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  1. #1
    willscarlett is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    SGU vs AUA vs Ross

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    So, my interview for the SGU vet program was on May 13. I had my interview for the AUA vet program on May 19 and my interview for the Ross vet program is on June 12. I found out this morning that I was accepted at SGU. My father is a vet and employs an SGU grad and speaks well of how the SGU grad performs, saying SGU trained him well. My dad's brother is also a vet and graduated from Ross in the early 90's.

    Perhaps since I haven't had my Ross interview yet, this is more of an SGU vs AUA question. I haven't been accepted at AUA yet, but I still have a few questions. Obviously SGU is the cream of the crop when it comes to Caribbean vet schools. During my interview, the DVM who interviewed me spoke very highly of the support system at SGU with the tutoring, ability to take half a load if needed, etc, saying SGU really wants to keep you in once you're in.

    When I had my AUA interview, it was conducted by a woman who used to work for SGU. She didn't bad mouth either Ross or SGU and said they were excellent programs, but mentioned a few of the perks of AUA, such as their agreement with Virginia Tech that enables AUA's best students to transfer there after their second year and graduate from a US school and foregoing the need to take the exam for foreign students. She went on to say how AUA is working on expanding that program and is currently in talks with Iowa State and Mississippi State. She also mentioned how the AUA facilities are brand new, but of course the program is rather new too. She mentioned that September's class would only be 25 students, while Ross or SGU could have 200-300 students per class and that AUA's January 2010 vet class had 9 students, all of whom finished their first semester with a 3.0.

    Another thing I've heard a lot about regarding Ross is the lack of support that exists in the school and that once you get down to St. Kitts, you're basically on your own. Does Ross really overfill each class by 30% or so? This was mentioned by both the DVM who interviewed me for SGU as well as the woman who interviewed me for AUA, tho they did say the programs were excellent otherwise but Ross is looking to weed people out.

    So, I'm just looking for thoughts and suggestions. How big are class sizes at Ross and SGU? Is it realistic that SGU might have AVMA accreditation by the time graduation comes around in four years? I know SGU is top notch, but the small class sizes of AUA and potential to graduate from a US school without having to deal with all the headaches of a complete transfer process are appealing.

  2. #2
    rmaysie is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Hello, potential SGU student! A few answers to your questions:

    First of all, the SGU class size is nowhere near 200-300 people. I'm a member of the Jan 2010 incoming class and, including the split term students that joined us from the previous semester, we have around 55-60 students. The August entering classes are typically around 90 students.

    According to an e-mail that was sent out this past term, SGU has been approved for a comprehensive site visit from the AVMA. This will take place sometime over the next year, but as yet a date has not been set. So yes, accreditation is POSSIBLE, but not certain. The University is doing what they can; they took the feedback from their preliminary site visit to heart and have used it to make improvements to the program.

    I could go on and on about the reasons I chose SGU, but alas, my brain has shut off for the night. Please let me know if you have any other questions - and good luck with your decision!

  3. #3
    Vet2Be's Avatar
    Vet2Be is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Student loans

    How are you all funding your education at Ross or SGU? Ive just been accepted to UWI in Trinidad and Tobago and cannot find any sources of student loans. I was thinking that if UWI does not pan out I would continue my applications with SGU St. Mats or Antigua but am afraid I will not be able to find funding there as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Vet2Be; 12-18-2010 at 12:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Jfyfe1122 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    As of right now the only loan options for students at SGU are private education loans which come with high interest rates and almost always require a co-signer. On top of that the only loan company willing to lend to SGU SVM students is Sallie Mae.

  5. #5
    Prevet is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hi Vet2Be,

    I applied to Ross University and got accepted easily. I didn’t know it would be that EASY to get in. I did not like that school for various reasons. It's not the safest place to be, and basically you will be told to not go out at 2:00 PM alone anywhere (that's how bad it is). You’re going to HAVE to get a car eventually if you want to live in a safe area. If you chose to live closer to school to not have a car, your apt will be broken into! So, what do you think about that?


