Higher Education in Antigua and Barbuda
The population of Antigua and Barbuda experiences a 90%-plus literacy rate. Since 1998 the government has pursued a mandate to become the leading provider in the Caribbean of medical services. The most sophisticated hospital in the Caribbean is the Mt. St. John Medical Centre, and Antigua has two medical schools, The University of Health Services Antigua and the American University of Antigua.
The Doctor of Medicine program at UHSA is a four-year program with three semesters each calendar year. Basic sciences are covered in the first four semesters at the Antigua campus. The rest of the coursework is composed of clinical clerkships at associated hospitals in the United States, the UK, China, and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, UHSA offers an MD program for current working health professionals. During the first five semesters, students spend the initial four weeks of each semester studying in Antigua, then complete the rest of the coursework using online distance learning.
American University of Antigua opened its doors in 2004 to address a growing physician shortage in the United States. In association with Manipal University in India, AUA has become an international educational hub.
The medical school’s Basic Sciences program consists of two semesters per academic year. This model is based on U.S. medical school programs. AUA College of Medicine has been approved by the New York State Education Department and recognized by the Medical Board of California. This recognition allows students to acquire residency positions and clinical clerkships in those states.
In Antigua there is a government-run state college, plus the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Information Technology. The Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute is also located there, and the University of the West Indies operates a campus in Antigua where the local population can continue their university coursework.
Various other institutions outside the country offer study opportunities in Antigua and Barbuda. For example, Brooklyn College offers Archeology Field School there, and the SEA Semester in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, offers field programs there in Marine and Environmental Studies.
Separated by a few nautical miles, Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 17 degrees north of the Equator. Its governance, language, and culture have all been strongly influenced by the British Empire, of which the country was formerly a part. Tourism dominates the economy, accounting for more than half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Antigua is famous for its many luxury resorts.Antigua and Barbuda is a nation of two islands located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The country is made of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and several smaller ones, including Green, Guinea, Long, Great Bird, Maiden and York Islands, and Redonda.
Antigua and Barbuda are separated by only a few nautical miles in the middle of the Leeward Islands, which are part of the Lesser Antilles. The country was formerly a part of the British Empire, which strongly influenced its culture.
In addition to the normal process for getting a visa for travel to the country, students are asked to provide an acceptance letter from the school they are attending, as well as details of where they will be staying, prior to the beginning of their studies.
Like most locales in the tropics, close proximity to the equator means the region doesn’t have four separate seasons; in fact, there is little seasonal variation at all. The temperature in Antigua averages in the mid seventies year round, with the annual average minimum to maximum temperature range sitting at 69 ºF to 86 ºF and the temperature rarely falling below 68 ºF.
Antigua is not an inexpensive place to live, but there are ways someone living on a student’s budget can stretch each dollar further. Eating out is fairly cheap, depending of course on what sort of food you like and what sort of restaurant. The cost of buying groceries depends very much upon whether the item being purchased is local or has had to be imported. As in most places, buying locally is a good way to save money.
Transportation can be pricey, with taxis being obviously more expensive than buses, though both safer and more reliable. Many students depend on their bicycles to get around cheaply.
Because of the desirable location, rentals can be expensive as well. Most rentals are set up for tourists with short-term rents, and naturally landlords are hesitant to reduce costs for students staying an entire semester or year or longer, when they can make so much more money renting to tourists.
However, there are multiple housing situations for students wanting to study in Antigua and Barbuda: in addition to apartments, there are guesthouses, home stays, and student residences. These residences typically provide accommodation for students of all ages or nationalities in a home-like environment. Typically, students' residential lodging is the cheapest form of private student housing. The student residences in Antigua and Barbuda generally offer common kitchen facilities or as well.
Utilities can be costly, though in the case of renting a property, some are often included with the rent. Many landlords will help pay water costs up to a certain limit. If gas appliances are involved, most properties will have gas tanks which require filling. Electricity rates are much higher than they are in the U.S., though telephone or internet costs are often much more reasonable.
- When driving a car in Antigua and Berbuda, realize that you drive on the left side of the road.
- Take precautions with prescription drugs. It is recommended transporting prescription medicines in their original packaging.
- Photocopy all travel documents and leave someone back home you can contact if you lose your documents.
- Part of the island is wired with 110 volts and part is 220 volts. Both voltages however are typically readily available.
- No vaccinations are required to study in Antigua and Berbuda.
- Cell phones coverage is available; however, it is recommended you check your individual plan to see if it is covered there.
- When making any purchase, always confirm price ahead of time and determine whether the price quoted is in the U.S. dollars or East Caribbean dollars, since both are used.