Current Trip Cost:
This is the current breakdown for the cost of the trip. We do our best to keep prices low, and if we do not use the full funds for the trip you will get a refund when you return home.
Lodging: We will be staying at several resorts and research stations throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Your stay at each one of these resorts is covered in your fees.
The Pax Guest House is our first home on the island. It is located in the mountains of Mt. St. Benedict, and features hiking trails through protected lands. The owners will be on hand for tours of the area and guided hikes to observe the common flora and fauna of the region.
Jammev Beach Resort in Toco is our home for most of the trip. This resort is on the northeastern edge of the island, and is about a 20 minute walk from the beach. We take over the main residence building, which has various rooms, shared bathrooms, and several common areas. The resort itself spans acres of managed and unmanaged lands which allow us to spread out and research whatever we wish. The resort also has a pool and hammocks on site for afternoon relaxation.
Cholson Chalets will be our home on Tobago while we visit the island. These beachfront apartments are 20 feet from the ocean, and right at the center of main street Charlotteville. Each apartment has a kitchen and private bath. The apartments are within walking distance of a small grocery store and a lovely ice cream shack.
All transportation while in Trinidad and Tobago is covered by your fees. This includes the bus transport from the Port of Spain airport to the Pax Guest House; the bus from the Pax Guest house to Jammev Beach Resort; any transportation to and from excursions; a small rental car for small group outings and emergencies (driven by professors); and the flight from Trinidad to Tobago.
Once we reach the island, you will be provided three good meals every day. The Pax Guest House specializes in gourmet food from breakfast through dinner, and will serve you on their award winning terrace. Jammev Beach Resort has a staff of trained local chefs on hand who will give you a tour of Trinidad cuisine every day. While on the island of Tobago your food will be provided by a local chef who grows most of the fruit and vegetables she serves. Meals are taken in an open-air restaurant close to the beach.
Meals not included in program fee:
If you wish to have food outside of the provided meals, snacks when we go on excursions, or food at the airport, you will need to pay for this yourself. We make sure you have plenty of food for the trip (three meals every day while on the island), but sometimes you just want to try those cookies. Go ahead! You will have plenty of opportunities to visit local grocery stores and food stands during the trip. What you buy is up to you!
Every few days we will be taking an excursion to explore the island. We will visit the University of the West Indies in Port of Spain; the Trinidad Head Lighthouse (where the Atlantic ocean meats the Caribbean sea); the Barcant Butterfly collection; the Museum at the House of Angostura; the local market in Port of Spain; and a boat trip through a protected bird sanctuary to observe the national bird of Trinidad.
We will also be snorkeling in Toco in both the ocean and rivers so you can observe plants and wildlife native to freshwater and saltwater habitats.
While on the island of Tobago we will be working with the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC). This organization will take us snorkeling in Pirate’s bay to observe the impact of pollution on the coral reef; lead us through a forest check where we take data on changes in the natural forest system on the island; take us to search for sea turtles nesting and allow us to help take data on the nesting habits; and lead us on short hikes around the island.
Each of these excursions (and any other opportunities that we can negotiate) are included in your program fees.
While in Tobago those who are interested may have the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive with expert scuba trainers through ERIC. This excursion is not included in the cost of the trip, and will need to be paid for on an individual basis (approximately $100 per person). It involves an afternoon of one-on-one instruction in a quiet bay where you will learn the skills necessary to scuba dive for a short period. No student will be allowed to scuba dive alone, regardless of previous experience. This excursion is not required, so if you do not wish to participate you can join other travelers in an afternoon of relaxation.
While on the trip you will have two faculty advisers: Dr. Adrienne Brundage and Dr. Kevin Conway. These faculty are responsible for coordination of the trip, payment of all fee-based expenses wile on the island, and care of the students.
The faculty will also take care of ordering and providing research materials needed for the projects, and any sundry items (first aid kits, extra pens, microscopes, etc.) that the students may need throughout the trip.
Study Abroad Administration Fee
This fee allows the study abroad office to oversee the trip. The office will make all arrangements (including airfare, insurance, in country transportation, and housing) so that reservations will go smoothly. They also staff a 24 hour hotline so if there are any questions, problems, issues, or concerns all students and family members can call at any time and get answers. Staff members also keep in contact with local officials and monitor potential problems like hurricanes to ensure the safety of all study abroad students. In the event of dangerous weather, the study abroad staff will coordinate immediate evacuation from the island. Finally, the office will coordinate refunds after the trip in the event that funds remain unused.
Each student will carry a comprehensive medical insurance policy while traveling. This policy will cover any and all medical costs while on the trip, and take care of everything from simple band-aids to extensive hospital stays and helicopter evacuations in case of medical emergency. Faculty and study abroad staff will provide each student with information on the insurance, and will assist in coordinating any insurance usage during the trips.
Tuition and Fees
Since this is a class, you are responsible for paying the tuition and fees for the credit hours. The trip is worth 6 credit hours total. Depending on your grand/scholarship/financial aid situation, this may be covered by your financial aid. Talk to your financial aid adviser for information (faculty on the trip do not know your personal financial situation, so cannot answer financial aid questions).
This is the cost of the flight from Houston, TX to Port of Spain, Trinidad. You will be asked to send the money to the flight to the study abroad office so the staff can book a group flight. We will be traveling together the entire time. This cost is approximate–we do our best to book the cheapest flights possible, which is why the dates for the trip may vary by day or so. You will be asked to only pay for the actual cost of the flight, nothing more.
This is the approximate cost of getting a passport and/or visa if needed. If you are a native citizen of the U.S., you do not need a visa to travel (you will only need a current passport). If you are an international student, work with the international student office to make sure you have the proper paperwork to leave the country.
Every student needs a current passport. If you have not gotten a passport yet, do this as soon as possible! Visit the Passport Website to see the directions for applying for a passport. Keep in mind that this process may take a few months, so the earlier you get on it the better.
If you already have a current passport, you can save this money!
Meals not included in program fee
Again, these are the extra meals you may want to have. We do not cover meals at the airport, so you’re on the hook for paying for those. We also do not cover extra food or extra snacks you want to buy. That’s all you.
Textbooks and supplies
There is no textbook required for this class, but you may wish to purchase books that relate to your subject of study. Any required materials we will provide for you. If you want to bring extra supplies, that’s up to you.
There will be ample opportunity to buy souvenirs on the trip. If you wish to buy gifts for yourself or others, come prepared.
How do I fund the trip?
Finding money for the trip is always a big question in study abroad. There are several things you can do to make sure you can afford to go (we don’t want you going in to debt for this!)
As we get more ideas and information we will update this page. Keep checking back!
The Money Education Center
TAMU has a Money Education Center, which will help you go through your personal situation and figure out how to fund your trip. Visit money.tamu.edu to get an idea of their services.
To go on our trip, you are required to meet with the money center and make sure you have the funds to travel. You can make an appointment my emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do this before you meet with us for your personal interview.
Agrilife has several scholarship opportunities for students in the college available on a rolling basis. Visit the Study Abroad Scholarship page for more information.
The Study Abroad department has their own list of scholarships. Visit their scholarship page for more info.
It is possible to use some financial aid for your study abroad experience. Visit the study abroad financial aid page for more info.
Sometimes its just not enough to get scholarships or financial aid for your trip–sometimes you need to raise some extra funds. Here are a few ideas on how to do that. If you have an idea on how to get some extra money, or would like to work with other students on fundraising, let me know and we can organize some things. I will update this section as I get new ideas.