    The locals hate students and are very disrespectful towards them. It's a third world country, so do NOT even try to make that place your home. Aside from the fact that you will likely get robbed or hurt, the electricity there would go out at least once every 2 weeks. That starts to get really annoying when you have to study for several exams or want to talk to family from back home.

    Here are some things that i wish people mentioned online:
    -The quality of the professors at ANY island school is low. You’ll be lucky to have at least one professor who can speak fluent English. They don’t care if you fail. They’re ready to kick you out. They have a reason for not teaching in the states; i.e. they're not allowed to so they go to a foreign university. They CAN'T get fired if they work at any caribbean school because it's hard to find professors there.
    -You are going to have to cram so much information in your brain within a VERY short period of time.
    -Look up "island fever."
    -Be prepared to have uncomfortable, HUGE, bug bites. (bug sprays don’t work!)
    -You may make good friends there but how long can you last without being in the states? You are going to be in severe stress with the classes alone. Be prepared to be studying literally 24/7.
    -Bring lots of adderoll with you, because most of the students take it to stay awake. But WARNING, it does NOT make you smarter, it just keeps you awake.
    -There’s lots of drugs and alcohol going around too. Most people bond with one another because of it.
    -CHEATING is another thing I couldn’t tolerate.
    -Be ready to feel like you are in high school again. There’s nothing to do there but to study so when people get bored, drama begins when you least expect it! There’s no way of escaping from those people.

    "But if it is so terrible, how have they stuck around so long and graduated so many Drs?"
    ---Yes, people do graduate. But they don't mention the exact number of students each class starts off with. How come they’re not accredited if they’re so terrible? You have to be a heartless, careless person to graduate from there. I'm being honest. If you choose to go to any island school, YOU CAN'T get home sick, you have to accept the fact that you are in a FOREIGN country for the next 3 years (that’s if you don’t fail any classes). For example, they make it seem so simple, “you get 2 weeks off between semesters.” TWO weeks is not enough to recharge all the stress you have faced. They don’t mention that it’s not exactly two weeks if you live really far and can’t find a plane ticket for that time.

    Another thing I can advise you is to try to get into a US school. Even if you have to wait 2 more years. It’s worth it! Getting your DVM is a once in a lifetime thing, don’t settle for less. But whatever you decide, good luck! Please feel free to ask me any more questions. I typed all of this really fast so I apologize if the grammar/spelling sucks.

  6. #6
    Trillium is offline Member 513 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -The quality of the professors at ANY island school is low. You’ll be lucky to have at least one professor who can speak fluent English. They don’t care if you fail. They’re ready to kick you out. They have a reason for not teaching in the states; i.e. they're not allowed to so they go to a foreign university. They CAN'T get fired if they work at any caribbean school because it's hard to find professors there.
    .
    You may have had some valid points (I've heard the bugs and crime are bad on Dominica) but the rest of your post sounds like the drama that you spoke about. You have lost all credibility due to your many exaggerations.
    I'm not a vet student but I do know that SGU (can't speak for other schools) has qualified professors. They also bring in guest/visiting vets that lecture on their specialty.

    Don't generalize.

  7. #7
    sisyphus is offline Member 510 points
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    Sounds like you're having a terrible time at Ross in St. Kitts. You do have a choice, you know, perhaps you should consider leaving.

    Since you appear to have lumped SGU into the mix, from which I seriously doubt you know what you're talking about...I will respond to a few of your points from my perspective as an SGU grad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    The locals hate students and are very disrespectful towards them. It's a third world country, so do NOT even try to make that place your home. Aside from the fact that you will likely get robbed or hurt, the electricity there would go out at least once every 2 weeks. That starts to get really annoying when you have to study for several exams or want to talk to family from back home.
    I found the people of Grenada to range from extremely nice and helpful to disrespectful. Usually this seemed to correlate with how the sometimes idiotic and disrespectful American students treated them. Where do you fall in this regard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -The quality of the professors at ANY island school is low. You’ll be lucky to have at least one professor who can speak fluent English. They don’t care if you fail. They’re ready to kick you out. They have a reason for not teaching in the states; i.e. they're not allowed to so they go to a foreign university. They CAN'T get fired if they work at any caribbean school because it's hard to find professors there.
    Here's where you seem to lump SGU in with Ross. I can't speak for Ross because I didn't go there. I did have my clinical year with a few Ross students and they were excellent and intelligent. We were at an American school typically ranked in the top 5 vet schools in the US. We all competed very highly with those students.

