Choosing to study medicine is the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career, but carefully choosing where you study can also open up a world of opportunities.
There are a whole host of considerations involved in choosing a medical degree program: the facilities, the faculty, the support services, and more. Your list is even more involved if you’re considering international locations for studying medicine.
St. George’s University, in Grenada, is a top center of international education, and has contributed over 18,000 physicians to the global physician workforce, with students, graduates, and faculty from over 150 countries. They have practiced in every state in the US, as well as in more than 50 countries. So, if you are considering a career in medicine, it’s more than likely you have heard about SGU. But have you heard of Grenada?
You’re certainly not alone in having questions about island life. Trying to dig up information on everything you want to know can be both tricky and time consuming, so we’re making your life easier by compiling answers to some of the most common questions about Grenada and what it’s like to live there, with some comments from SGU Alumni Dr. Ish Saxena, a GP Partner in the North West of England, and Jeffrey Bates, Director of Admissions at SGU. Keep reading to learn more about everything from weather to technology while attending Caribbean med school.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT LIVING IN GRENADA
1. WHERE IS GRENADA?
Though you probably have a good idea of where some Caribbean islands are located, you might not be as familiar with Grenada. The island, home to SGU’s True Blue campus, lies in the eastern Caribbean Sea about 100 miles (160 km) north of the coast of Venezuela.
Dr. Saxena says “My main motivation for applying was that I was keen to practice medicine in the United States at some point and saw that SGU would give me that opportunity. It was only when I arrived in Grenada and started my course that I realized all the other benefits of studying there.”
2. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN GRENADA?
If you’re envisioning a tropical paradise, you’re pretty much spot on. Expect year-round highs around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. May through November is considered the rainy season, with average precipitation ranging between seven and eight inches per month.
Some people worry about unpredictable weather in the Caribbean but the climate is generally mild.
None of the major storms that have appeared on the news in other parts of the Caribbean even touched SGU’s campus. In fact, St. George’s University students, faculty, and staff were well-equipped to provide needed aid to the countries that did sustain damage.
3. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT SHOPPING IN GRENADA?
Stocking up on groceries in Grenada is easy. There are a couple of supermarkets that are accessible by bus or your personal vehicle. Many students also take advantage of local markets for produce. St. George’s Market Square is a popular choice on Saturday mornings. There are also plenty of options for gifts and specialty goods.
Many students have a tendency to overpack because they worry they won’t have access to essentials. You can buy many of these items, including kitchen equipment and furniture, when you arrive. It’s also pretty common to find inexpensive goods for sale from students preparing to leave Grenada.
4. HOW BIG IS GRENADA?
The island is pretty small, both in terms of population and geographic size. “We're roughly 134 square miles,” Bates says. The population is about 104,000 people. To provide some perspective, Wembley Stadium can seat nearly 90,000 individuals. This means 87% of the entire population of Grenada could sit comfortably in Wembley Stadium.
5. WHAT ARE SOME FUN THINGS TO DO IN GRENADA?
The list of things to do in Grenada is nearly endless. There are distillery and chocolate tours, hiking trails through the rainforests, and a slew of water activities.
“About 25 or 30 percent of our students get their dive certificates while they're down in Grenada,” Bates notes. In addition to exploring the sea life, divers can also check out the fantastic underwater sculpture park.
And remember that all students are surrounded by classmates who are all in the same boat. “The SGU curriculum was challenging, which gave me a vigorous educational experience, and SGU students also get to enjoy stunning beaches after their lectures.” Dr. Saxena explains.
6. DOES GRENADA HAVE MODERN TECHNOLOGY?
Another common misconception is that you’ll be roughing it in Grenada. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll have access to fast and reliable internet and cell service just like you do at home.
Classes themselves are also fully equipped with modern technology. Students are given response clickers, which allow instructors to get real-time answers when asking the entire class a question.
7. WHAT ARE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE IN GRENADA?
“The on-campus housing is quite nice,” Bates says. “Each suite has its own kitchen, and you have your own bathroom.” He also adds each floor has laundry facilities and that regular maid service is included at no additional charge.
Some students prefer to find other accommodations to save a little bit of money or simply because they prefer having more options. You’ll find accommodations with air conditioning, and you may even be lucky enough to find a rental equipped with a pool.
“There's a whole bunch of off-campus housing available, a lot within walking distance, and a ton within a five-mile radius of the school,” Bates explains. He adds that SGU staff members are more than willing to help students find off-campus housing.
START YOUR ISLAND ADVENTURE
“The best thing about it all was the sense of community. I made lifelong friendships and professional connections, and it’s been great to stay in touch and see how successful my fellow graduates have been.” Dr. Saxena concludes.