The History Major, Study Abroad, and the Barbados Program

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta, c. 1365

Study abroad is an experience which can deepen your historical understanding and perspective. It can also be a transformative, enriching experience which contributes greatly to personal growth.

The study abroad program in Barbados, which is supported from within the history department, offers six upper-division credits which may be distributed between HIST, AFAM, ENGL, ANTH, and POLI.

Students who are interested in study abroad programs should visit VCU's Global Education Office to explore program options. History majors who are interested in study abroad are encouraged to visit history’s advisor, Ryan O'Hallahan, to discuss how program credits would apply to their particular goals and needs.

Barbados: Atlantic History and Culture Summer Study Abroad

Summer 2021 Program Dates: Cancelled due to COVID-19

Registration Deadline: n/a

The program highlights the historical and cultural heritage of the Caribbean at a festive time in Barbados (the Crop Over Festival), when the island is in the midst of celebrating its African cultural traditions through music and dance. Lectures will be held at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies, giving students the chance to engage not only with Barbadian culture, but with a new and different university environment.

Through lectures and field visits led by faculty members, students will explore the evolution and development of Caribbean societies from around the 15th century to the present, as well as the responses of Caribbean peoples to forces that have shaped their lives. This exploration will include, but not be limited to, the following: plantation slavery, gender, language, migration, education, religion, race, identity, sports, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, the Kadooment Day celebration, and cuisine. The Barbados program is designed to give students, with or without a background in Caribbean studies, an authentic, stimulating and memorable Caribbean experience. It will appeal to broad-minded individuals who are open to ethnic and cultural diversity. Participants will gain a greater appreciation of the history and culture of the Caribbean, and the significance and uniqueness of Barbados in particular.

Credit options: Students in the Barbados program are required to enroll in 6 credits, which will be distributed according to student preference among the following options:

  • AFAM 491 Caribbean Perspectives on the African Diaspora (3 credits)
  • ANTH 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
  • ENGL 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
  • HIST 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)
  • HIST 391 The Atlantic Slave Trade (3 credits)
  • POLI 391 Caribbean History and Culture (3 credits)

Program Director: Bernard Moitt, Ph.D., Professor of History, Virignia Commonwealth University. Professor Moitt has been directing the Barbados program for more than twenty years. Born and raised in Antigua, his expertise in Atlantic history is recognized globally. He specializes in the histories and literatures of Africa and the Caribbean. He may be reached at

For more information and to apply, please visit the Global Education Office website.