So for those who are coming down for medical school or considering traveling here, I have list of tips for you. Just things that I’ve learned while I’ve been living here:
- What you should bring if you are going to live in student housing -pillows, blanket, bed sheets, water, toilet paper, shower curtain, cleaning supplies(the place needed a good scrubbing when we got here), kitchen supplies (they do provide utensils and pots), and a frying pan.
- If you are wondering which taxi driver you should call to come pick you up, I would recommend Linden or Leron. They charge decent prices (10EC/4USD) and they are friendly and reliable.
- You can rent or buy vehicles here for reasonable prices. There is a lot of advertisements at AUA where you can find a car. Most everything around here you find out by word of mouth.
- As far as groceries are concerned, you have the options of shopping at Epicurean or 1st Choice. There are some other grocery stores that the locals use, but I have yet to explore them. Will keep you updated. Epi has everything to can think of – lots of international food with more organic options, but is expensive compared to 1st choice which carries more local produce. When I do go grocery shopping, I like to visit both of them on the same day, so I can find the best deals. And of course, I’ve talked about the meat market and farmer’s market. The best time to go is 6AM on Saturdays. Jesse does bring home good food from the food vendors that sell at AUA. There are yummy smoothies, coffee, Indian food, and Subway is even an option. Other American food chains that are available down here are KFC and Burger King.
- If you order delivery, sometimes you can order by directly contacting the resturaunt or you will have to contact a delivery service. You can do this through WhatsApp, which is one of the main modes of communication on the island. So after you download the app called FoodBooking which lists delivery places and their menus, you can place your order and then contact QuikServe. Make sure that you let them know what you ordered so that they can get your order right and don’t forget anything. We have never had any trouble with our orders. The only aggravation is that the drivers sometimes take 1 to 2 hours to deliver, so make sure you plan and order ahead if you want to eat lunch or dinner at a reasonable hour.
- Pandora Music Station does not work on the Island, and Spotify will only last for 1 week abroad. I found that Jengo Radio Station works as well as Sirius XM.
- Hulu does not work down here, and there are some shows on AmazonPrime that will not play, however, great news! Netflix does work!!! 🙌🏻 If living in school housing, it costs 30USD a month for 100 channels which is not bad.
- Be prepared to not be able to access certain internet pages that you would be able to back home. I often get an error sign if I try to load my local newspaper website.
- When you live in school housing, please know that you will only be able to use 3 devices on the internet ACT. Due to the weather, the internet is not always 100% reliable, so you will lose it at times. Be aware that the power will go out and the water will sometimes shut off. Like I’ve said before, island life is unpredictable.
- Always have extra EC cash on you in case of emergencies and when you need laundry coins. To wash and dry 1 load costs 10USD.
- Trust me when I say this, but if you are taking medications, make sure you bring 5 months worth of the prescription before you leave home. It will not be easy transferring a prescription down here. There is a long process and you will have to get it approved through the school.
I hope this info is helpful and please leave any questions in the comments. I will be more than happy to answer or add onto this list!