Check yourself before you wreck yourself; don’t let superstition ruin your next adventure. Bermuda is notorious for sucking in hapless ships and planes, and now, it is after you! Be swept away by the soul soothing simplicity of island life and trade in your top bunk for a hammock. Studying abroad in Bermuda will be so rewarding and engaging that you won’t even have to blame the Bermuda triangle for eating your homework.
Bermuda only takes up a scant 20 square miles of the world, but it makes the most out of every inch it’s got (a lesson we could all learn from). The island is divided into nine parishes that are as close as wet is to water. No matter where you are on the island, getting to the next place is just a hop, skip, and a jump away!
St. George’s is home to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and hosts most of the study abroad programs in Bermuda. When a study break beckons, head over to Tobacco Bay, which is bursting with a kaleidoscopic array of fish and coral reefs. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a seat at one of the seaside cafés and enjoy a nice plate of shark hash for brunch. Afterwards, feast on the scenery as you walk the streets lined with picturesque architecture, pastel bungalows, and some of the most expensive homes on the island. Be sure to keep an eye out for their celeb owners!
To get to your next stop, take a ride on a reliable, air-conditioned bus (no joke!) or rent a moped and let the wind whip through your hair all the way to Southampton. Here you can experience the raw beauty of Horseshoe Bay, which ranks as one of the best beaches in the world. Soft pink sands serve as a welcoming doormat into the pristine blue waters where snorkeling is a must. Afterwards, let the warm sun and breeze dry your hair on a beach hike through the coves and secluded pockets along the flawless shoreline.
In Hamilton, experience one of Bermuda’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions; travel 120 feet below the earth's surface and explore the subterranean lakes and passageways of the Crystal Caves. You’ll see chandelier clusters, stalactites, soda straws, and other mesmerizing limestone formations. You can even rent a kayak here to get the real deal experience. Once you’ve had a tactical beach nap, take advantage of the city’s nightlife. Hit the town and dance the night away!
Study Abroad Programs in Bermuda
Bermuda’s stunning natural beauty was the first to be protected by environmental laws, and locals intend to keep it that way. Like most island nations, the vast majority of study abroad programs in Bermuda are environmentally oriented.
Bermuda’s coral reefs provide a spectacular underwater classroom where students can experiment and study ecology to become the next generation of coral reef scientists and stewards. Coral reefs currently face a litany of stressors, including warming waters, ocean acidification, and nutrient pollution. As the future of these reefs hangs in the balance of human actions and climate change, some of their most colorful and charismatic denizens face loss of habitat. Students can battle this by learning scientific classification on shore and then applying their new skills out in the field while studying in Bermuda.
In marine biology programs, students are provided with a comprehensive multi-“porpoise” introduction to the field. Students can even study marine biology in Bermuda upon a research vessel, fully participating in research activities.
Courses in Bermuda are generally taught in “Bermudian English,” which to Americans sounds slightly British, while the British find it more American. It is totally up to you if you study abroad in Bermuda for a few weeks during the summer or Christmas break, or dive into a whole semester of courses.
Scholarships & Costs
There is no need to convert your spending money upon arrival if you are coming from the U.S. because the Bermudian Dollar is linked one-to-one with the U.S. Dollar. However, while your Franklins and Washingtons might look the same, their value changes, so spend with caution!
Bermuda has a steep import tax and almost all goods sold on the island carry a significant markup. The good news is you will be too busy embracing the simple, island life and soaking up the beautiful solitude while studying in Bermuda to be out and about spending all your moola. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that the cost of living is four times as high as in the U.S; in fact, Bermuda is the third most-expensive country in the world. Budget meals are around $30, a 300mL bottle of coke is $3.50, coffee is $6 a cup, and you won’t find a pint of beer under $10. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life while studying abroad in Bermuda!
Study abroad programs in Bermuda typically charge students a set amount of upfront program fees. What’s included in your study abroad program will vary from program to program, but most cover tuition, room and board, and, of course, a new lease on life. Training, such as PADI certifications, vaccinations, and flights are usually left up to each student to arrange and pay for.
Accommodation & Visas
Have you ever experienced a refreshing slumber with the cool, ocean breeze and the therapeutic sound of waves brushing the shore outside your window? No, it doesn’t count if it came from a machine in your apartment.
Accommodation for students who study abroad in Bermuda is usually provided in guesthouses or dormitories. The compactness of the island ensures that if you can’t see the ocean from your window, you can hear it. This type of environment, with multiple students often sharing sleeping and dining quarters, will nourish a community among your fellow study abroaders who you will not only share experiences with, but also move together toward a common goal with. If you are offered the opportunity to stay with a homestay family, grab it; this is a great way to be adopted into a new family, learn local customs, and eat a lot of scrumptious meals under palapa huts.
Most study abroad programs in Bermuda provide adequate housing options with living conditions that are above-par in comparison to the remoteness of the island. Despite being an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is actually a developed country, and most Western luxuries, such as hot water, AC, and Wi-Fi, won’t be that hard to come by. But, it also wouldn’t hurt to inspect your bed sheets before climbing in.
More good news! If you are a resident of the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, you do not require any kind of visa to enter Bermuda, regardless of whether you are a student, tourist, or shipwreck survivor. You are all set to study abroad in Bermuda once you have a valid passport and return ticket, if you are from any of the latter countries. However, residents of other countries will be required to obtain a multiple entry transit visa. Check out GoAbroad’s Bermudian Embassy Directory for more information on visas and requirements.
Benefits & Challenges
At this stage of your life, you are most likely young and unattached, so embrace it. When you are studying in Bermuda, a controlled and secluded environment, it is easier to live in the present, detach from screens, and adjust your eyes to the world around you. Remember that technology will give you tools, but it does nothing to provoke your curiosity and creativity.
In Bermuda, respect is not optional; it is considered more than good manners to greet someone with a friendly "good morning" or "good afternoon," and to do the same when leaving. It is also considered rude and abrupt to ask a question or make a statement without first greeting someone. Watch the profound aftereffects unfold before you as respect infiltrates your heart and moves to the forefront of your priority docket while studying abroad in Bermuda.
Choosing to study abroad in Bermuda will remove you from your normal support network that you are accustomed to back home. While, on the one hand, being away from friends and family can seem daunting, it is also a chance for you to hone your skills and gain some independence. Whether it’s doing your own laundry or buying groceries, you will learn to take responsibility for your actions and needs. When you return home, your increased independence will be very useful, to say the least.
A life of comfort and complacency may appear to offer peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit. Break the college norms, strap on your Bermuda shorts, and experience the joy of life that flows freely from new experiences by studying abroad in Bermuda.