Initially West Indies was looked at primarily as a vacation destination, with its sandy beaches and picturesque locales. But over time, it has gained a reputation for offering some of the most popular courses. These courses are offered at par with international standards and that too at only 70% of the cost of universities elsewhere.
West Indies is steeped in a complex and rich history – from slavery and colonization, to the disappearance of indigenous populations, and the current culture that blends all of its previous histories and backgrounds into one.
The Caribbean makes for a very good destination to pursue higher education to study political science, anthropology, linguistics, and environmental and agricultural sciences as these are hot topics that are always a point of conversation on these islands. Also, linguistically, there is a diverse mix of languages spoken such as French, Dutch, and Spanish.
A large group of islands, the West Indies is comprised of 15 English speaking countries situated along the partition between The Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Popularly known as The Caribbean, the island territories have their roster of tourist attractions and a cultural heritage steeped in music and dance.
In fact, tourism in the West Indies contributes to a large chunk of their economy, with over 25 million visitors flocking to the islands to witness cultural and scenic attractions, the lush beaches, and the diverse species of flora and fauna in the forests, and the blue coastal seas with marine life.
Despite their ancestral diversity, the island countries have parallel cultures, as they all share a history of being plantation colonies. Their languages and culture are heavily influenced by African, American, and Asian influences. All the islands are known to collectively engage in festivals, fairs, dances, and carnivals, which are celebrated with grandeur, and attract tourists to visit these places.
Some notable cultural influences that have made a global footprint is reggae music, which originated in Jamaica, Spanish influenced music and the carnival, which is celebrated widely in the days leading up to Lent. The local residents of the West Indies are warm and cordial and make tourists and students feel welcome, which makes it easy for them to adapt comfortably. For food lovers, there are plenty of local varieties. Seafood, vegetarian food, fast food, you name it, they got it. The standout dishes in the West Indies cuisine are Jerk, which is a spicy and dry rub applied to properly roasted meat, and Pepperpot, which is a rich stew that is made from the rich yearns grown locally and added meat like beef, which is optional.
Since their economy has grown over the years, a lot of money has been invested in educational institutions to meet global standards. Most of these universities are ranked high in the global charts and has faculty visiting from all over the world.
Despite the cultural diversity in the West Indies, the medium of instruction is commonly English, which explains the high influx of international students annually.
The Universities continue to see an increase in the growth of a number of international students enrolling, which can be attributed in part to the excellent quality and reputation of the streams provided, which are listed below:
Most of these universities are accredited and universally recognized; one can take their pick from this list of prestigious universities in the West Indies:
MBBS in West Indies is among the most popular choices among aspirants across the globe. With many of their medical schools listed in the International medical education directory, West Indies has become a preferred location to pursue medical studies. While medical schools offer the same curriculum as that of the U.S, there is less competition and it is more feasible. In addition to this, there is a central focus on assisting students in passing the United States Medical Licensing Exam in order to advance their employment opportunities, on their way to becoming successful certified physicians.
Most of these universities also send students on clinical rotations in their third and fourth year to affiliated universities in the US and Canada.
Agriculture and Forestry
Agriculture and environmental sciences have a lot of scope in the West Indies, both academically and professionally. This course places heightened importance on covering a wide range of science and technology-oriented subjects like animal science, horticulture, agronomy and more to open a window of opportunities for students to explore.
The BSc. Electronics Engineering is a 3-year program with advanced experience in the streams of Maths and Physics that follow the Cambridge curriculum requirements. The program is structured so that during the first-year students are exposed to foundation courses in engineering physics, computer science, and mathematics, along with introductory courses in electronics and electrical circuits.
Eligibility Criteria for Universities
The eligibility criteria vary from institution to institution but there are some common requirements for International students that remain common, which are as follows:
There are many regions in the West Indian Islands to study; however, the following Visa Application Rules are applicable for all the islands.
The application form must be completed in full and signed, and must be accompanied by:
Most colleges follow a standardized format these days of applying with the scanned document of study for the course online. In contrast to colleges from the US, many universities in the West Indies offer rolling admissions, wherein students are screened and given admission two-three times a year, mostly in January, May, and September. This process requires the following documents:
The fee structure for universities in the West Indies is only 70% of universities in the US, UK or Canada. There might be slight variations in this, as some medical schools cost almost as much as in the US, but other courses are definitely much more feasible.