    My professors ranged from pretty bad to excellent. Probably just like anywhere else in the world.

    All of my professors spoke very good English, most of them perfectly since they were either American, Canadian, or British. Some of them were from India or Germany and had an accent, but it wasn't bad for me and didn't seem to be for anyone else in my class.

    Many of the SGU professors had already been professors at other schools around the world, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and elsewhere. Some of them returned to those schools occasionally.

    Your statements are really pretty ridiculous. Lets move on....

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -You are going to have to cram so much information in your brain within a VERY short period of time.
    Yep, that's because you're in vet school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -Look up "island fever."
    What are you talking about. This would appear to be a meaningless statement. Why don't you look it up and tell us what you're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -Be prepared to have uncomfortable, HUGE, bug bites. (bug sprays don’t work!)
    In Grenada there were lots of mosquitos and sand flies. Bug spray worked for me...always.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -You may make good friends there but how long can you last without being in the states? You are going to be in severe stress with the classes alone.
    You can last 3 years if you're at SGU and 2.5 years if you're at Ross. Many, many have done it before you and many will do it after. Stress, yes, lots of stress, you're in vet school and it's not easy, nor is it supposed to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    Be prepared to be studying literally 24/7.
    Exaggeration. Yes, it is hard and stressful, though. I am by no means the smartest person around but I found time to relax and enjoy myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -Bring lots of adderoll with you, because most of the students take it to stay awake. But WARNING, it does NOT make you smarter, it just keeps you awake.
    I think I am beginning to understand you better. I got by with caffeine, ibuprofen, and a little nicotine (a bad habit on my part at the time). Just so it's said, yes, I agree, don't rely on adderall. It doesn't make you smarter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    -There’s lots of drugs and alcohol going around too. Most people bond with one another because of it.
    No drugs for me, but definitely some alcohol! Drug use was present, but didn't seem that pervasive to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    Yes, people do graduate. But they don't mention the exact number of students each class starts off with. How come they’re not accredited if they’re so terrible?
    There was a fair bit of attrition at SGU also. So what. You think just because you were accepted means you're guaranteed a DVM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
    You have to be a heartless, careless person to graduate from there. I'm being honest. If you choose to go to any island school, YOU CAN'T get home sick, you have to accept the fact that you are in a FOREIGN country for the next 3 years (that’s if you don’t fail any classes). For example, they make it seem so simple, “you get 2 weeks off between semesters.” TWO weeks is not enough to recharge all the stress you have faced. They don’t mention that it’s not exactly two weeks if you live really far and can’t find a plane ticket for that time.
    It was very nice that SGU had the whole summer off. I agree that 2 weeks seems like a short period of time to recharge. You knew the time frames when you went there, though, didn't you.

    You really think that all, or the majority of people who graduated from Ross are heartless and careless? From the people I have met from Ross some of them sucked and most of them were great, good people. This seemed to me to be about on par with the rest of the human population I have encountered.


    I am sympathetic about your situation. It seems as you're having a really difficult time and a few I knew at SGU had the same.

    Ultimately, if this is the hardest/worst thing you go through in life than you have had a pretty good life.

    As an unsympathetic statement: Get a grip or leave...you do have a choice!

  8. #8
    sisyphus is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfyfe1122 View Post
    As of right now the only loan options for students at SGU are private education loans which come with high interest rates and almost always require a co-signer. On top of that the only loan company willing to lend to SGU SVM students is Sallie Mae.
    SGU grad here. My interest rates are pretty reasonable and I did not require a co-signer. Though, I have a pretty good credit rating.

  9. #9
    Vet2Be's Avatar
    Vet2Be is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Island life and becoming a DR!!!

