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  • Locations: Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles; Spartanburg, United States
  • Program Terms: Interim
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Eligibility: Freshman, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Type: Study Abroad Program: Faculty-Led
Program Description:
SCUBA dive Bonaire, the fish capital of the Caribbean

Program Overview
Bonaire, a Dutch island located 50 miles north of Venezuela is consistently ranked by international divers as the finest SCUBA destination in the Carribbean. The island is renown for the shore diving (we drive up to one of eighty dive sites, put on our SCUBA gear, enter the turquoise water from the beach and swim onto the reef). The brilliantly colored reef is a spectacular haven for a diversity of marine organisms, including sea turtles, luxurious corals and sponges and almost 500 species of fish. Buddy Dive Resort maximizes the tropical diving experience with a drive thru dive shop, fantastic boat support, excellent restaurants and clean comfortable grounds ( The township of Kralendijk offers dining, groceries, shopping and night activities. The project consists of three weeks of SCUBA diving and marine biology classes, and a nine day trip to Bonaire. In Spartanburg, students will complete a PADI open water SCUBA course and participate in class presentations on coral reef ecology. The SCUBA classes will be taught by Cory and Mike Atkins (PADI certified SCUBA instructors and owners of The SCUBA Shop in Spartanburg). Marine biology class work will prepare students to enjoy the beauty of the coral reef and enable them to critically observe and understand the complex nature of the ecosystem. At sunset we gather on the sand to discuss the day’s diving and the reef community. Students will describe what they have experienced on each dive and explain how the organisms interact with each other and with the divers.
Students will enroll in JAN 430 A for Interim. This course uses the coral reef as a classroom. Both biology and non-biology students learn how complex coral reef ecosystems are and they see how vital the reefs are to the world ocean. Students learn how coral reefs grow, what they require to flourish and how sensitive they are to environmental stressors. Students learn to identify a myriad of coral reef organisms, understand their ecological niche, and then effectively communicate their underwater observations of these organisms to their family and friends. SCUBA lessons take place with in-class digital media and lectures, combined with swimming pool instruction and practice of dive skills with final check-out of skills on site in the waters of Bonaire.

This course is open to all students; however, SCUBA certification will be limited to students that do not have the following medical conditions: asthma that currently requires daily medical treatment, epilepsy, diabetes or heart disease. Students that do enroll but are prevented from SCUBA certification will travel and will be limited to free-diving (snorkeling).

Students will stay at Buddy's Dive Resort while traveling in Bonaire. 

Program Costs
Program fee: $3,424
This cost includes international airfare, lodging, transportation to and from the airport, on-site transportation, all breakfasts (lunches and dinners not provided), PADI Open Water SCUBA certification class, gratuities for the boat crew, expedition/dive costs, equipment rental fees, selected reading materials, one night hotel stay in Atlanta prior to group's departure for Bonaire, and international insurance coverage.

Additional expenses:
Meals: $210 
Local transportation: $29
SCUBA gear (masks, snorkel, fins, and dive boots): $225
Marine park diving permit: $25
Passport: $150 (all students must have a valid passport to participate)  

Wofford Travel Grants
The Wofford College Travel Grants provide assistance to students who are participating in an Interim Travel/Study program. Financial need and academic merit are the principle considerations in awarding these grants. Please note that an application for a Wofford Travel Grant does not substitute for the Travel/Study project application for Interim. 

To be eligible to apply for a Travel Grant, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (except first-year students applying in the fall) and be in good social and academic standing with the College. Awards range from $500 - $1,500. The number of awards granted will depend upon the number of applicants as well as available funds. The award is directly applied to the applicant's program fees. To apply, complete the online Wofford College Travel Grant application.

For More Information
Contact Dr. Dave Kusher