Imagine life having to take your life and study experiences to the friendly cultures, clear waters, and exquisite beaches of the Caribbean? Yes, it’s amazing to know that the Caribbean has much to offer to aspiring students of all disciplines.
Students from all over the world go to the Caribbean to earn college degrees and lately the discovery and turn up to this wonderful educational destination has become unprecedented, particularly onto the medical fields. The Caribbean has been gaining popularity as a study abroad destination as students search for authentic experiences. In order to have the best study abroad experience possible, it is vital that you have a clear idea of what you want so that you can choose the program that is most suited for you. Below are some factors that you should consider, and conduct further research so that you can make an informed decision. After all, studying abroad is often one of the best college memories one can have, and you certainly want to do it right!
In lots of ways, studying abroad in the Caribbean island is a little different from the conventional ways of studying in countries with an education system like that of the United States. Notwithstanding, the major benefits and differences will be outlined to help guide potential students who may have their eyes set on one of the many Caribbean island nations.
For the most part, colleges and universities in the Caribbean offer similar programs and terms as their US counterparts: students can take a vocational track or earn an associate’s degree through a 2-year program or enroll in a 4-year program to earn a bachelor’s degree and potentially pursue postgraduate school afterward. However, it is essential to note that not all Caribbean universities are internationally accredited, which may cause issues when trying to attain residency or a medical license in The United States. Be sure to verify the reputation and international level of recognition of a particular school before sending in your application. We can help guide you through this process.
In the Caribbean, books, bachelor’s degrees and classes happily coexist alongside beaches and boats. The islands of the Caribbean have come together in support of superior high education, with the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions acting as a catalyst for collaboration and cooperation in higher education. This means that you can rest assured that you will receive a high quality education. Are you are interested in the field of medicine? The Caribbean is a popular destination for medical school with its small student-professor ratios and the benefits of personalized attention. Universities in the Caribbean also have an extremely diverse study body, thus you can expect to have a truly international experience both inside and outside of the classroom.
A piece of good news is that most students who choose to enrol at a university need not spend extra time learning a foreign language before initiating their studies. English is spoken in the Caribbean, and this will certainly make adjusting to life and school there easier and quicker.
Caribbean medical schools are affordable compared to the European and American medical schools coupled with a high-profile recognition, you cannot beat that. This is the main reason why so many international students troop into the Caribbean in large numbers to study medicine and other related courses. Also, graduates from the Caribbean are able to fit into residency programs in The U.S, especially and all of the world making Caribbean medical schools a better cost-effective option for most international students.
Scholarships are quite common and usually in partnership with other national governments and often include full or part tuition, dormitory housing, three meals per day at the campus cafeteria, textbooks, school uniform, basic toiletries, bedding, and a small monthly stipend. Scholarships usually do not include travel expenses to and from school which is not necessary for the first three out of six years as all classes during those years are walking distance from the dorms. There are a number of scholarship opportunities available in the Caribbean. You can contact us for more information on that.
Visa requirements vary from country to country in the Caribbean, thus it is crucial that you check the necessary details from the specific consultant/embassy. As a general rule however, student visas for the Caribbean must be renewed each year and the documents required include criminal record certificate, medical certificate, legible photocopy of your National Identity Document and acceptance certification of the University you will be attending.
Social Life and Student Culture:
Studying in the Caribbean means that you will often find yourself whiling days away on the beach and in its clear waters. From the famous Punta Cana coastline in Dominican Republic to Playa Paraiso in Cuba, it is no surprise that the Caribbean beaches are a popular gathering for students and locals alike. Feeling active? Jump on a jet-ski with your friend or go scuba diving amongst one of the Caribbean’s beautiful coral reefs. When fatigue sets in, you can look forward to strengthening friendships while chilling on glistening sandy beaches and dining by the beach with the wind in your hair.
For the most part governments of these Caribbean nations have also centered their focus on this upcoming aspect of educational tourism which has seen a significant boost in their development index and national economic diversification.
Exploration and Travel Opportunities:
Another reason for studying in the Caribbean is such an attractive option for US students has to do with the lack of a language barrier. As opposed to regions such as Mexico, Central and South America, and certain parts of French-speaking Canada, the majority of the Caribbean islands use English as their primary language. In contrast to these English-speaking islands, Spanish is spoken in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, and French is spoken on a number of islands such as Haiti, Saint Martin, French Guiana, and Guadeloupe. Thus, traveling to nearby islands during your time abroad will provide you with a wide spectrum of diversity to experience and admire.
The Selection Process:
As a rule and a system that remarkably stands out, the selection process by Caribbean universities is less tedious or stringent than in the United States and Canada. Whereas test scores dominate the US mindset with regard to entry into a particular school (especially when it comes to medical schools), Caribbean schools tend to analyze the student holistically rather than narrowing on a small part of the overall application. In this way, the enrollment process is significantly less competitive and more accepting of a wider sphere of individuals, regardless of whether they test well or not. This further makes room for further self-discovery and rightful placement. It is such a lenient yet hugely resourceful system in place.
Documentation for Studying in the Caribbean:
When making the decision to study abroad anywhere in the world—not just in the Caribbean—it is vital that you can provide documents in the proper language verifying your past educational experience in a format that will translate well into the selected country’s education system. This is important because the education system of every country, though many bear strong similarities, differ at their core. Different education systems have different core curriculum requirements, credit systems, grading scales, testing requirements, etc. For this reason, a preliminary step to filling out an application for a Caribbean university is to seek academic evaluation and credential evaluation services.
Credential evaluation services are offered by myriad language agencies (such as translation agencies) and include a transcript and academic degree translation services. In principle, credential evaluations specifically compare the relationships between foreign education systems and are vital to the selection and admission processes required by different education institutions around the world. This is especially important if the language spoken in your home country differs from the language spoken in the country where you wish to study abroad. These services include conceptual conversion of the courses, standardized tests, and grading systems into a format that can be easily comprehended in the target country.
In short, studying in the Caribbean should be taken into consideration by any and all adventurous students with a high level of ambition. Aside from all of the aforementioned benefits and differences as compared to US colleges and universities, studying in the Caribbean will allow you to indulge yourself in some of the most astounding paradises in the world. From studying on the beach to exploring remote rainforests to getting to know a new culture, the opportunities are unlimited. Take the time to research your decision and find the Caribbean university that best suits you and get ready for the adventure of your lifetime!
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