditional Androsian ways
- Native plants: Their roles in native Bush Medicine and in the ecosystem
- Photography: Nature photography and underwater cinematography
- Psychology: “Healing and the Mind”
- Independent study: Some students create their own ad-hoc study abroad program
The following summary is based on one of the trips, as detailed by the university students themselves.
Work and Research
The group visited Deep Creek Primary School to present their research areas, which included Echinoderms, Ethnobotany, Blue Holes, Coral Reefs, and Mangroves. They engaged with students and answered questions about their studies. Maggie focused on her Ethnobotany project with the help of local elder Manny, who shared information about native plants and their uses. Austin’s project on Echinoderms involved a shallow-water snorkeling expedition to find different types of sea urchins.
The group participated in community service by helping clean up the high school grounds and encouraging local students to join them. They interacted with the students, learning about their high school experiences on South Andros. The group also attended the Back to the Island Festival, a local event celebrating Easter weekend with live music, food, and festivities.
Leisure activities during the trip mainly revolved around snorkeling and swimming. The group practiced snorkeling around mangroves and later went on guided snorkeling adventures at an oceanic blue hole and a larger coral reef. They also swam in one of the island’s blue holes and hiked to the island’s highest point to explore the foundation of an old Spanish fort.
Throughout the trip, the group enjoyed sampling local Bahamian cuisine. They started with conch fritters, hog snapper, and peas and rice on the first day. Over the following days, they dined at Ezrina’s restaurant, where they had a three-course meal featuring conch stew, fried grouper, and fried conch. They also tried a fresh conch salad prepared by their guide, and indulged in native dishes at the Adam’s Family Restaurant, including spiney lobster tails. Note that on later trips, visitors were treated with outstanding dining and snacks thanks to the in-house chefs at SAND.