>> This article is created for educators planning study abroad and work experience placements for students at Schools, Further Education and Higher Education institutions in the UK. If you’re a student, check out our blog on funding tips.

Caribbean Elective has been organising study abroad and work experience programmes in the Caribbean for nearly a decade. In the present academic year, we expect to host over 600 students for work experience programmes from all sectors which have been partly funded by the UK government’s Turing Scheme

If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and work experience worldwide. It’s a fantastic scheme that gives thousands of students invaluable opportunities to enhance their skills and broaden their world perspectives. 

If you’re wondering how to organise a Turing-funded work experience programme for your School, Further Education (Sixth Form & College) or Higher Education (University) students, read on – we’re here to help! 

The deadline for applications to the Turing Scheme for the next round of funding will likely be in March-April 2024– just around the corner. The application will support trips travelling from September 2024 to August 2025.

What does a Turing-funded programme with Caribbean Elective look like?

A student from Doncaster College helps deliver our sports in schools outreach programme

Here are some examples of some Turing-funded trips that we have created. Many of these have received recognition from the Turing Scheme and have been featured on the Schemes website. Here’s a quick summary:

Further Education: Animal Care and Conservation

A group of 10 students studying Animal Care and accompanying staff enjoyed a two-week-long action-packed itinerary. Students worked at the Saint Lucia Animal Protection Society and HelpPaws Dog Rescue Centre to support their amazing work caring for rescued and stray animals in Saint Lucia. Students also got to engage with local stables, understanding the variety of care required. There was also a fantastic opportunity to have an introduction to Marine Conservation through a number of days spent assessing species in Coral Reef and Mangrove habitats. Finally, as always, our team built experience days into the itinerary which challenged the students to learn a new skill. In this trip, students worked with a local canine behavioural specialist to learn more about dog training techniques and how to work with animals that have experienced little human contact previously.

Further Education: Catering

A group of students from DN Colleges Group travelled to Saint Lucia to experience our unique farm-to-plate experience. We designed the trip to take the students on a journey from ingredients to service. There is so much incredible produce from the Caribbean that ends up on our shelves in the UK so we wanted the students to understand the true value of these ingredients and where they come from. So, the trip started with several visits to local farms and plantations, which helped the students develop an understanding of the value of sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients. Next, it was time for some incredible cooking masterclasses. In these sessions, students learnt about Caribbean cuisine, how to work with local produce and how to cook Saint Lucian style from some of the island’s leading chefs, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s all before the greatest challenge of all as the students spent 3 days on service at the world-famous Sandals resort.

Higher Education: Law, Politics, Business and Mental Health

Each summer we are proud to run our regular University programmes. These initiatives harness the creativity, skills, and passion of students to make real and lasting social and economic change in developing Caribbean communities. You can read more and watch the videos of the programme through these links. Business, Law, Politics and Mental Health.

We are also excited to be introducing new HE programmes ready for 2025

Take a look at one of our recent FE Sports trips in Saint Lucia…

Higher Education: Geology & Natural History of the Caribbean
For another perspective on a Caribbean Elective trip, check out our blog of the recent programme we ran for Harwick College in Upstate New York (non-Turing) with quotes from students and faculty, and here’s a video summary of what they described as a trip-of-a-lifetime:

University students spend an amazing two weeks in Saint Lucias ecosystems

How to organise a Turing-funded trip in the Caribbean with Caribbean Elective

So, we know we’ve caught your interest. And the deadline is looming (March to April 2024). So let’s explain how the process works. 

