Jamaica Cultural Information

Know before you go!
The following resources will help you prepare mentally for your study abroad experience! The more you learn about your host destination pre-departure, the richer your experience will be!

Jamaica Official Travel Guide

Culture Gram

Local News

Television and Films


Recommended Readings

  • By Love Possessed by Lorna Goodison
  • The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
  • Midnight Robber by  Nalo Hopkinson
  •  The Lunatic by Anthony C. Winkler




Listen to Jamaican Radio Here





Cultural Activities

  • Learn about Jamaica’s Rastafarian culture at the Rastafari Indigenous Village in Montego Bay
  • Hike the Blue Mountain Peak, the highest point in Jamaica on the border of the Portland and Saint Thomas parishes
  • Jump into The Blue Hole Mineral Spring in Negril 
  • Visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston


Recommended Websites


Common Jamaican Cuisine

  • Bammy
  • Ackee and saltfish
  • Coco bread
  • Solomon Gundy
  • Run Down 
  • Gizzada

Prominent Jamaican Figures

Robert "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician best known for his Reggae records. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands The Wailers (1963-1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981). Marley remains the most widely known and the best-selling performer of reggae music, having sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. He is also credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience. Marley's music was heavily influenced by the social issues of his homeland, and he is considered to have given voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Marley as the 11th greatest artist of all-time.

Usain St. Leo Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter widely regarded as the fastest person ever. He is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4×100 metres relay. He is the reigning Olympic champion in these three events, the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and a five-time World champion. He was the first to achieve a "double double" by winning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012), and topped this through the first "double triple" (including 4×100m relays).

Beverly Grace Jones is a Jamaican singer, actress and model. She was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and raised by her grandparents. When she was thirteen she and her siblings moved to her parents in Syracuse, New York. Jones started out as a model, initially in New York, then in Paris, working for Yves St. Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada, and appearing on the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Stern working with Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer.


Patrick Aloysius Ewing, Sr. is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player. He played most of his career with the NBA's New York Knicks as their starting center and played briefly with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic. He is currently an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, working under Steve Clifford. Ewing was named as the 16th greatest college player of all time by ESPN.







Queen Elizabeth II is the Chief of State of Jamaica. She is also the constitutional monarch of 15 other sovereign states, known as the Commonwealth realms, and their territories and dependencies, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations.

Sir Patrick Linton Allen, ON, GCMG, CD is the Governor-General which is the Queen’s representative in Jamaica. His Excellency was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on 12th June 2009, receiving the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG). He previously was awarded the Order of the Nation (ON) in February 2009 at his installation as Governor-General and Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) in August 2006, while serving as head of the Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, ON, MP is a Jamaican politician and leader of the People's National Party. She is the seventh Prime Minister of Jamaica, currently serving since 5 January 2012, and previously from March 2006 to September 2007. She was Leader of the Opposition between her two terms.

Andrew Michael Holness  is a Jamaican politician who was Prime Minister of Jamaica from October 2011 to January 2012. He previously served as the Minister of Education from 2007 to 2012. Shortly after taking office, he led his party, the Jamaica Labour Party, to defeat in the December 2011 general election. He has served as Leader of the Opposition since 2012. Holness was the youngest person to become Prime Minister in Jamaica's history, as well as the country's ninth Prime Minister overall. He is also the second shortest serving Prime Minister in Jamaica (Sir Donald Sangster being the shortest) as well as the Caribbean.












Page last modified March 10, 2014