Studying Abroad on the Island of Martinique
North Wales may have Snowdonia, but I am doubting students are being served shark and octopus in Bangor. Studying abroad for a semester in the Caribbean, new and unusual food has become the norm for my stay on the Island of Martinique. I spend my Monday afternoons surfing and body-boarding on the Atlantic Coast and Fridays wake-boarding and Kayaking in the Caribbean Sea. Yes, my university here includes surfing and kayaking as actual classes.
Summer lives on here throughout the seasons, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of time on the beach, but can you blame me when I’m on a Caribbean Island? My weekends are filled with trips out kayaking, snorkeling with exotic fish, and swimming through waterfalls. Though, being from Wales, I still haven’t gotten used to the 30+ degree weather, and sincerely regret the insufficient use of sunscreen on long days out.
Martinique is absolutely beautiful, but its not without culture shock like any new place you would study abroad. There is still the first stressful week when you’re desperately trying to find your feet in a foreign place and work through all of the paperwork and timetables of a new university. And then just when you thought it couldn’t get harder, you find out they don’t have tea, nor do the locals know the difference between England and Wales.
Still, the new environment has been an amazing experience for me. The culture and lifestyles of people here never would have been experienced fully by just reading about it at Bangor. As a French and Spanish student, I’m getting to expand my languages by studying Creole; a language spoken on most of the Islands in the Caribbean. So between the tropical fish, sun-soaked days and adventure filled weekends, the Caribbean is much more than just treasure hunting for Jack Sparrow while he sails the high seas. If you want to experience a unique new life for a year abroad, why not try out the Caribbean?