Aruba is a 33-kilometer-long (20 mi) island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km (17 mi) north of the coast of Venezuela. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Antilles are commonly referred to as the Dutch Antilles. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm and sunny weather.
The population is around 100,000 at the latest census and the country is filled with activities all year long. Rich in cultural history, it is an exciting place to visit or study in, as it brings millions of visitors per year to its unique setting.
Essential Facts about Aruba
- Official language is Dutch; but many Arubans speak English and Spanish also, interchangeably
- Currency is the Aruba "florin"
- Economy fluctuates with the US dollar
- Pleasant climate except for spring and summer tropical winds
- Government is a Parliamentary Democracy; terms for 4 years
- Time zone is Atlantic Standard Time year round
There is little variation in the climate in Aruba from its yearly average of a sunny 81° F or 27°C with northeasterly trade winds. It is outside the range of the Caribbean hurricanes so it is in a good location and away from most catastrophic storms. It is in the tropics and is usually windy but pleasant with many sunny days. People who enjoy the weather of the tropics and the occasional rainstorm would love the climate in Aruba.
Religion in Aruba
The predominant religion of Aruba is Roman Catholic, with 83% of Arubans practicing this religion. Many other religions are also practiced but the Muslim and Islamic religions are virtually unheard of, with less than .3% professing to be Muslim. In addition to the mainstream religions, Arubans are largely superstitious, with some of their beliefs going back to the ancient beliefs of their ancestors. But this is the minority of beliefs in general.
Study in Aruba
Higher Education in Aruba
Higher education plays a key role in the culture and heritage of Aruba. There is a recent trend in Aruba to branch out into new technologies and incorporate them into their learning system. Unlike some may think, most Arubans are quite educated and sophisticated in their behavior. Their education system is similar to the one in the Netherlands, a neighboring country which is indirectly involves in higher education in Aruba. The government finances almost all of the national education system's objectives for education.
Popular Universities in Aruba
The most popular university in Aruba is the University of Aruba. Most young people from both Aruba and other countries prefer its cutting-edge atmosphere and implementation of modern technology to any smaller schools.
The average rate per credit hour for higher education in Aruba is $250-$350 per hour. The focus on higher education is in the field of medicine and graduates of these programs are highly paid and can enter fields of research after graduation. For 15 weeks or 4 semesters of training for Pre-Med, the cost is $4500 in US dollars per semester; MD Basic Science (4 semesters) is $7150 per semester, and MD Clinical Science Programme is $9900 for 6 semesters.
Eligibility for Student Visas
Anyone wanting to work and study in Aruba must have a visitors' visa before coming to the country, which is obtainable from the Kingdom of the Netherlands consulate. To study in Aruba, you must go through 2 major processes. The first involves the following steps:
- DINA form
- copy of passport
- 4 passport photos
- Original birth certificate/Apostille
- Original police certificate and Apostille
After these are documented, they will assign you an "inflight permission" where you will be allowed to enter Aruba as a student. Once in Aruba, you must then submit the following:
- Medical clearance certificate
- proof of health insurance
- proof of medical tests
- student fee
Since the policies in Aruba are so strict and streamlined, it is advisable that students who plan to study in Aruba get all of their medical tests and essential paperwork in place many months before going there, to avoid any necessary delays in obtaining their student visas or creating possible legal issues. Some simple planning ahead in advance will avoid any issues in receiving your student visa, or delay your admission requirements into the university. Check with your chosen university to see what their deadline are, then just make sure you have plenty of time to get the paperwork done before arriving.
Why Study in Aruba?
Aruba is an exciting place where millions visit each year as tourists. It is attractive to many to consider the idea of studying in Aruba because you could be surrounded by the beautiful environment and culture 365 days per year while getting your degree. The medical and science fields are very popular in Aruba due to the cultural need for good doctors to study and live in Aruba, as well as the world need for physicians and clinical practitioners all over the globe. Some stay in the area after graduation and practice their craft there, while others opt to go to where the need is elsewhere. In addition to the rich educational opportunities, the culture is steeped in tradition and bountiful. There are yearly carnivals and prestigious events which occur each year that Arubans love to take part in. Everything about the country is rich in heritage and is artistic in the extreme. The people are a family group who want to help each other and they welcome visitors any time of the year. Students can gain a rich experience in culture of another country while learning skills in their chosen profession. Aruba is considered safe to work and live there but you are advised not to leave cars or valuables unattended, especially near the beach. People wanting to stay, live, and work in Aruba must obtain a work permit. Students are not allowed to work while in school, without a work permit and recommendations from their educational institution and references. The process to get into Aruba is strict, but once there you will gain a rich background of experiences you will remember for a lifetime.