I am one of those. That Caribbean vet. The one who went to an island to get their degree. Could it be as good as a stateside school? Especially when I started it was not accredited. Going away to veterinary school on an island many people think I sat on the beach and drank mai tais all day. The harsh reality of it was completely different. But was this the right option?
Living the island life has offered me so much and changed my life drastically. All the things that I used to panic about, I brush off and say, “ok, let’s deal with this.” It made a piece of me relaxed, obviously not completely, but enough where many things in the crazy Jersey life I live not to bother me.
If you are thinking of heading off to a Caribbean school here are some tips to make your life much easier!
Island time does exist
Going to the bank today in Jersey is quick, easy and usually painless. Going to the bank on an island is a full day affair. Heading out for breakfast? You may miss your first class, but enjoying the calm of the Caribbean sea or the craziness of the Atlantic Ocean while sipping your favorite morning cocktail and sitting in peace can offer you so much. They won’t be in much of a rush to get you out the door. Dinner there can take hours, because what do you have to get around to doing. Don’t rush it, enjoy it.
Island time really does exist. While it was a lot to handle at first, it gave me the patience to realize things take time. No one rushed because that is not what life is about. Enjoying the time you have is important.
You will learn to live without the “luxury” items
I say this because I have had days where I went without water. The water pipe would continually break in front of my apartment and we didn’t have water. I don’t think anyone truly believed this happened until my dad came to move me home and he stayed at the hotel by my apartment. He called me one morning while they were there to state that they didn’t have water.
Electricity was also a luxury while I was there. During my schooling there was a fire and the island ended up running on generators. We actually had a schedule on when we would have electricity. Now when the power goes out, it sucks but I shrug it off and deal with it.
Luxury items are not just electric and water, it can also be milk or certain fresh fruits. When you saw the milk boat, you buy it that day because in a couple of days it will no longer be fresh. I had times where I would open my milk the next day to chunks.
Looking for your favorite products? They will either be difficult to find or expensive to ship in. Come prepared with whatever you typically use. I used to hide whatever I typically used in clothes, sock and anything I could in a suitcase when I went back to the rock.
Buying stuff off the streets is a must
If you asked me to purchase my fruits from the side of the road in Jersey I would laugh but I have purchased fruit from someone on the street on the island.
They had the juiciest fruit and the best coconut water
The animal life never gets boring
The islands are full of beautiful creatures. My favorite was waking up to the monkeys stealing fruit off the trees. They were so intriguing and beautiful. As I would drive to school being late may have been from the goats or even the monkeys crossing the roads.
Hanging out at the beach? Watch your drinks! The monkeys love alcohol!
Your life will never be boring
While living on an island it is never boring. There is always something going on, whether it be at the beach, at school or just studying to do, you will always be busy. I don’t remember a time when I just sat around bored not knowing what to do.
You will miss it
I miss the cool breezy nights, the hot summer days and afternoon showers. I have been through so many things there, many don’t ever experience. These experiences will forever stay with you.
During my time on the island I experienced a 7.4 earthquake, a volcano erupting, multiple water spouts and even a Category 3 hurricane. I have experienced the hospitals, the doctors and have even contracted Dengue during my time there.
These life experiences have change the person I was to someone much better. I have a better understanding on how to deal with things, while I didn’t study on the beach every day (as people thought) and I didn’t go to the beach every day, I was blessed with the sounds of waves, the cool breeze and the feeling of a simple life.
A Caribbean school not only offers you an amazing education, it provides you with a life experience you will never forget.
If I had to pick a school to go to again, I would definitely recommend a Caribbean school.