BLOCK 2 is finally OVER!!! Okay, so I completely understand that you may not even know what that means but basically the semester is divided into 4 sections called blocks. The end of the blocks have celebratory exams to assess your learning of that section. I would say that I did better than last semester. At this point, I just want to make sure that I pass. A’s and B’s are not my major concern because after all this is medical school. To celebrate, I went with some friends to Mead’s Bay to a restaurant called Blanchard’s. Here’s a few pictures if you want to see my adventure as well.
So today’s topic is financials. A few days ago, I posted on Facebook that if anyone wanted to contribute to the poor fund of Ariel Sheppard, to send me a message. I think everyone thought it was just a joke although I was very serious.
Since I have been here, I have been milked for money. Actually before I left home. Before leaving home, everyone in my class received an email stating that the immigration laws have changed in Anguilla and they now require that ALL students have the student visa documentation from our class on. This is before we find places to live and after we’ve paid about $10,000 for tuition and enrollment fees. By the way, the $1000 to hold your seat does NOT go toward your tuition but to the enrollment fee instead. The student visa documentation requirement cost a total of $600 consisting of a $100 application fee and $500 documentation fee. The application is actually due today as a matter of fact. I didn’t plan to spend this much money in my first semester but it is very difficult not to when you have fees such as this.
Also, to point out, the upperclassmen don’t have to worry about this fee because they are exempt so this is only for future classes. Sounds a little unfair in my book, but life is unfair. My class did argue that we were misinformed about this fee because it was never mentioned in the webinars but the argument was that we were told that additional fees may apply. I hate the fine print sometimes.
Either way, between the price of an apartment with electricity, internet and gas plus the cost of food, I think it is safe to say one could spend $700-900 per month easily. For example, I pay $480 for rent and electricity was $36 which was split between 4 people. Internet can be about $80 a month if you get it from the cable company which has the fastest speed. Gas for cooking is needed depended on how often you cook. Not to mention the cost of water when you have a cistern but depending on how much you use it or if the landlord covers it depends on how much you may spend. About 5000 gallons is around $300. And the cost of food? I’ll take some pictures and let you decide. All prices are in EC which is $2.68 to our US $1. When I am shopping, I typically divide everything by 3 to overestimate the cost and determine if I would like to buy whatever it is I am looking at. Depending on if you like to go out to eat determines the extra cost you could incur. The restaurants here don’t exactly have lunch specials or anything similar.
Another thing that may affect your wallet, it is not necessary to buy that 90 day return flight ticket when you enter the country because you get a stamp that last 6 months. And yes you could use this instead of the student visa but Anguilla just now wanted to start enforcing this law. Attempt to rent somewhere that comes with a car. Or just make some friends with people who drive so you can go places when needed. Plus, if you needed to start a diet, it’s very easy because the cost of snacks and sweets is more expensive than fruit. I’ve already lost 23 pounds thus far.
So the words for the week include that of faith while taking the wisdom of others. This week’s sermon included scripture from Daniel when he was convicted of praying to God by his peers but he was spared in the lion’s den like I was for exams.
My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.