  1. The first step is to set up a call with our co-founder Harry, who arranges all our Turing Scheme funded trips. You can email him directly – harry@caribbeanelective.com 
  1. On the call Harry with work with you to understand your requirements – what your aims and objectives are as an educational institution, and what type of programmes we could offer which would be a great fit for the range of subjects you cover. We will also consider how many students you’d like to offer the trip to when you’d like to go etc. 
  1. Harry will then put together a bespoke project outline for you, fully costed and send all the details of the trip that you will need to write an amazing Turing Scheme application. 
  1. It’s now time to fill out the Turing Scheme application form, with Harry guiding you through the process.
  1. Once you’ve received confirmation of Turing Scheme funding, we’ll work together to finalise the trip – don’t worry we will take care of all the logistics and provide support for arrangements before and during the trip itself. 

Why choose Caribbean Elective for your Turing Scheme work experience programme

Cost-effective programmes. We fully understand the need to keep programme costs to a minimum. Our costs cover accommodation, and transport on the island including airport transfers, programme activities and meals can also be included. You will also get our amazing team in the Caribbean to support the running of your programme and cover all the logistics of the trip. If there are any costs that are not covered by Turing, we have lots of ideas of how these can be covered, including encouraging your students to plan fundraising activities. 

Bespoke trips tailored to your requirements. Caribbean Elective does not take a one-size-fits-all approach. This academic year we are running Catering, Construction, Childcare, Law, Mental Health, Politics and Sports programmes, but the possibilities are endless. We have some great new trips already developed and ready to go in areas such as Beauty, Music and Art. We are happy to work with you to develop a bespoke programme based on your curriculum requirements, aims and objectives and the requirements and budget allocations of the Turing Scheme. 

Experienced and trustworthy provider. Planning a trip to the Caribbean may seem daunting or logistically impossible. That’s where we come in. We plan all accommodation, transfers, itineraries and more. Our on-the-ground staff ensure that everything runs smoothly, and resolves any unforeseen challenges. 

Some feedback from previous partners

“I cannot praise the experience the students gained on our trip highly enough. From the moment we landed Harry and his team were excellent, providing invaluable support. The trip provided students with a wide range of experiences of the St Lucian health care system, ranging from mental health provisions, to care for the homeless and young boys in care. The students returned from each experience filled with enthusiasm and confidence to take on the following day’s activities. This is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone.” Luke, Leader of access to HE at DN Colleges Group

“They tailored the program’s science content directly to my wishes, yet also found ways to incorporate safe and illuminating cultural exchange with the people of the island. As a seasoned instructor and logistical director of off-campus undergraduate courses for the last 17 years, I can honestly say that I was able to relax a bit more and really focus all my attention to teaching, because I knew that the field crew of Caribbean Elective had a good handle on the logistics. We will definitely be using their services again!” Dr. David, Faculty at Hartwick College, USA

“As the International Placement Supervisor at a major education provider in South Yorkshire, Greater Lincolnshire and the Humber Region (United Kingdom) we partnered with The Caribbean Elective during our maiden Turing Scheme programme in 2021/22. The in-country logistics provided by Caribbean Elective, and the cultural experiences offered were something that we just would not have been able to provide without their expertise. From an academic standpoint, we worked closely with The Caribbean Elective, to reflect the career development aims of individual participants, meaning the itineraries produced provided each student with enhanced career prospects. The experiences that The Caribbean Elective team provided for our students in St. Lucia were quite literally life-changing and our learners have their eyes opened to the wider world and further opportunities as well as being equipped with valuable and real work experience. The change in the students upon their return to the UK is marked, the increase in their confidence visible. Our students wished to give a special thanks to all the staff at the Caribbean Elective including Harry, Sergio and Matt with a special mention from our groups for Shernice who the students absolutely loved! Thank you all so much and we look forward to working with you again in 2022/23.” Liam, International Placement Supervisor, DN Colleges Group

Let’s get started planning your Turing-funded project in the Caribbean with Caribbean Elective

We are excited to work with Schools, Sixth-Forms, COlleges, and Universities towards the next round of Turing Scheme funding 2024/25.

The deadline for the next round of Turing Scheme funding is likely to be in March to April 2024. So contact Harry now to arrange a call – harry@caribbeanelective.com 

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