Frequently Asked Questions:
When is the deadline for application?
The priority deadline for this program is Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The general application deadline is later, but this program may be full by this deadline and so applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
How do I apply for the program?
Applications for all short term study abroad programs must be submitted via the online link at: https://www.coastal.edu/academics/international/studyabroad/application/.
Each complete application will include personal contact information, health form and participation fitness certification, acceptance of the terms of the study abroad agreement, statement of purpose, and copy of your transcript, along with a deposit of $500 toward the cost of the respective program paid to Student Accounts. Should you not be accepted for the program, your deposit will be returned to you; otherwise your deposit will be applied to program costs. The priority deadline for submitting a complete application is Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
How many slots are available for the 2013 trip?
10-12 slots are available. There are two alternate spots (one female and one male).
When will I know if I was selected?
Before Christmas, but I hope to have the selections made by Thanksgiving.
What are the criteria for selection?
1. GPA. The higher the better. This can be more important than class rank in some circumstances (eg: a Senior with a 2.1 and a Junior with a 3.9 and only one slot left).
2. Class rank. When GPAs are comparable Seniors will get priority because they will not have another chance to apply.
3. You have applied before. It might help if you remind me of a previous application.
4. Application date and deposit paid. The earlier the better.
5. Our "history." Have we had classes before? Group cohesion is really important on this trip, and it is important that everyone get along well, and play nice with others. If we haven't interacted previously your statement of purpose is more important.
6. Faculty recommendations. Dr. Burge does not require one with your application. In order to not bother your academic adviser you can list my email (email@example.com) on page 3 of the Study Abroad Application.
Do I have to be SCUBA certified?
No, but what are you going to do the six hours a day we are diving?
Can I do certification dives in Jamaica?
Generally yes, but there are downsides to doing this.
1. There is a fee associated with this payable to the dive instructor.
2. You may have to wait a few days to get it done, meaning that you will potentially miss fun group dives at the beginning of the trip.
3. You will be less experienced.
If at all possible, Dr. Burge highly recommends being SCUBA certified and having completed your checkout dives BEFORE going to Jamaica.
When does this program take place?
This is a Maymester program that is tentatively scheduled for mid-May 12 to early June, 2014. The dates are still fluid, and they won't be firmed up until we actually buy plane tickets. In the last 6 years the earliest we have returned is May 26, and the latest was June 2. The trip is 18 days and we usually leave mid-week after finals.
What is the cost of this study abroad program?
The cost of this program is $3,700 and includes:
- Lodging and almost all meals abroad
- Air and local transportation
- Field trips
- All dive expenses except gear
- Trip insurance (optional DAN insurance is recommended)
Coastal Carolina University tuition will be billed separately at the rate of $350 per credit hour (6 credits total).
Maymester tuition bills are due May 9, 2013.
When are payments due for the program?
$500 due with application
Dec. 16, 2013 - 1/3 of remaining balance
Jan. 20, 2014- 1/3 of remaining balance
Feb. 17, 2014- pay remaining balance
Final Payment – tuition only
May 2014 (billed separately)
All payments are to be made to the Office of Student Accounts for credit to the respective study abroad program. The payment due dates are subject to change and will be updated as needed. If payments are not received on or before the due dates, students will be dropped from the program.
What is the refund policy?
If after submitting your application and paying the $500 deposit, you are not accepted into the program, your deposit will be refunded. If Coastal Carolina University finds it necessary to cancel the program, all payments made will be refunded. Alternates will be chosen from the initial pool of applicants. If you withdraw from the program and an alternate is willing to take your place, you will receive a full refund. After February 17 (or if no alternates are available/willing to enroll), the initial deposit ($500) is non-refundable. Other program fees (less any expended by the time of withdrawal) will be refunded.
How many credit hours can I complete during this program?
MSCI 477: Ecology of Coral Reefs (3 credits)
MSCI 499: Directed Undergraduate Research (3 credits)
Does this course/program satisfy core curriculum requirements?
Neither of the courses in this program satisfy core curriculum requirements, but they do count for upper level marine science major requirements.
Are there any prerequisites for this study?
Prerequisites include permission of the instructor, successful completion of MSCI 111/111L and MSCI 112/112L, and internationally recognized SCUBA certification (i.e.: NAUI, PADI, SSI etc.). It is strongly recommended that students have also completed MSCI 302/302L. As part of the research portion of this course, students enroll for an additional 3 credit hours of MSCI 499, Directed Undergraduate Research. For exceptional research projects, students are encouraged to adapt their research projects for peer-reviewed publication or inclusion in our collected volume of research, Korallion.
Are scholarships or financial aid available for this program?
The Horry County Higher Education Commission International Awareness Award is available to assist graduates of accredited high schools to participate in these programs. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ACCEPTED INTO A SHORT-TERM STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM TO APPLY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP. To determine whether you have additional eligibility for financial aid during the summer short term study abroad programs, please see your financial aid counselor in Kingston Hall. Scholarship applications are due in the Office of International Programs by Nov. 1, 2013. The applications for the scholarship can be accessed here: Horry County Higher Education Commission International Awareness Award.
Do I need vaccinations to participate?
