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January Term: UVA in St. Kitts and Nevis
Frigate Bay, Saint Kitts and Nevis; Oualie Beach, Saint Kitts and Nevis (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: January
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets January
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
January 2018 01-OCT-2017
10-OCT-2017 31-DEC-2017 12-JAN-2018

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, Graduate student Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Housing: Hotel Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Liz Wellbeloved
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Health and Human Services, Public Health
Program Description:

The participants in this course, held in the West Indies, will study the fundamentals of public health and disaster preparedness by exploring the public health infrastructure including existing preparedness for all hazards and emergency care in St. Kitts and Nevis.

This course may be of interest to any undergraduate or graudate student (all majors) and is an unparalleled opportunity to learn from UVA faculty, and St. Kitts Nursing and Medical School faculty and healthcare providers. The course integrates  students in a non-traditional learning environment within the community, and at health professions schools. The course will include assessment of planning, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery relating to all types of hazards. Students will also learn elements of basic life support, some elements of advanced cardiac and trauma life support, and personal safety and disaster preparedness tips. Upon completion of this course, students will be eligible for CPR and first aid certification. Participants will interact with high ranking health system officials from St. Kitts and Nevis.


2015 Participants

The course will also include field trips to the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS), and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. A highlight of the course will be a "disaster survival" scavenger hunt. Teams will compete to locate items most needed during a disaster.

Students will participate in a one day course at Alexandria Hospital in Nevis to include didactics and skills sessions and interaction with EMTs, nurses, physicians, administrators, and other healthcare professionals.

The faculty teaching the course have collective experience in public health and health care including emergency medicine, "all hazards" preparedness and response, disaster simulations, health impact assessment and program planning and evaluation.

Public Health Competencies

  • Discuss public health research done in the St. Kitts and Nevis communities and how programs and policies support individual and population health improvement.
  • Discuss the roles of history, power, privilege, and structural inequality in producing health disparities.
  • Discuss how professional ethics and practices relate to equity and accountability in diverse community settings.
  • Discuss public health strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the West Indies compared to the U. S.
  • Discuss social justice and human rights principles related to community needs.

Course Objectives

  • Learn the cultural nuances of health care in the West Indies while interacting with health system leaders and providers of care with ethnic backgrounds atypical to the US
  • Study fundamentals of emergency care and the infrastructure for disaster preparedness specifically as it relates to St Kitts and Nevis, two small countries vulnerable to natural disasters
  • Observe and interact with pre-hospital and hospital clinicians while also learning the fundamentals of emergency care and elements of basic life support
  • Contribute to a group report on St. Kitts and Nevis health care and disaster preparedness.
  • Interact with faculty and students who are enrolled in Nursing, Medicine, and Veterinary Schools in the offshore setting culturally and socially
  • Interact with and learn from nationally recognized UVA Health System faculty

Field Trips
The course will include field excursions to hospitals and community clinics, the rain forest, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the Botanical Gardens in Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor, which is the former home of the Carib Indians and once owned by Sam Jefferson, the great, great grandfather of Thomas Jefferson, and to a former slave trade center in Basseterre.


Dancers in annual late December Carnival

Students will be housed together at local hotels where morning and evening group discussions will take place.


West Indies Health Care: Disaster Preparedness,
St. Kitts and Nevis

(PHS 2810; 3 credits), or
West Indies Health Care: Disaster Preparedness,
St. Kitts and Nevis

(PHS 5810; 3 credits)

Course Information
This course is open to all UVA undergraduates, regardless of major. Public health sciences, global health and graduate nursing students may also apply.


J-Term_St Kitts_2010_students_on_mountain

Students on mountaintop looking toward Nevis
in distance

Program costs and payment schedule are listed in the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Health Information
Check the CDC website: St. Kitts & Nevis Health info

Program Director

Wendy Cohn, M.Ed., Ph.D.,, Is the Program Director for this course.  She is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Principal of Hereford Residential College and has taught conducted research in core areas of Public Health for over 15 years both locally and globally.  

Program Faculty
Kostas Alibertis, CCEMT-P Emergency Education and Response Coordinator in the Department of Emergency Services at the UVA Health System and member of the American Heart Association Educational Science and Programs Committee for Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Kostas has served as faculty for the St. Kitts & Nevis J-term course since its inception in 2008 and will provide direct instruction in emergency care, cultural nuances, and disaster management.

Various UVA Emergency Department faculty will contribute to the course both in course development and on-site in St. Kitts.


UVA_JTerm_2015 Students_01

2015 Participants

This program is currently not accepting applications.