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  • Locations: Mona, Jamaica
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: UB applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2018 10/01/2017
Rolling Admission 01/04/2018 01/20/2018
NOTE: The program will start with instruction at UB from Thursday, January 4, 2018 - Saturday, January 6, 2018. Program participants will depart the US on Sunday, January 7, 2018 and return on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Open to: UB students only Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Eligibility: Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Area of Study: Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Exercise Science, Health and Human Services, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Public Health Term: Winter
Program Advisor: Olga Crombie Credits: 3
Global Pathway UB Areas: Civilization and History
Program Description:

Behavior Driven Disease: A Global Epidemic

Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. It was a Spanish colony from 1494 to 1655, then under British rule from 1655 to 1962. Its history is rich and vibrant and is influenced greatly by a mix of different cultures – West African, British, Asian, and East Indian. This led to the creation of the national motto; “Out of many people we are one.” Jamaica still reflects its British heritage – the official language is English, although a local dialect called patois (a combination of many different languages) is quite common. The University of the West Indies, is located in the northern suburbs of Kingston, and was built on the grounds of two 300 year-old sugar plantations. Many remnants of stone buildings, aqueducts and other artifacts from this time period still exist.
ES 210 is intended for undergraduate students enrolled in any pre-health degree program, pre-med, pre-physical therapy, biological and biomedical sciences, exercise science, public health, health and human services, nursing, and occupational therapy majors. In addition, this course satisfies the UB Curriculum Global Pathway requirement for the Civilization and History UB Area.

This experiential learning program will enable students 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.

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.

Please refer to the ES 210: Behavior Driven Disease - A Global Epidemic Tentative Syllabus. In addition, please read the Jamaica Winter 2018 Study Abroad Program Guide for more  information and note that this will be made available to students accepted to the program through the online application system.
For most of the program, students will stay in dormitories at the University of the West Indies. There will also be a single overnight stay away from the campus on the north coast of the island.
Estimated costs for this program can be found at the top of this page next to Budget Sheets by clicking on Winter. 

UB students are encouraged to apply for study abroad scholarships. To learn more about the scholarships available to UB students, please visit our scholarships page.
Please contact the Faculty Program Director:

Dr. Harold Burton

This program is currently not accepting applications.