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02-15-2003, 09:28 PM
I have a wife and a 5-year-old kid. Do you have kingdergarten near AUC? Can my wife find works on the island?

Thanks for the reply,

02-16-2003, 09:07 AM
There is actually a school on the AUC campus. I think they do Kindergarten. Officially you are supposed to get a work visa etc., but my experience has been that there is no problem finding work on the island. G

02-17-2003, 06:17 AM
There is a small school on the AUC campus called The American School, for children in Kindergarten to 6th grade. The classes run year round, so the kids are in school for as long as the med student is. But the kids dont get 'ahead' because the curriculum is somewhat slowed down so a 9 month curriculum is taught over 12 months. It goes from 8:30-3:00pm, but kids can be dropped off as early as 8:30am. The number of kids per class is quite small, and two grades are combined per class, so kindergarten and 1st grades share a room. The principal is Rebecca Holden, and her number is 011-599-545-2298 ext.253. You should call ahead to make sure Rebecca reserves a spot for your child in the class. The seats that are not filled by the children of med students, are filled by local island children. Thats why I suggest you let them know as soon as you can that your child will be attending. The fee for the school is being raised next semester from $300 per child to $500 per child, per semester. This doesnt include a book rental fee of $10 per semester, and a book supply fee of $30 (your child keeps those books though). For your kindergartener, she will have lunch at 12:00pm, regular recess (there is a 'jungle gym' to play on, and a designated play area attended by teachers), P.E. classes, language, etc. The school is in the process of organizing a PTA/PTO group this week. So there will soon be fund-raisers and meetings to keep everyone up on what goes on with the school, etc. If you need any more information, please email me at [email protected] Hope this helps you ! :)

02-17-2003, 10:18 AM
And as for working on the island, it has previously been the rule that you needed a work permit, but it was never enforced. There was a change in the government last year, and the new government is preaching strict enforcement of the work visa, required insurance, return plane tickets, etc. This is not targeted strictly at AUC students, but it is being implemented and enforced nationwide.

Your spouse is unlikely to get a job legally, unless he/she holds a specialized position that makes them competitive for a job that a local could not fill, e.g. a certified teacher in the American School. Illegal jobs are still findable, but employers seem to be more nervous about it now than before. It costs around $1000 to get a permit to work, and the red tape can take many many months. I know of at least one business close by that was 'raided' a couple of weeks ago to check permits (which were not in evidence), and it has been a big topic of discussion in every SGA meeting this semester, as it pertained to employees in the SGA's Note Service.

Just to let you all know, don't try to get onto the island without a return plane ticket, or you will be buying one at the airline counter before you are allowed in, and we all know the price ain't the counter won't touch Expedia.... :(

02-18-2003, 02:09 AM
Thank you you all for clarifying up my questions. Do I need a car down there? Should I bring anything with me?

Thank you

02-18-2003, 08:55 AM
I suggest you buy a car down here. If you live near the school, you will need to travel into Philipsburg to buy groceries. Although there is a small convenience store near the school, its not sufficient for a thorough grocery shopping but more like a '7-11' type of place. Most students end up buying a car. You can buy a car used from a student who is leaving the island for approx. $1500-$2500 dollars. They are not luxury cars, but they are great grocery-getters and good for all your errands. The added expense of first semester (apartment deposits, car, etc) can be offset by taking out the maximum loan advance from the following semesters SallieMae loan. You would be able to get $1700 advanced right away. This doesnt hurt you the following semester, because SallieMae loans are higher. I recommend you do that, and use the money to purchase a car or offset your apartment deposits (usually 2 months worth of deposit).

Since you have a young child...I have some more suggestions for you. Although many people agree that tv shouldnt be used as a babysitter....purchasing several Disney movies for your child in this case is a huge help! There will be times of stress (either you need to get some reading done, or your wife is trying to cook and entertain the child at the same time, etc) where a good Disney movie comes in handy. Dont worry about bringing a VCR or TV, because these can be easily purchased from a 5th semester student, and there is also a store where you can pick up a good little VCR for as little as $55. Next, I recommend you bring a couple of pairs of sandals for your child a size or two larger than what he/she wears now. I find quality childrens shoes to be very expensive on the island. If you can, try to find some sales on shorts, tank tops, t-shirts etc and get alot of those, perhaps some in the next size up. That way, you wont be forced to spend more than you're used to for childrens items here in St Maarten. Bring at least half a suitcase full of childrens readers and toys as well. You will appreciate having the stash when you settle into life in St Maarten.

If you can, a laptop is a good idea. We actually packed our desk top. Dont ask me how, but we managed. And our monitor was a carry on. But we're not taking it back home when we leave. We've been looking for a laptop and wish we had brought one. There are alot of good CD's to use for studying, and you can bring a laptop anywhere in the house and sit and study the CD's, rather than being forced to sit at a computer in the library or in your living room (as is the case in our house). We also picked up a cheap little digital camera from Radio Shack before we came here (as our luxury item...) and we have used it more than we ever imagined. We email photos of the kids home to friends and relatives regularly. Its a great way to keep in touch. And photo processing here is costly as well. So it was well worth it. We paid $100 for it, and it takes excellent quality photos.

My husband recommends purchasing a set of books called Board Review Series (or BRS) as he finds them to be really useful hand-in-hand with his lecture notes and texts. They are great books to have. If you have access to a large bookstore or you can order them to your Stateside address prior to arrival, you might look into getting a set.

Hope this helps!

Jules :D

02-21-2003, 03:36 AM
Hi Jules,

Thank you very much for the excellent information. My kid was really excited when I told him that you tell me to bring along Barney and Pool for him to watch. He said thank you.


02-21-2003, 03:38 AM
Thank you,

I think my wife will watch the kid for a couple of semesters. Can she go to school there also? Other than medicine?


02-21-2003, 06:15 AM
I really dont know if your wife could take classes at AUC, but I have never known anyone to do that. What some people do here is sign up online with a Stateside University for classes. Then you get the wireless DSL internet, and she can take courses online while you're in school. You can even get student loans. I know someone who is taking courses from The University of Pheonix, and a few from their home State Universities. Other than that, I cant tell you much. I know there is a University of St Maarten, maybe she can go there and find out more information when you guys arrive. 20 months will go by fast though, and if she isnt happy with her schooling options while you're here, it wont be long before you're back in the States. :)

02-26-2003, 06:41 PM
AUC does not offer any classes for study other than medical students. In a traditional university setting in the US, for example, they also have many other areas of study, both undergraduate and graduate. However, AUC is strictly a medical school, meaning, no, your spouse or friends cannot attend the university pursuing a degree or certification other than the current M.D. program. As far as I know, there are no plans to change this status.

I am not sure if this is the situation the above post was inquiring about, but that is what I understood the question to mean.

Jules did offer some good suggestions above, however. I took a few internet classes in my undergraduate study, and they are available at tons of places. The University of Phoenix online is the biggest internet program for undergraduate study in the country, I believe, but it is also very expensive. I took about 12 hours through Oklahoma State University and had very little problem. I could have easily done it while here in St. Maarten, except that my initial first semester enrollment had to be conducted in person. I am sure other schools exist that do not require that, however.

:D Good luck!

06-19-2003, 09:21 PM
AUC has a children's school and AUC hires people also, but working on the Island is not allowed and you can't get permit to work on the Island.So your best bet is to apply with AUC Med school for a job.

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