University Honors College - The Honorable mention
Tuesday
07/11/17

Winter Study Abroad Opportunity to Jamaica for Health-Related Fields

Posted by Tim on July 11, 2017 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Study Abroad, Winter Session

Behavior Driven Disease: A Global Epidemic Study Abroad: Mona, Jamaica (near Kingston)

Term Year                                            Dates

Winter Session 2018               Begin: 1/4/2018     End: 1/20/2018

Program Description

This experiential learning program will enable students in health related fields to compare obesity prevalence (and accompanying behavior-driven disease) between a culture they would typically not know (Jamaica) and our culture in the United States. Students will spend 3 days in Buffalo reviewing and discussing basic concepts and theories. The group will then travel to The University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica and spend 13 days traveling to different sites around the island, observing and interacting with the population.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM

The course is an intensive 3-credit elective that will allow student participants to explore how lifestyle choices related to food intake and physical activity levels are linked to obesity from 2 perspectives – the United States and Jamaica.  The U.S. has one of the highest obesity rates in the world – approximately 37% of the adult population is obese. Jamaica’s rate is about half that, standing at 20%.

The primary objective is to have the students identify and describe factors that contribute to the lower prevalence in Jamaica. To satisfy this objective, students will attend classroom sessions before departure to learn how the divergence of cultural and biologic evolution has created an environment of abundance and comfort, leading to widespread overconsumption of food and physical inactivity. In Jamaica, participants will interact with faculty and students in health-related disciplines at UWI, will explore markets and farms in the area to determine the availability and cost of fresh food, and will visit various restaurants and other food outlets to assess nutritional value of prepared food. Through observation, immersion, and survey, students will explore daily physical activity patterns among individuals in different settings – city, village/town, and rural – to make comparisons and analyze results. Students will also engage and interact with obesity practitioners and patients during visits to community health centers and clinics.

A secondary objective is to have students use information they gather to explore mechanisms through which physical inactivity and poor nutrition are linked to high risk for contracting heart disease and diabetes and how adopting an active lifestyle and better eating habits can reduce risk, increase quality of life and delay the onset of debilitating illness later in life.

ACCOMMODATION

For most of the program, students will stay in dormitories at the University of the West Indies. While in Port Maria, the group will stay in a hostel arranged by the program.

ESTIMATED COST

Estimated cost for this program is in the range $3800 – $4100. Includes tuition (3 credits), air fare, accommodation in Jamaica, meals and transportation to and from the Kingston airport and to different sites around the island. Any personal expenses (souvenirs etc) need to be added to the final cost.

TO REVIEW THE SYLLABUS

Contact the Faculty Program Advisor:

Dr. Harold Burton hburton@buffalo.edu