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  1. #1
    Westell786 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Saba vs. AUC MERP

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    Hi guys,

    Just looking to hear what other people's opinions are about my situation. I was recently accepted to Saba's May 2015 semester and I've also been MERP'ed by AUC. What would be the pros/cons of each and which option would y'all choose to pursue?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    lightningstrike is offline Junior Member 515 points
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    Hey, I'm a current student on the island.

    In my opinion it depends on your comfort with standardized testing and work ethic.
    Saba has a fairly high attrition rate as many students come here, while not willing to commit the necessary hours of studying or study inefficiently.

    MERP at AUC offers you a chance to improve your background in some sciences, albeit for a decent chunk of change.

    Additionally saba is a very small island, so don't expect any franchises/stores or things open on sundays. AUC is on St. Maarten so that would be significantly improved. Overall, Saba is perfectly fine if you are comfortable with a small island (fewer things to do) and are prepared to work hard.

    Hope that helps, cheers.

  3. #3
    UA_Medicine is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hey!

    Lucky for you I did MERP but ended up going to Saba! So I can give you insight on both.

    MERP
    Pros: gives you a kickstart boot-camp. Gives you the chance to acclimate yourself to studying all day everyday, work on your studying skills and exposes you to the pace of medical school. Gives you a nice foundation for some core subjects (anatomy, immunology, physiology and biochem). I still have access to their program through MediaSite which is a program they use to record their lectures and I watch them whenever I need something cleared up. MERP professors are excellent. I made some great friends in MERP that I still keep in touch with. Some MERPers ended coming to Saba too! For whatever reason the struggle of MERP bonds you like nothing else. The MERP kids at Ross and AUC all stick together once they make it onto the island. It's nice to start such an intense journey with friends.

    Cons: It's expensive. The chance of failing is very real. MERP is a very difficult program and I believe it is harder to pass for AUC kids than for ROSS kids. AUC kids need a 70 average in all four courses while Ross kids need a 65%. There is very little room for mistakes like for example really bombing an exam. There are only four exams, and I remember when I did the math it turned out that every question wrong on any exam was a percentage off of the final grade for that subject. So again, really no wiggle room and very difficult and sometimes impossible to recover from a bad exam.

    Saba
    Pros: Saba a smaller island than St. Martin. It's definitely a more humble island. Unlike on St. Maartin there are literally no commercial businesses here. Everything is locally owned. There is one grocery store near the school that is restocked once a week. Goats and chickens everywhere... you get the picture. But the island is quiet, there are no distractions...this was key for me because I'm a fairly social person and get easily tempted into going out when I shouldn't be. Everyone is always studying which is great... there is no FOMO. A LOT of students are from Canada which means they have excellent credentials but were unable to attend school in Canada because it is so though to get in. This is to say that you are among bright, hardworking students. And don't misunderstand me, the Americans aren't lagging behind the Canadians I hail from America myself.

    Cons: Saba is unorganized and is lacking in the technology department. Class attendance is mandatory because they haven't set up technology to record the lecture which for some semesters means you're in class until 5 pm every. This leaves very little time for studying and is detrimental to some people. Professors are a hit or miss. I would probably say more on the miss side. Saba kids rely predominantly on self studying. Expect to struggle and be stressed and wonder if it's even possible to make it through.

    Anyway, it's possible! If I were you I would just start at Saba because $20K is a lot of money.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    trojan2020 is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    Since when are there different passing standards for AUC and Ross students? That wasn't the case when I was there about 3 years ago. I believe you needed at least a 60 in every class, and a 65 overall. But I wouldn't be surprised if things changed.

    To add one more thing. MERP is now free if you don't end up passing. If you do decide to do MERP, I'd see if you could defer your admission to Saba for a semester, and that way you'll have a back up. Bottom line, if you pass MERP, it will be worth the money so there's not a lot of risk involved in my opinion.

    For the record, I did MERP and will echo many of the points made above. It was a fantastic program/experience and prepared me well for the island.

  5. #5
    basedjj is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Current MERP student here, the passing standard for Ross is 65% overall and 60% in each class. It's flat 70% for AUC. Going simply off the class averages, the majority of the class is currently failing, with our final tomorrow. The program is very rigorous, and that extra 5% between Ross and AUC makes a huge difference. There is absolutely no room for error in this course. If you pass, it is a great bootcamp to whip you into study mode. If you fail, they at least give you your money back.

  6. #6
    Sksk11213 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hello!

    How did SABA work out for you? My son just applied but was also MERP'd at AUC. Since AUC has pretty much been demolished by Irma, we are wondering if SABA is the place to go. Did you graduate, get a residency, etc? Any other helpful hints!

  7. #7
    axiomofchoice is offline Senior Member 6116 points
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    it seems like AUC is not the best option right now given the irma annihilation. they may continue classes in the UK for now.

    I want to Saba. was brutal but more successful than i ever expected

  8. #8
    lightningstrike is offline Junior Member 515 points
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    Saba has worked out alright for me.

    Current 9th semester student in clinical rotations, and have applied for the 2018 residency match.

    Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
    Step 1 (x) | Step 2 CK (x) | Step 2 CS (x) | Step 3 ()

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