Wang Center for Global EducationStudent Opportunities

Study Abroad in Trinidad & Tobago

Nestled at the end of the southern Caribbean’s glittering chain, are the two lush tropical islands (one nation) of Trinidad and Tobago. Immerse yourself in the rhythms, festivals, and traditions of this complex Caribbean society. The people and customs of Trinidad and Tobago emerge from a rich tapestry of race, religion, class, and culture; from various blends of the indigenous Amerindians, of Africans, East Indians, Spanish, French, British, Chinese, Syrian, among others.

Vibrant and colorful, Trinidad and Tobago’s celebratory culture will reveal the strong humanity that seeks to bind its different peoples to a shared future where – as their anthem declares – “every creed and race find an equal place.”

Space still available for the 2015 Program! Read more under "Apply"

flickr video


Focus: Anthropology, Art, Community Development, Dance, Global Studies, Environment, Music, Religion, Social Work, Women & Gender Studies.

Electives available in: history, business, economics, psychology, religion, the environment, biology, engineering, sociology, gender studies, music, literature, math, political science, art and more.

Classes are taught by PLU faculty, local experts and at the University of West Indies, St. Augustine (UWI). As Trinidad & Tobago is an English-speaking nation, all courses are taught in English. To provide an introduction to the culture and society, all students are required to take a set of three core classes equaling 12 credits. Students then choose from a variety of elective courses to complete a total of up to 18 semester credit hours.

Required Courses

J-Term course: topic varies, taught by PLU faculty (4 credits)
HIST 350: Caribbean Culture and Society (4)
COOP 350: Living & Learning in Trinidad & Tobago (4)


2 UWI courses (3-4 credits each*)

Search for courses under Faculty booklets

*A 3-credit UWI course can fulfill a 4-credit PLU course, with appropriate approval.

Course Descriptions

Spring 2015*: RELI 231: Myth, Ritual and Symbol (4 credits) - RG

PLU Associate Professor Suzanne Crawford O'Brien

HIST 350: Caribbean Culture and Society (4 credits)

This course integrates all facets of the program through your experience in the culture and it surveys contemporary Trinidad and Tobago society, exploring the rich diversity that stems from its colonial legacy. This course begins upon arrival and is coordinated by a UWI professor of history who is assisted by an academic and a cultural assistant. Course topics include the significance of Carnival and other festivals, gender and ethnic relations, parliamentary democracy and politics, environmental challenges, religious syncretism, and Caribbean music and dance.

The course includes a field study experiences.

COOP 350: Living and Learning in Trinidad and Tobago (4 credits)

A Community-based education experience complemented with a series of discussions, readings, and activities which provide context for the living and learning experience. The students’ community service grants intimate access into the local community and provides a reciprocal opportunity for both students and the community to learn from one another. Previous student placements include assisting at elementary schools, orphanages, animal humane shelters, museums, clinics, the school for the deaf, among many others.

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU's Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

*The Spring 2016 program will offer a literature course related to Caribbean Short Stories.

Study Tours

Orientation Study Tour - Port of Spain and Tunapuna

Tobago - One week on the smaller of the two islands

Carnival - Multiple performances and celebrations leading up to and during Carnival

Homestay - Spend a weekend with a local family

Environmental Study Tours - Varied nature study tours

Caribbean Lodge

The Lodge is an attractive, secure student guesthouse with wireless internet access, and is only a five-minute walk from the beautiful campus of the University of the West Indies. The huge spreading trees and swimming pool on campus grant welcome relief on particularly warm days. The monthly meal stipend allows you to prepare your own food in order to live as the locals do.

Spring Semester

Early January to mid-May

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for one semester covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, and visa fees). Financial aid applies.

Out-of-pocket expenses

Roundtrip air travel, personal excursions, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

Global Scholar Award

All PLU Gateway & Featured Programs are Global Scholar Award eligible. This need-based award can cover out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 on PLU Gateway and Featured semester programs.

For non-PLU students, please check with your home institution or sponsoring study abroad organization on program cost.

Contact Us

Barbara Temple-Thurston
Professor of English
Director, Trinidad & Tobago Program

Tanya Ulsted
Study Away Coordinator & Gateway Programs Manager


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 2.7 or higher G.P.A. (3.0 preferred). Must be a student in good standing. No previous language  required; English-speaking nation.

Application Deadlines

As space permits we will continue to accept applications for the Spring 2015 program until September 30, 2014. Use the semester application under Docs & Forms.

Completed application materials are due to the Wang Center by March 13, 2015 for Spring 2016 program. A $50 non-refundable deposit is due with the application. A $250 non-refundable program payment to confirm participation is required within 10 days of acceptance.

Application Components

  • Typed and signed application form
  • Short essays
  • 2 recommendation forms (1 faculty, 1 professional)
  • Copy of passport ID page
  • Application fee

Note: Applications for Spring 2016 will be available in January 2015
Program Highlights
  • Spring Semester program

  • English-speaking Caribbean nation

  • Multiple Study Tours

  • Flexible university coursework

  • On-site support