Once you’ve decided to come to Jamaica for full time study, you must satisfy the following immigration criteria:
• Valid national passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after entry)
• Entry visa (where applicable)
• A return ticket to your country of origin valid for one year)
• Letter of acceptance from UCC indicating the programme to which acceptance has been granted
• Evidence of funds for maintenance
• Address for local accommodation
• Visa application form(s) signed by the applicant
• Two copies of your passport bio-data page
• Certificate of Health prepared by a qualified medical practitioner
• Two passport-size photographs taken in the last 6 months
• Applicable visa fee (check how this is to be paid)
Commonwealth citizens (EXCEPT citizens of Cameroon, Maldives, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Samoa, Sri Lanka, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands) who wish to study in Jamaica do not require student visas.
Students from Commonwealth countries and other countries that would normally not require a visa for entry to Jamaica may still have to obtain a visa prior to entry to be able to travel via international routes to Jamaica.
Students from non-Commonwealth countries must obtain a student visa for study in Jamaica. This must be obtained prior to arrival.
Even though a visa is required for entry for some foreign nationals, the final decision rests with the immigration officer at the port of entry.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT INTERNS
Students who are accepted to pursue internship programmes in Jamaica are required to obtain work permits/ exemptions through the Ministry of Labour & Social Security in Jamaica prior to your arrival in the island. Entry visas will also be applicable.
Where to apply for a student visa?
Non-Commonwealth students and students from Commonwealth countries requiring visas must obtain a student visa from the Jamaican Consular Posts in their home country or the nearest Consulate Office before coming to Jamaica. The Government of Jamaica may authorise a Mission or Consular post in a Commonwealth country or the British Consulate in a non-Commonwealth country to also issue visas on its behalf. See Consulate List here.
It is recommended that you apply for your visa as soon as you receive your offer letter or at least six weeks in advance of your intended travel date.
Visa Processing Time
Visa applications are usually received at Jamaica Consular Posts overseas and referred to the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Jamaica. The average processing time is five (5) working days for the PICA office; ; however, each mission will add a few days for its administrative procedures.
Students have a choice of staying with a host family in their home or in rented apartments. Students who choose to stay with a host family in their home get the opportunity to truly submerse themselves in the language, culture and life of your Jamaican family. This way, you have your own independence but still have the home comforts (and some rules) as well as a family to give you tips on how to settle in to a new way of life in a new country. Host families are carefully selected and are very caring and friendly.
Alternatively, students who want to be independent can rent furnished apartments.
For host family or apartment accommodation, students will be required to pay prior to arrival a minimum of two months’ deposit (plus a security deposit that is refunded to you at the end of the lease provided you have not caused any damage to the premises). Property owners or rental agencies will not hold rooms/apartments without payment of the required rent deposit. Students will receive confirmation of the accommodation address by email but only after the housing deposit is received by the University.
UCC itself does not offer on-campus accommodation.
Once you’ve completed your housing application form, the International Office will identify suitable accommodations within proximity to the campus. Rental contracts for homestay or independent apartments are agreed upon directly between the landlord/homestay provider and the prospective student/tenant. The International Office takes no responsibility for any unforeseen legal problems should any arise.
Accommodation pricing starts as low as US$250 per month not inclusive of meals.
All International students (including exchange students) are required to have health/medical insurance and must purchase the health insurance plan offered by UCC’s providers, Guard.me International Insurance. It is possible you will be arriving in Jamaica before the coverage begins so you are advised to purchase a travel insurance policy before your arrival in Jamaica. The cost for coverage is US$750 per annum.
Students are all required to submit a medical record including immunization records and have your physician sign and complete the UCC Health Form in English. This form should be sent in along with your application. Please visit this site for the list of routine and recommended vaccines before travelling to Jamaica: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/jamaica.
Personal accident insurance
All International students pay a small fee of US$10 per annum for personal accident insurance with a local provider.Weather-wise, the temperatures are pleasant all-year round and range between 26⁰ and 30⁰. The winter months (December to February) are usually warm by day and mild to cool by night, and the summer months are hot. The rainy season extends from May to November, with peaks in May, June, October and November. Rain usually falls for short periods (normally in the late afternoon).
