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Miami, FL, Puerto Plata, Charlotte Amalie, San Juan, Labadee , US, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Haiti

Program Description

One important factor in being an effective leader is having a high level of cultural competency. Cultural competency can be defined as the ability to understand, appreciate and interact with people from cultures different than your own.

With over 20 different nationalities represented in the workforce of one ship, the cruise industry is the perfect environment to observe intercultural experiences where the US context is not the norm. As a part of this course, students will learn about cultural competency in the workplace and how increasing this competency can increase leadership effectiveness.

Students will meet in person during the spring semester as well as complete assignments on Canvas. During Spring Break, students will embark on a cruise and complete a major project surrounding cultural competency. The remainder of the course after Spring Break will consist of reflection and presentation of their project.

Location Description

The program will take place onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship leaving from Miami, Florida during a 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise, exploring cultural competency on the ports of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, Haiti.


Gilpatrick Hornsby | | Hospitality Sport and Recreation Management

Tiffany Hornsby | | Graduate Psychology


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished rooms on the cruise ship. Two to three students will share a room. Internet access will be included, and laundry service is available and can be requested individually at an additional cost. No transportation is needed on the ship. At port, transportation will be provided through group excursion accommodations. Taxi service is also available at an additional cost during freetime at port.
Meals are included in the cost of the cruise and a variety of food options are provided 24/7 on the ship. Students should plan to spend their own money during freetime while at port.

Additional Items to Consider

Students will be responsible for travel to and from the port of departure in Miami, Florida. The study abroad trip begins and ends at the port. Please refer to the following itinerary for details about the cruise:


1 (3/13/22)  Miami, Florida Departs At 4:00 PM
2 (3/14/22) Cruising Day At Sea 
3 (3/15/22) Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic  From 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
4 (3/16/22) Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas From 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
5 (3/17/22) San Juan, Puerto Rico From 7:00 AM - 2:30 PM
6 (3/18/22) Labadee, Haiti From 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
7 (3/19/22) Cruising Day At Sea 
8 (3/20/22) Miami, Florida Arrives At 6:00 AM



Program directors will have an international cell phone plan for students to use in case of emergency and/or contact with family. While on the cruise, directors and students will be able to communicate through the cruise line application or through other means. If students would like to have their own international phone plans, they will need to check with their individual cell phone providers.

*Students enrolled at JMU full-time during current Spring semester will pay no additional tuition to participate in a spring break program. The program fee will be the total required cost.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Students must be a part of the JMU Honors Program or the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. 

All class levels are welcomed.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Resume

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Applications Closed.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


HON 300: Leadership at Sea: An Exploration of Cultural Competency (3 credits)

HM 298: Leadership at Sea: An Exploration of Cultural Competency (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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