This exciting programme gives University College Utrecht students an opportunity to carry out empirical research for their bachelor thesis in the field in Aruba, a small island developing state in the Dutch Caribbean. The work is carried out in special collaboration with students from the University of Aruba and local stakeholders.

After completing a preparatory summer course in Utrecht, participating students develop a project plan within their own area of interest, for carrying out on-site in Aruba. The plan is developed in collaboration with students from the University of Aruba and local stakeholders, and as such, has the potential for real societal impact.

Students thus apply their research skills to a project with societal value, engage in cultural and intellectual exchange with members of the Aruban community, and make the transition from student to independent researcher.

Students with 90 ECs or more, who are planning a thesis in spring semester, can prepare to participate by taking UCINTCAR21 during the summer session before their thesis year.

After the summer course, there is a selection procedure in which the projects are assessed for viability and quality. Students with a solid 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 provides an extra dimension to UCU’s 15 EC bachelor thesis. 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 the field research programme. The course can be counted towards HUM and SSC major requirements.  

Students interested in applying for the programme should speak to their tutors about planning. They must complete the summer course UCINTCAR21 and additional major-related requirements in order to be eligible for the program in their final year. Students will be selected during the fall semester for field work in the following spring semester. The Application deadline  is 15 September. Application information is available via the workspace of UCINTCAR21.


Contact the coordinator for UCINTCAR21, Jocelyn Ballantyne.