Along with the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands encompass a small archipelago of overseas territories in the south Caribbean Sea. International students who aspire to study abroad in the British Virgin Islands can expect to engage their academic pursuits amidst the backdrop of a laidback tropical environment which offers immense natural beauty and tons of adventure travel opportunities. With tourism accounting for nearly half of the local economic production, this is a great place to combine your academic work with more than a little bit of fun.
The British Virgin Islands consist of an archipelago of sixty Caribbean islands. The several largest of these are home to the majority of the territory’s 28,000 citizens, living in small towns and villages, while most of the smaller islands sprawled across the seascape remain uninhabited. The British Virgin Islands lay just a few miles due east of the US Virgin Islands and are bordered to the north by the Atlantic ocean.
The largest of the British Virgin Islands is Tortola, which is only 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. Tortola is home to over 80% of the local population, making it by far the most popular destination where to study abroad in the British Virgin Islands. Road Town, the capital and largest settlement in the territories, is also located on Tortola. H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, the country’s sole institution of higher education, is situated on the main island as well.
Other destinations where you can potentially study abroad in the British Virgin Islands include the other “major” islands of Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada. These islands all have very small populations, but nevertheless feature opportunities to study abroad within a variety of specialty programs.
Subjects & Courses
Because the British Virgin Islands are such a small territory with just one community college, the academic opportunities available there are somewhat slim for international students. Many locals actually opt to study abroad themselves, going to places like the US or the UK for higher education purposes. Nevertheless, there are some niche programs which can offer you the opportunity to explore life in this beautiful tropical region while you study abroad in the British Virgin Islands.
For example students of subjects such as Marine Biology, Ecology, and Conservation can find study abroad programs in the British Virgin Islands which will enable them to gain hands on experience researching local ecosystems in the Caribbean. Another possible route you can go is embarking on a semester at sea, many of which stop off at the British Virgin Islands as one destination within a larger study abroad route.
You can generally choose to study abroad in the British Virgin Islands over the summer or during a single semester of the school year. While many students want to continue their degree track abroad, this does not necessarily have to be the case in a place like the British Virgin Islands. Take the time off to explore a localized academic area that excites you!
Scholarships & Costs
Somewhat contradictingly, the British Virgin Islands actually use the United States dollar as local currency. Because it is such a popular tourism destination, life isn’t exactly cheap here either; many costs of living are comparable to the mainland. If affordability is a concern, check out our Scholarship Directory to learn about potential financial aid opportunities which can help you cover the costs.
Accommodation & Visas
You may face one of a few different housing situations while you study abroad in the British Virgin Islands. Homestays are sometimes available depending on what type of program you are enrolled in, while group living situations with other international students are another common option. The British Virgin Islands are a fairly wealthy territory, so local living standards are high in comparison to many other Caribbean nations.
International students travelling from England or the EU will typically not have to apply for a visa in order to study abroad in the British Virgin Islands. Those coming from other countries may have to apply depending on the duration of their stay; you can check out our Embassy Directory for more information about what type of documentation you might need.
Benefits & Challenges
Regional History. The Caribbean islands have a fascinating history that is overlooked in most textbooks around the world. Studying abroad in the British Virgin Islands is your gateway to learning all about this complex region.
Work, Play. The British Virgin Islands are a great destination for students who want to have some fun in addition to their studies abroad. Prepare yourself for a beautiful tropical getaway.
Reflection. The British Virgin Islands are a very low key destination where to study abroad. With a population of just 28,000 people spread out among the archipelago, you will have plenty of time to focus on your studies and on your self.