This exciting programme supports students in conducting field research in Aruba, a small island state that is a country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Students carry out their individual research projects in collaboration with stakeholders in Aruba, and with the support of a peer-to-peer learning community at the University of Aruba, our key partner in the programme.

This programme gives you the opportunity to spend 11 weeks in Aruba doing field research for a project that you design yourself, in collaboration with Aruban stakeholders, so that it has potential for meaningful societal impact. To support your success, you get guidance and coaching during the preparatory course, UCINTCAR21 Caribbean Studies, in Utrecht, as well as during the field period in Aruba (late January – mid April). The programme allows you to apply your research skills to a societally meaningful project of your own choosing, to engage in cultural and intellectual exchange with members of the Aruban community, and to make the transition from student to independent researcher.

The programme is for students interested in learning more about the cultural, social, economic and environmental challenges facing small island states of the Caribbean, and addressing these challenges with meaningful research. You prepare to participate by taking UCINTCAR21, Caribbean Studies, at the end of the academic year before you plan the field period, and planning a research project for the following academic year (for example, as thesis research). Students with a viable ideas for a project, a good academic record, and appropriate curriculum planning are selected to go to Aruba in early spring of their thesis year.

The field research programme in Aruba enriches student thesis projects with field research, or provides field experience for students who have already completed a thesis for their degree requirements.

The pre-requisite course UCINTCAR21, is a level 2 elective course that provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the cultural, social, political and economic circumstances of the Caribbean, even for students who opt not to continue with field research in Aruba. UCU students can count the course towards HUM and SSC major or minor requirements.

The application deadline is 10 September 2020 for the field period beginning late January 2021.

Download the application form:

Students interested in the programme should speak to their tutors and other advisors about planning. They must plan to complete the course UCINTCAR21 along with all other degree requirements. Students selected during the fall semester for field work in the following spring semester.


Contact the coordinator for UCINTCAR21, Jocelyn Ballantyne.