Coastal Carolina University adheres to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. There are not currently required vaccinations for travel to Jamaica, but several are recommended. You MUST have a medical examination (no fee if done through Student Health Services) in order to dive in Jamaica. More details will follow if you are selected fro the program. See also the dive physical form http://www.mona.uwi.edu/cms/dive%20medical.pdf.
Vaccination or Disease
Recommendations or Requirements for
you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella
(MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus
Hepatitis A or
immune globulin (IG)
for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an
intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection (see map) where
exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel-related hepatitis
A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with
"standard" tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food
for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with
intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map),
especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual
contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment
(e.g., for an accident).
for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in the Caribbean,
especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities,
villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.
Rabies vaccination is only recommended for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats. These travelers include wildlife professionals, researchers, veterinarians, or adventure travelers visiting areas where bats are commonly found.
Areas of Jamaica with Malaria: Rare local cases in Kingston. (more information)
Even if you are visiting an area of Jamaica with malaria (listed above), the risk of malaria is low, and taking an antimalarial drug is not
recommended. However, you should protect yourself from mosquito bites (see below). To find out more information on malaria throughout the world, you can use the interactive CDC malaria map. You can search or browse countries, cities, and place names for more specific malaria information and the recommended prevention medicines for that area.
Please visit the website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ for more information.
What are the physical demands of this program?
Participants should be in good physical condition, must be able to swim and snorkel, and must be able to stay in the water for up to an hour.
Maymester in Jamaica: Ecology of Coral Reefs
For over 25 years, students and faculty from Coastal Carolina University have traveled to the University of the West Indies Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (DBML), in Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Here students learn about and gain firsthand experience with coral reef ecosystems. Students participate in a three credit course, MSCI 477: Ecology of Coral Reefs, where they learn about reef structure, productivity, and diversity, and they get to directly observe what they learn while diving on the reefs. The students also prepare an independent, faculty - supervised research project that fulfills three credits of MSCI 499: Directed Undergraduate Research.
The students prepare for the trip, which happens in May, by spending time during the spring semester researching and putting together their projects. Once at DBML, students take part in diving, researching, learning, and enjoying the tropical coral reefs. They meet the natives, learn the culture, and get a real taste of Jamaica.
|PROGRAM INFORMATION |
|Location:||Discovery Bay, Jamaica|
|Program Dates:||May 15 - June 1, 2014|
|Instructor(s):||Erin Burge, Ph.D.|
|Program Fee (not including Tuition):||$3,700|
|Tuition Fee:||$350/credit hour |
MSCI 477 (Ecology of Coral Reefs) - 3 credits
MSCI 499 (Directed Undergraduate Research in Jamaica) - 3 credits
MSCI 477: Permission of the instructor, successful completion of MSCI 111/111L and MSCI 112/112L, and internationally recognized SCUBA certification (i.e.: NAUI, PADI, SSI, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students have also completed MSCI 302/302L. As part of the research portion of this course students, enroll for an additional 3 credit hours of MSCI 499, Directed Undergraduate Research.
MSCI 499: A contract must be approved by the instructor and the department chair by the time of registration.
|Do any of the course(s) satisfy core curriculum requirements?||No |
|Is a Passport required?||Yes, students must have a valid passport to participate on this program.|
|Are vaccinations needed to participate?||Coastal Carolina University adheres to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Please visit the website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ for your destination.|
MSCI 477 (Ecology of Coral Reefs): This course is designed to highlight the organization, structure, productivity and biological diversity of the coral reef ecosystem, with special attention to their sensitivity to environmental and anthropogenic disturbances. This course is implemented as a “research travel” opportunity for marine science majors/minors. Prerequisites include permission of the instructor, successful completion of MSCI 111/111L and MSCI 112/112L, and internationally recognized SCUBA certification (i.e.: NAUI, PADI, SSI, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students have also completed MSCI 302/302L. As part of the research portion of this course students enroll for an additional 3 credit hours of MSCI 499, Directed Undergraduate Research. Exceptional research projects may be adapted into honors theses, undergraduate publications or peer-reviewed publications.
MSCI 499 (Directed Undergraduate Research in Jamaica): Structured undergraduate research projects conducted with faculty direction and participation, or within the context of an approved off-campus internship. Projects explore marine or related problems using the scientific method. One conference and no less than five laboratory or field research hours per week. Prerequisites: A contract must be approved by the instructor and the department chair by the time of registration.
About the Program Leader
Dr. Erin Burge has been involved with the Jamaica coral reef ecology program since 2007. He has been a certified SCUBA diver since 1988 and completed over200 scientific dives in and around Discovery Bay. His research interests include environmental immunology, molecular physiology, and molecular biology of marine invertebrates and fishes. At Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Burge has participated in projects ranging from using underwater videos to study grouper populations, molecular tools to detect parasites, and evaluating ecological changes on Caribbean coral reefs.
Maymester/Short-Term Online Application
Be prepared to supply the following information at the time you apply:
- Statement of purpose (a Word document or PDF)
- An academic reference
- Copy of your transcript
- A health form and participation fitness certification
For More Information, Please Contact:
The Office of International Programs & Services
Ms. Lori Patterson, M.P.S.
Coordinator/Advisor, Study Abroad
843-349-2684 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Singleton Building 119