I just returned from a visit to SMU and Grand Cayman. As you've seen countless times before, I HIGHLY recommend a visit to SMU (or any school) prior to attending. You're going to spend alot of money and time on your medical education and you need to be sure a school and an island are a good fit for you. The price of a airplane ticket and a few nights lodging are a small price to pay to ensure you'll be happy with your choice.
Many thanks to Mr Averitte, Mr Guilbard, Dr Heller, and AmericanIMG for their time and hospitality. All did a great job of showing me around the school and answering the many questions I had.
True to form, Grand Cayman is a VERY nice island. Definitely first world. Pretty much just like visiting Destin or Ft Walton Beach. Banks, shopping, grocery, and restaurants were plentiful. The only drawback was how expensive everything was. Be prepared for some sticker shock when you come down. Tons of outdoor things to do....scuba, snorkeling, swimming, hiking...just to name a few. Go swim with the stingrays if you come down. Its alot of fun. Temps were in the low 90s and it rained a few times while we were there. Intermittent showers. Temps were in the 80s in the shade. Quite humid. The island is not hard to navigate at all. Get ready to drive on the LH side of the road....its not hard once you get used to it.
I was very pleased with the university. The school operates out of a nice office complex. They have 3 floors in the building. There are multiple lecture halls, standard size anatomy and histo labs, a break room, a mail room, a clinical evaluation room, study rooms, a library, etc. All the things you would expect to find. The school and residence hall complex are set up for wireless. There is a snack bar right outside the front door of the school and multiple adjacent restaurants.
The residence hall was nice, quiet, and clean with standard hotel type rooms, a kitchen room, a laundry room, and a pool. The residence hall is about 2 miles from the school, so be prepared to bike it or get a car. No way I could survive w/o a car on the island, but that's just me. You can get by with a bike if you had to. There is a grocery store just a few blocks away...definitely withing walking distance.
The school just announced its plans to start a DVM program in 2005 (if I remember the date correctly), so there should be more students coming to the island. The staff indicated they were working on obtaining more residence hall space for the existing and future students.
In all, I was very impressed with SMU and the island. If anyone has any specific questions, feel free to PM me or ask here on the board.