Photograph: View of ocean from Barbados.

About Barbados

Washburn Law's Summer Study Abroad Program is located at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill on Barbados.

The Country

  • Easternmost Caribbean island
  • 166 square miles, 8 miles wide, 21 miles long
  • Population of 280,000 residents
  • Lowest crime rates in the Caribbean
  • Mild climate
    • No hotter than 85, no cooler than 75 (although high humidity causes temperatures to feel warmer)
    • Outside the hurricane belt
  • Reliable and cheap public transportation: $1.00 USD for a bus ride
  • Very diverse geography
    • Beaches
    • Extensive limestone cave system
    • Wildlife preserve
    • Rain shadow lush tropical areas

Government Structure

  • A British territory until 1966 when it became independent
  • Officially considered a constitutional monarchy
  • Still has a Governor General
  • Judicial system in transition
  • In 2005, the Privy Council was replaced by the Caribbean Court of Justice as the court of last resort

Cultural Events

  • Crop Over Festival internationally known cultural event involving musicians and artists from the entire Caribbean region. It takes place June through August.

Weekend Travel Opportunities

Just a short flight away, those with some means to travel can explore other Caribbean islands with vastly different histories and cultural norms than Barbados, for example:

  • Grenada
    • Site of US invasion in 1983
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Undeveloped Caribbean island with strong population of original Caribbean people, the Carib Indians
  • St. Lucia
    • Small volcanic island with a sophisticated tourism base
  • Dominica
    • Small, very undeveloped, mountainous island, known as the Eden of the Caribbean
    • Leading player in sustainable development models and ecotourism
    • International programs for sea turtle and marine life conservation
  • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Developed and sophisticated Caribbean island
    • Oil and gas reserves and refining and petroleum engineering school
    • 7 miles from South America and contains flora and fauna of both the island and the South American continent
    • Extremely ethnically and culturally diverse country
    • 1980 square miles and population of 1.2 million
  • Guyana on the South American mainland

See Barbados in the CIA World Factbook for more information.

Photograph: Ian Tomasic.
"Barbados was one of the best experiences of my life. I've travelled abroad before but I had never "lived" in a foreign country for an extended period of time. It was more fun and more culturally eye-opening than I ever could have imagined. I would go back in a heartbeat." - Ian Tomasic, Washburn Law Student