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Biology in the Bahamas

May 2020

"This is a fantastic study abroad experience for students looking to earn biology credit!" – Dr. Paul Melvin, Program Director for Bahamas 2020

Program Information

Destination: Bahamas

Area of Study: Biology

Term to Study Abroad: May-Term 2020. This is the Maymester period between the Spring and Summer semester. This period will not interfere with Spring and Summer course schedules.

Program Run Dates: May 12-21, 2020

Program Type: This is a faculty-led program with a Clayton State faculty member.

Program Fee: $1,995.00

Courses Offered: BIOL 3550 - Tropical Ecology / SCI 1901 - Introduction to Tropical Ecology (non-science majors)

Credit Hours: 3 credit hours per course

Majors: Biology, Non-Science Majors, and Undeclared/Undecided

Program Description: Enjoy daily shallow water snorkeling along pristine and isolated beaches while studying on a tropical island with virtually no tourist impact. On this program you will experience the diversity of coral reef fish and marine invertebrates, participate in hands-on field studies in tropical ecology, and hike through inland forests and coastal marine habitats -- all while earning biology credit!

What is included: Includes roundtrip airfare from Atlanta, all transportation while in the Bahamas, all lodging, most meals, all activities, and all taxes/fees. Student program fees also include faculty travel costs. Emergency medical insurance with CISI. Tuition is separate from the study abroad costs and other associated fees. To learn more about tuition costs and fees, visit the Bursar's Tuition website to learn more.

What is NOT included: Students will need a snorkel, mask, and fins. Clayton State tuition, Passport/Visa fees*, and some/most meals on travel days, Healthcare Clearance Form physician and medical fees*, travel insurance (learn more about Travel Insurance).

Estimated Costs: Note that your program fees and tuition are separate costs. Program fees are the fees that pay for what is included in the program costs. Prepare for spending money and for additional meals. Speak to your Program Director for more details.

Academic Course

  • Once students have made their second program payment, the Program Director will begin enrolling students in the study abroad course.
  • This study abroad program will provide students with one academic course that offers 3 credit hours towards a students graduation requirements.
  • Students must be registered as part of the academic course in order to attend the program.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Non-Credit Seeking Students, Alumni, Spouses, and Children are restricted from attending a study abroad program at Clayton State University, which is in accordance to the University System of Georgia (USG) regulations. Only credit seeking Clayton State students are eligible to attend a study abroad program.

Contact Us

Program Director Contact Info

Name: Dr. Paul Melvin, Associate Professor of Biology


Phone: 678-466-4789

Office: Lakeview Discovery and Science Center (LDS) 135L

Study Abroad Advisor Contact Info

Name: Sasha Cokuslu, MBA


Phone: 678-466-4092

Office: James M. Baker University Center (Main Street) Suite 204

How to Apply

  • First Step: Apply by completing the Bahamas Application Contract.
  • Complete all necessary documents in order to remain in your study abroad program.
  • This includes the following documents:
    • Bahamas Application Contract
    • Course Selection Form
    • Health Clearance Form
    • Submit a Copy of Your Passport
      • Don’t have a passport? Check out our web page Passports and Visas to learn more about this process.

Required Application Documents

Sign-in with your CSU username and password credentials to access the Study Abroad Application Portal to complete your study abroad process. Visit the links below to obtain and/or submit the required documentation.

Bahamas Application Contract

Course Selection Form

Health Clearance Form

Submit Your Passport

Approved Application Retrieval Steps

To locate your approved Application Contract, see your Clayton State email.  You will receive an email notification from the Clayton State University Service Portal.  This email will provide a confirmation with your approved application.  Example: The email will be titled Update on Biology in the Bahamas Application Contract: Approved as the subject line.  The email will inform you of the necessary procedures to follow to complete your application and payment process. 

  1. The Bursar will require your Approved Application Contract and the Approval Email.
  2. Click the link in the approval email to access the Approved Application Contract. Print this page.  In addition, print the Approved Application Contract email and bring it with your Approved Application Contract to the Bursar. 
    1. Login to the Study Abroad Application Portal by using your CSU username and password.  
    2. Print the approved documents.  You will need to right-click and print the page.
  3. Take the approved Application Contract and approval email to the Bursar and make your first payment in person.  If you do not have the payment and the two forms, The Bursar Office will not be able to accept your program payment. 
  4. See the Payments tab to learn more about the Online Payment process. 

Video Assistance

Have questions about how to complete your study abroad documents? Take a look at the YouTube playlist link for our 'Helpful Document Videos' which will provide step-by-step video instructions.

Helpful Document Videos

Required Documentation and Orientation Deadlines

a. Application Contract due by or before Monday, January 27, 2020.

b. Register for the Study Abroad Orientation by or before Tuesday, February 7, 2020.

c. Health Clearance Form due by or before Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

d. Course Selection Form due by or before Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

e. Passport due by or before Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

Pre-Departure Orientations (PDO)

Orientation is an integral part of preparing students to study abroad overseas with Clayton State University. Failure to attend the study abroad orientations is an automatic dismissal from the program. Students MUST ATTEND both orientations (there are TWO) to participate in the study abroad program. The PDO is held with the Study Abroad Office, while the second orientation will be held with the study abroad Program Director. Each orientation is conducted separately and at different intervals, covering separate topics spanning multiple topics to be aware of while abroad.

The Pre-Departure Orientation with the Study Abroad Office is only for students who have completed the following:

1. Your Program Director has approved your Application Contract.

2. You made your first payment to the Bursar Office.

3. Only for students attending a Maymester program.

Register for the PDO

Hosted by the Study Abroad Office on Friday, February 21, 2020, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Location: In the Lecture Hall Building, Room B13, at the Main Campus.

At this meeting, have the chance to connect with your fellow study abroad peers traveling on this program. In addition, this event will be providing food, games, and prizes.

Register for the PDO

Register for the Study Abroad Orientation by or before Tuesday, February 7, 2020.

ORIENTATION NOTE: The PDO is a hybrid orientation and some elements will be featured in the D2L for your particular program.  Certain sections of the online orientation must be completed before attending this live event. After making your first payment, students will be notified of their enrollment in the D2L online orientation and will need to complete the Before Departure Online Orientation. This will assist students with the information covered at the live orientation on Friday, February 21. This orientation focuses on an encompassing view of study abroad discussing safety measures, security, behavior, academics, financial aid, and other aspects geared around the before, during, and after a program. In addition, students will be provided program resources and guides to assist in preparation to travel abroad.

Room Location: The Lecture Hall is building #16 on the Campus Map.  This building is in the center of the campus quad and is referred to as the 'Pizza Hut Building' due to the shape of its roof likened to the pizza company. 

Parking Recommendations: Students should park in Parking Lot D, F, or G as shown on the campus map for easy access to the Lecture Hall Building.

Maps & Directions


Program Director Orientation To Be Announced

To learn more about the Program Director's Orientation please contact Dr. Paul Melvin. The Program Director Orientation is conducted about two months prior to the programs departure date.

This orientation focuses on specific features of the program such as the course syllabus, program assignments and grading, program itinerary, lodging, roommate assignments, what to pack for your program and more.

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