    Prevet...can I ask your age?? I am a bit older than the average student, I'm 40 been out of high school for a few years now. I appreciate your venting and frustrations, some of which I am sure will be felt no matter where one goes to vet school! As sisyphus stated...It is vet school!!! I also would have to agree that "some" Americans, when in a foreign country, will act as if they are in America and not follow local traditions and customs which makes the locals a little apprehensive towards us. I have heard Ross is a very difficult school, but OMG you are on your way to becoming a vet!! Maybe you should transfer over to SGU or St Mats. I know a couple Dr's who graduated Ross CVM, and they loved it! They did say it was not easy, but nothing worth anything ever is! I wish you the best of luck, I have just been accepted into AUA and I cannot wait to get there and continue my journey! It may be difficult, the profs may speak in foreign accents, and yes, I may have to study 24/7 but damn...if I can become a DVM then bring it on!

    As for loans, if Sallie Mae loans to SGU and St Mats, I wonder if they will loan to AUA??? I am sure no matter what island school we go to, there are a few necessities we all need to bring with us as well as school supplies. Can any current students tell me what I should think about bringing and how did you get your things to the islands? Did you pack 4 or 5 boxes and ship them FedEx or did you pack everything into suitcases and fly them over??

    Any advice would be helpful!
    Thanks!!

  10. #10
    willscarlett is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    As I started this thread, I'll contribute with a reply. First of all, some of the grievances that Prevet is airing do have some merit. Do all of them? No.

    First off, island fever definitely does exist. Relocating yourself to a Caribbean island and adjusting to life there, as well as life away from home, where essentially your family, friends and significant others are - i.e., your whole support network - takes some getting used to. Is it easy to make friends at SGU? Yes, but it's not the same thing. Some people develop island fever and others don't. I know a lot of first term students were in the counseling center due to having trouble adjust to the island. I was one of them and saw other first termers there as well. There will be lots of stress and some people do better with not being in the states than others do.

    As for drugs, I smelled marijuana, but never saw anything else. I'm not into those things to begin with tho.

    In terms of the faculty, all the professors at SGU speak english and they are all very good professors. In response to your claim that they all teach in the Caribbean because they can't get jobs in the states, I can shed some light on that subject. I asked the Anatomy I professor at SGU, Dr. Pasquini, why he teaches at SGU and he responded that his wife wanted to live in the Caribbean. He then added in that he used to teach at Oregon State, or maybe it was Washington State, one of those two... regardless, he said he had to wait for the administration at SGU to change before he could teach here because the old administration knew his bosses at either Oregon or Washington. He didn't elaborate as to what may have happened tho. In all fairness tho, Dr. Pasquini is a great professor and very fair. As long as he knows you're trying, he won't fail you. Watch out for Dr. Kugler tho. He teaches Physio I and seems to moreso have it out for the students. He told our class we were the dumbest one he'd ever taught.

    In terms of bug bites and such, yes. I got some rather large bug bites that I'd never gotten before, but I do live in New Jersey. There was also an outbreak of Dengue fever first term and a lot of people got sick. One student even had to be airlifted to Miami for a blood transfusion and had to take the semester off. Definitely bug spray up.

    Grenadian locals are pretty friendly, but watch out for some of the guys. If you're with girls and the Grenadian men are into them, they'll drive very hard to the hoop.

    Studying 24/7? It's not necessary, as long as you know how to properly manage your time. As busy as you are first term, you have the most free time first term. The Term 2 schedule is looking to suck.

    Due to the water shortage, laundry facilities at SGU were only open on the weekends, which led to many difficulties. For example, since the laundry was locked during the day, they were never cleaned by the cleaning crew and thus mildew, mold and bad smells built up. Water leaks grew into huge puddles that you had to navigate thru to reach a machine. Due to the limited laundry times, there was always the symphony of dryers at 3am. Perhaps the biggest problem was the people who came down with urinary tract infections and it was traced back to the laundry rooms. With so many people doing laundry in such a short time frame - think of all the underwear being washed - people were developing UT infections. Eventually, the laundry was opened during the week as well.

    As for cramming a lot of information, you should fully expect to.

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