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 is a huge, internationally known cultural event involving musicians and artists from the entire Caribbean region that will be gearing up during summer season.

Weekend Travel Opportunities

Very short flight to other Caribbean islands with vastly different histories and cultural norms than Barbados.

  • 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