Cayman first stop on academic adventure

Seven Mile Beach swung to life Wednesday afternoon when 550 students and 100 staff from Lynn University in Florida graced its shores.

The name of the game for the group from Boca Raton was an ‘academic adventure’ which they embarked on when they boarded the Carnival Imagination ship a couple of days previously in Miami.

The group, which includes all the first year students of the university, spent a day at sea before arriving in Grand Cayman, their first stop.

‘The aim of the trip is to introduce them to island culture, history, economy and ecology,’ explained Mr. Paul Turner, Dean of Students.

The weather, however, didn’t co-operate as well as it could have.

‘We were supposed to go snorkelling when we got off the cruise ship this morning but we didn’t get to do that because of conditions,’ explained Mr. Turner.

However, students did get to practice some marine biology through interaction with the stingrays at Stingray City.

‘They loved it. There was lots of shrieking at first, but once the students settled down they couldn’t get over the gentleness of the stingrays. They really had a great time,’ explained the dean.

After their stingray adventure the students were taken to Seven Mile Beach where a tent was set up with lunch catered by Mise en Place. Local music, including band Hi Tide, treated students to a taste of sweet island sounds. There was also some time for sunbathing, volleyball and soaking up the relaxing Cayman atmosphere before heading back to the tour buses around 2.30pm.

The group was set to visit Jamaica Thursday, where they would participate in cooking jerk dishes and visit historical sites along with climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios.

Credits earned as a result of what they’ve learned on this trip will count towards their end of year college results.

It is the university’s third year undertaking such a trip, and the second time its students have visited Grand Cayman.

Now nearing the end of their first semester, the trip, which is included in tuition fees, is a bonding experience for the students from all faculties of the university.

Friday will be spent doing academic games at sea, before docking in Miami Saturday morning.

Accompanying the students on the trip are eight security guards, two nurses, two mental health counsellors, 50 instructors and 40 support staff.