Tuition fees must be paid in advance of each semester/teaching period. The precise date for the initial payment and the amount to be paid will be stated in your offer letter.
See estimates below:
It’s very important to make sure you have sufficient funds to cover your living costs long before you decide to study in Jamaica. Proof of your ability to cover these costs is required not only by UCC but also by Jamaica’s immigration authorities. The amount you will need will depend on a number of factors, including the type of accommodation you choose and your personal lifestyle. Generally, we estimate that an undergraduate student will spend approximately US$3,000 – 5,000 per academic year not inclusive of tuition and related fees.
Pack light and comfortably. Many of the items you’ll need can be bought or replaced in Jamaica. Also check with your airline in advance for the baggage allowance. Typically, it is one large suitcase (maximum weight 50 pounds) and one carry-on.
Clothes: Due to generally warm temperatures, we recommend that you come with light cotton (breathable) clothes as opposed to polyester materials. Bring clothes that are easily hand washed, delicate. Think “light”, “washable” and “quick to dry”!
Females – Extremely revealing clothing is not recommended on campus especially short shorts or skirts that are above the knees. No overly exposed torsos, low slung pants and cropped t-shirts are allowed for class wear. We recommend the following: pants and skirts (especially cotton or other light, “breathable” materials), t-shirts and polo shirts, short-sleeved cotton blouses, two dresses (suitable for special school functions or semi-formal class function); cotton sleepwear, casual wear on weekends, swimsuit for the weekend beach trips, sandals or sneakers for everyday wear and a pair of dress shoes for important occasions.
Males: Full-length trouser and polo-shirts are recommended as appropriate for class. No muscle shirts are allowed as class wear. We also recommend long-sleeved cotton shirt and a dress pants (for special occasions), a pair of light shoes or sneakers for classes and dress shoes (for special occasions). Other items may include caps (not to be worn in class), swim trunks, and sports gear.
Room Supplies: If you are renting a furnished apartment, you may have to bring the following minimum supplies: washrags, a towel, and bed sheets! These items and others such as eating utensils can be bought in Jamaica.
Toiletries: We advise that you bring your personal toiletries (soaps, toothpaste, etc) though basic toiletries can be obtained at nearby supermarkets and pharmacies. A simple packing list includes:
Medication: If you are currently taking any prescription medications, be sure to bring enough to last the duration of your visit, plus some extra, just in case. Make sure that the medications are labelled and in a proper container (i.e. pill bottle). It is also advisable to carry a copy of the prescription in case of emergency. Hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies are close to the campus where you can receive medications and treatment in case of emergencies or whenever necessary.
Electronics: The electricity in Jamaica is 110-120V at 50hz (cycles).
Laptop (if you have one) – many people have regretted not coming with them since they can be very helpful for personal internet/writing your study notes. You can also buy an internet modem cheaply (pay as you go) whilst you are here. Wireless capability is availability on campus.
Mobile phone – it is not necessary to bring your mobile phone from your home country since international roaming charges are often expensive. But you may bring your handset and have it unlocked so you can use a local SIM card. You can opt to buy a simple mobile phone in Jamaica for about US$30, SIM card for US$15 and pre-paid credit is normally available at a minimum of US$15 (10 minutes on average).
Money / Cash: The common and easily changed currencies in Jamaica are the US Dollars, British Pounds and Euros. It’s advisable to convert your home currency to the US dollar or any of the above before coming to Jamaica. It’s a good idea to also have some money on a credit or debit card as these are widely used. The most commonly accepted card is Visa or MasterCard. Though debit/credit cards are widely used, we still advise that you come with a small amount of cash to avoid any inconveniences.
Personal budget: Cost of living depends like anything on individual choice and lifestyle! On a general budget we advise that you come with between US$50-90 a week to cater for your personal needs such as lunch, phone credit, transportation, snacks, drinks and excursions if preferred, and any other things you may wish to buy.