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 are 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 such as . I will keep you updated. Epi has everything you can think of – lots of international food with more organic options, but it is expensive compared to First 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 Saturday’s. Jesse does bring home good food from the food vendors that sell at AUA. There are fruit smoothies, coffee, Indian food, salads and Subway is even an option. Other American food chains that are available down in St. Johns is KFC and Burger King.
* If you order delivery, sometimes you can order by directly contacting the restaurant or you will have to contact a delivery service QuikServe. 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. I always contact QuikServe with my address and a picture of my order to make sure there are no mix ups or forgotten items, which does often happen to students. Also, FYI, 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 you are living in school housing, it costs 30USD a month for 100 channels including HBO and CineMax).
* 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 6 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!