2 weeks away from my study abroad program in Jamaica? WOW!

Hey, whats up and hello everyone! My name is Sabrina Bergas and I am going the Jamaica Service Leaning Program (JSLP) this summer with Professor Latasha Brown. Just a quick summary of what I will be doing there…

  • Taking 6 credits learning about  Jamaica’s socio-political history, contemporary issues and much more. The country, culture, food and people will be our classroom.
  • Working with the Alpha boys institute while tutoring, learning and getting to know the boys who live there.
  • Volunteering at the Kingston YMCA.
  • Visiting many historic and touristic sites.

Check out the JSLP Facebook page here: Jamaica Service Learning Program Facebook



So now let me get into what I am feeling! I am super excited but also very nervous. I have traveled abroad once before to Chile with the YMCA Global Teens in 2012 but it was not as long as the JSLP, which is one month. Even though I am feeling a little nervous, I am ready to take on Jamaica! I have been watching   Jamaican movies, reading the Gleaner (the Jamaican Newspaper), watching documentaries on Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey, listening to some good reggae and having my little dose of some oxtail and rice and peas while still at home, in the Bronx.

Golden Krust is a Jamaican restaurant I visit in the Bronx when I am in the mood for " The best patty ever!' YUM!
Golden Krust is a Jamaican restaurant I visit in the Bronx when I am in the mood for “The best patty ever!” YUM!


Jamaica is a great place for me to visit and immerse myself into the culture because I have a lot of Jamaican friends that I now can connect with. Growing up in the Bronx, I have been exposed to the Jamaican and West Indian culture and I enjoy it so much. Throughout my life, I have eaten Jamaican food and listened to reggae. I love reggae!! Reggae has been a big part of my life since I was born. This trip is going to be awesome and I am looking forward to not only the food and music but the service learning I will be doing with the students of the Alpha Boys School.

While I am in Jamaica I will also be using instagram to document my journey. I will be using the hashtag #SabInJam

My first post is shown below.

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This is my instagram picture captioned: It is becoming so surreal for me that just in one month I will be studying abroad in Jamaica! I am so ready to embrace the culture, the people and everything this trip will bring. I am so excited to learn about such an amazing place with vibrant people and music. I am going into this with an open mind and open heart… Oh an open belly! 🇯🇲 #StudyAbroad #TheCountdownBegins #JSLP #SunyNewPaltz #NpAbroad #Travel #SABINJAM

I have been reading a book called “In Focus Jamaica” to prepare myself before I actually get to the island. I have to read this book before leave to Jamaica on July 3rd and so far I have enjoyed reading this book. As I read I am finding that my Puerto Rican history is some what intertwined with the Jamaica history. The same native people (Tainos and Arawaks) that were in Jamaica were also in Puerto Rico. This book is teaching me the in’s and out’s of the Jamaican culture such as the history of the island, music, tourism, food, household situations and more.

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My favorite show in the world is Huang’s World on Vice Land and when Huang went to Jamaica I was so excited to watch the episode… Here is a deleted scene from the Jamaica episode. You will learn a little but about sugar cane in Jamaica.

Bob Marley is a pivotal person in Jamaican music history and this is my favorite song! Just remember… everything is going to be alright! 🙂