A moment out of American expectations

Location

Saint Michael

Barbados

13° 6′ 47.5992″ N59° 35′ 55.7124″ W

The larger Barbadian culture values respect and acknowledgement of the importance of education. I have seen this culture in my classroom. Join me to learn more about my observations!car lot

Here in Barbados in my study-abroad classes, the students are different from what I am used to at home. Many of the students are non-traditional students or part-time students. Some students have jobs. They sometimes also have children. In Barbados, citizens from all walks of life have the right to a completely free education. This is unlike many countries in the Caribbean, as well as the U.S.

Despite their busy schedules, the non-traditional students are determined and ambitious. These students serve as an important and large part of the school environment.

Classes are generally in session until 10:00PM, which is a far later time than at my home university. This is because the university here tries its best to make sure that students who have regular jobs from 9:00-5:00PM can make it in time for lecture. Many of my classes begin later on in the day and end late at night.

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It is rare to find students of any age dressed in sweat pants, pajamas, sweat shorts, leggings or flip-flops. Even during the later hours of the night, the students here dress in slacks, jeans and buttoned shirst. Barbados has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Wearig more formal clothing to school represents a student’s seriousness. Everyone also usually greets the professor and/or class when they arrive. This is another way of showing respect for education.

How do you show respect for your teachers and classmates?

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