This exciting programme supports students in conducting field research in Aruba, a small island state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Students use principles of community-based research to do projects in collaboration with stakeholders in Aruba. They are supported in this by a peer-to-peer learning community at the University of Aruba, UU’s key partner in the programme.

This programme gives you the opportunity to spend 10 - 11 weeks in Aruba doing field research for a project in an area of your interest that you design 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 module, UCACCMET2L Community-based research in the Caribbean in Utrecht, as well as during the field period in Aruba (concurrent with UU block 2) where you participate in the course Approaches to Sustainable Development (6 EC), part of the University of Aruba’s SISSTEM BSc offerings. The programme allows you to apply your research skills to a societally meaningful project in an area of your interest, to engage in cultural and intellectual exchange with members of the diverse Aruban community, and to make the transition from student to independent researcher.

The programme is for advanced bachelor students interested in learning more about the cultural, social, economic and environmental challenges facing small island states of the Caribbean, and getting hands on experience doing with empirical research that addresses one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. No matter what your academic direction, your knowledge and skills can be applied to addressing global challenges in a local context. If you would like to earn credit towards a bachelor thesis or research internship and develop skills in research collaboration for addressing societal challenges, this programme is for you.

The field research programme in Aruba enriches your bachelor thesis project with field research, or provides field experience as part of a community-based research internship. UCU students can use participation in the programme to apply for an Honours certificate.

The required module UCACCMET2L Community-based research in the Caribbean is a level 2 2.5 EC module that provides a brief interdisciplinary introduction to the Caribbean and the principles of community-based research, while guiding you through the process of designing a project around your own interests. The module towards level 2 methods requirements for UCU Humanities and Social Sciences majors;it can count towards elective course credits for students from other degree programmes.

Students can apply to have credit for the UA course Approaches to Sustainable Development count towards elective course credits, according to programme procedures (e.g., for UCU students, as an off-campus course).

Students interested in applying to participate in the field research programme should speak to their tutors and other advisors about curriculum planning and motivation. They must plan to complete the course UCACCMET2L along with all other degree requirements. Participation is limited to 14 students per field research period.  Selection takes into account candidate’s academic record, appropriate curriculum planning, academic interests and motivation. 

Deadline for applying to participate in the the field research period starting in late January/February is the last Monday in September, to allow for timely selection, registration for UCACCMET2L and UA’s Approaches to Sustainable Development, and accommodation arrangements.

* Check back after 25 August 2021 for more information about application procedures for 2021-2022.


Contact the coordinator for UCINTCAR21, Jocelyn Ballantyne.