Jamaica Cultural Immersion Program

30 years and counting…

Since the program began in 1988, more than 375 Hollins students have studied abroad in Jamaican culture to complete service projects.


Local Jamaican school visited by Hollins students studying abroad.

Hollins organizes a mini Peace Corps project to an impoverished community in Jamaica. The service project takes place in Lucea in Hanover Parish on the Northwest Coast of Jamaica.

You’ll work on a variety of community-based projects. These range from teaching in local schools to working with the local infirmary, to refurbishing community buildings. You also work with children in a recreational capacity.

There’s no better way to experience a culture than living through it. That’s why you’ll live with local families, share their lives, and walk to the various projects within the community.

You’ll also participate in seminars and lectures by local community members that cover the sociological, political and educational structure of Jamaica and the Third World.

Jamaica Cultural Immersion ProgramAdventures include a trip to a nearby rainforest, as well as other scenic areas of the island.

Before leaving campus, students studying abroad in Jamaica take part in an intensive orientation class. This is designed to fully prepare them for the culture differences with confidence and ease.

Diana ForondaThe Jamaica Cultural Immersion Program, or JCIP, provides an opportunity for Hollins students to become involved with the community of Lucea, learning to be a team member of your group, and coming to a deeper understanding the beauty of Jamaica. I prepared for my trip to Lucea by attending lectures on Jamaica and volunteering at community-based learning agencies located in Roanoke. While in Lucea, I taught junior high students American Sign Language. I highly recommend the program to anyone who loves volunteering and wants a rewarding and unique abroad experience.

— Diana Foronda

Pavithra Suresh

I have trouble finding words to describe how incredible the Jamaica Service Project was. For me, despite the yearlong internship leading up to the trip, it was utterly life changing. I felt so embraced by the community of Lucea. It truly confirmed my future plans to work in international policy and communication.

— Pavithra Suresh

How to Apply

In early fall, Hollins holds an information session about the service project. This will be your opportunity to meet with the director of the program and ask questions. Written materials and applications will be available at the meeting.

You will also sign up for an individual interview with the director for a selection process. If you aren’t able to attend the information session, contact the director to schedule a meeting and proceed with the application process.

No previous experience is required. However, you must have an open mind, a willingness to work hard, and a desire to learn about a new culture from the inside.


The program is open to qualified Hollins students in all classes and disciplines. The annual trip occurs during spring break. We’re committed to keeping fees low for this program. Scholarships are available.