The College of the Bahamas, the University of the West Indies, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the Bahamas Hotel Training College are the primary higher education institutions located in the Bahamas. The majority of international students attend the COB (College of the Bahamas), a public college offering associate, bachelor and master degrees for over 60 majors. Law, pharmaceutical and other professional degree programs may be taken in partnership with U.S. and Caribbean universities.
Students can also earn degrees in business, liberal arts, communication, chemistry, nursing, mathematics and education at the COB. Higher education practices in the Bahamas closely follow other Caribbean degree programs, with bachelor degrees taking three to four years and master degrees taking another one to two years. Colleges in the Bahamas currently do not offer doctorate programs.
Financial aid is available in the form of private or government grants, awards and scholarships only to full-time Bahamian students. . Funding is limited so no student is allowed to receive more than one financial aid award per semester.
The Bahamian healthcare system is both private and public, consisting of government-funded healthcare for qualified residents and private or employment health insurance coverage. The Ministry of Health is responsible for delivering primary preventative healthcare in the Bahamas at government-owned health centers and clinics.
Students can either use the public healthcare system or purchase their own health insurance for the duration of their studies. In addition, students should know that the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. recommend getting a hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine before traveling to the Bahamas. Both diseases have been found in contaminated food and water on the Islands.
Residents of 120 countries can stay in the Bahamas for three months without needing a visa. Students from Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Greece, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, the U.K and the U.S. can remain in the Bahamas for eight months before they must obtain a visa.
Why Study in the Bahamas?
Students earning a degree in finance, business or tourism can find employment fairly easy in the larger cities of Nassau or Freeport. In fact, the tourist industry generates 50 percent of all jobs available in the Bahamas. However, with the unemployment rate in the Bahamas holding steady at 13 percent, students obtaining another type of degree are advised to seek employment outside the Bahamas.