There is a wide roster of choices when it comes to accommodation and at much cheaper rates too. Universities offer on-campus accommodations, and since the cost of living isn’t steep, there are several housing options available off-campus for international students, since there has been a swift increase in international students applying to study in the West Indies.
The Universities in West Indian are keen on providing financial aid and opportunities to students from abroad and is equally passionate about providing a platform for students who have directly or indirectly contributed to the West Indian community. Some of the prestigious scholarships are as follows:
Fitzroy and Mildred Parkinson memorial scholarship
The Fitzroy and Mildred Parkinson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior of West Indian heritage graduating from an accredited high school abroad who demonstrates an acute commitment to the community through service and education. This is a full scholarship for the student that comes with additional benefits.
Keith L. Carr, Sr. Technical and Vocational Scholarship
The Keith L. Carr, Sr. Technical & Vocational Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school graduate who will pursue continued studies in a technical or vocational trade (e.g. electrician, advanced manufacturing, computer tech). The students are required to have a GED and a GPA of 2.5 and above to be eligible for this scholarship.
Marcus Garvey Scholarship
The Marcus Garvey Scholarship is awarded to a deserving high school senior of West Indian heritage graduating from an accredited high school who demonstrates an acute commitment to the community and civic engagement. The focus of this scholarship is on the extracurricular activities and acts of kindness rather than the marks.
West Indian Migrant Farm Worker’s Memorial Scholarship
This objective of this scholarship is to give opportunities for a student who is directly a descendant of a migrant West Indian farm worker. The student should be deserving candidate, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and will receive a full scholarship covering their accommodation expenses.
Since the surge in trade and commerce, a lot of positions have opened up in all lines of work. The Economy is at an all-time high, with excellent academic facilities that meet global standards. Job opportunities in the West Indies are enough and more, especially in humanities courses and agriculture sciences. In addition to that, most of the institutes in the West Indies come with a yardstick for quality and globally recognized accreditation, be it a degree in medicine or psychology. Some of the esteemed institutes also have multiple campuses across islands, so not only does the degree come with the experience, but with the additional traveling exposure.
Since the influx of international students has increased considerably, the reputation of West Indian universities have become widely recognized not just academically, but culturally. Not only do students find it easier to get employment in other countries, but they are also given good pay packages for the same. Students who work hard at earning their degrees, and maintain a decent GPA should face no hassle with employment either in the West Indies or abroad.
Ans. No. While the West Indians have several dialects across islands influenced by African and Asian languages, the common medium of instruction is still English, so there won’t be any academic complications with regards to language.
Ans. Yes, there are several Indian students pursuing their higher education in West Indies. At least 25% of the students are from abroad so there will be a healthy mix of students from different cultures.
Ans. There are several scholarships available, including specific scholarships targeted at students coming from a certain country. In addition to that, the internships are very well regarded and have affiliations with other universities, which offer more opportunities to travel and add weightage to your resume.
Ans. There is a standard requirement to be 17 or above for pursuing undergraduate courses. However, for Masters Degrees and for Postgraduates, as long as academic prerequisites are fulfilled, the student will be considered eligible for the course.
Ans. Since there is a large influx of international students, the chances of students getting to meet others from their homeland are pretty high. Other than that, there are so many chances to explore cuisines, cultures and tourist spots in their free time, and watch the merging of different cultures during festivals. All this helps enrich the life of students by providing them with a wholesome academic experience.
Ans. Yes, there are. Due to the various opportunities the West Indies education provides, it has caught the eyes of the general Indian populace, and there are over 50,000 Indian students studying in West Indies.
Ans. There are direct flights to reach the Caribbean through almost every continent. Moreover, you can go to Miami which is in close vicinity to the West Indies, and catch either a direct flight, or a ferry.
Ans. You can easily connect with your home country or any other country in the world through ISD, letters, mails, package delivery services, etc. West Indies has all the facilities, and is also a country with one of the fastest average internet speeds in the whole Caribbean.
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