Welcome Week

Welcome to American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine! The next few months of medical school are going to be an enriching, rewarding, and truly unique experience. As an AUC student, you are now part of a tight-knit community that is supportive, inclusive, and motivated to find success in medical school and beyond.

AUC has organized several Welcome Week activities to acquaint you to the university and “the friendly island” of Sint Maarten. Your Orientation Advisors, who are upperclassmen at AUC, will take you on a tour of the campus and surrounding neighborhood and will show you where to shop for everything you need in order to have a successful semester.

Use the following schedule and guide to prepare for your first semester at AUC. All events are mandatory for new students except for those that have been indicated as optional. Toward the bottom of this page, you will find advice and recommendations from your Orientation Advisors to help you transition to life as a medical student on the beautiful island of Sint Maarten. 


May 2019 Semester


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  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019

    Airport Welcome & Shuttle Transportation to Campus

    As flights arrive

    Princess Juliana Airport

    Orientation Advisors & Admissions Team


    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1

    *Come dressed in business attire for your photo


    On-Campus Housing Check-In

    9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

    University Apartments, Ground Floor

    Melissa Harrison-Grinuva, Housing Supervisor

  • Thursday, May 2, 2019

    Airport Welcome & Shuttle Transportation to Campus

    As flights arrive

    Princess Juliana Airport

    Orientation Advisors & Admissions Team


    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1

    *Come dressed in business attire for your photo


    On-Campus Housing Check-In

    9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

    University Apartments, Ground Floor

    Melissa Harrison-Grinuva, Housing Supervisor


    Financial Aid & Student Accounts Help Desk

    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Rotunda, Building 1


    Campus Tour (optional)

    12:30 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM

    Meetin in the Rotunda, Building 1

    Orientation Advisors

  • Friday, May 3, 2019

    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1

    *Come dressed in business attire for your photo


    Financial Aid & Student Accounts Help Desk

    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Rotunda, Building 1


    Registration (By Appointment)

    8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

    *Pick up your welcome packet, orientation kit, and medical insurance card

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Dimple Amarnani, Campus Registrar


    Pre-Orientation Session: Information Technology

    10:00 AM & 1:00 PM

    Lecture Hall 3, Building 1

    Cathy Vollmer, IT Services Manager


    Pre-Orientation Session: Facilities, Housting, and Resident Advisors

    3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Melissa Harrison, Housing Supervisor

    Denis Thomas, Senior Facilities Manager


    Pre-Orientation Session: Safety & Security

    3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Gerard Lake, Safety and Security Manager


    Housewares Shuttle to ACE Hardware (optional)

    4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

    Meet in the Rotunda, Building 1

    Orientation Advisors


    Student Social (optional)

    8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

    AUC Cafe Patio (behind the Cafeteria in Building 1)

    Hosted by the Student Government Association & Student Club Leaders

  • Saturday, May 4, 2019

    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1


    Island Tour (optional)

    8:30 AM – 12:00 PM (lunch provided)

    Meet in the Rotunda, Building 1

    Orientation Advisors


    Housewares and Grocery Shuttles to ACE Hardware and Prime Cash & Carry (optional)

    12:30 PM – 3:00 PM

    Meet in the Rotunda, Building 1

    Orientation Advisors


    Campus Tour (optional)

    1:00 PM

    Meet in the Rotunda, Building 1

    Orientation Advisors


    Beach Hangout

    3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Mullet Bay Beach (5-10 minute walk from campus)

    Orientation Advisors

  • Sunday, May 5, 2019

    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1



    8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

    Hallway outside of the Auditorium, Building 2

    Hosted by Student Affairs


    Financial Aid & Student Accounts Help Desk

    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Rotunda, Building 1



    9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Welcome – Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs & SGA Representatives

    Academic Policies – Dr. Colin Michie, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

    Non-Academic Policies – Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

    Financial Aid – Ren-Dwina Browne, Financial Aid Advisor


    Lunch with Orientation Advisors

    11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Orientation Advisors


    Orientation Continued

    1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Introduction to Sint Maarten: Culture, History and Expectations – Morrisia Nicholas, Supervisor of Library Services

    Community Engagement – Dr. Golden Jackson, Assistant Dean of Service-Learning and Community Affairs

    Health & Wellness  – Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

    Counseling – Dr. Keith Evashevski, Director of Wellness Counseling

    Recreation – Geralda James, Student Recreation Coordinator

    Medical Insurance and Immigration – Sumita Ellis, Immigration and Health Insurance Coordinator

    CARE Initiative – Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

    Introduction to Osmosis – Dr. Mike Michel, Professor of Physiology


    Sunday Sundaes (optional)

    4:35 PM – 6:00 PM

    Rooftop Terrace, University Apartments

    Resident Advisors

  • Monday, May 6, 2019

    University ID Badges

    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Security Department, Building 1



    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    Cafeteria, Building 1

    Hosted by Student Affairs


    Introduction to 1st Semester        

    9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Dr. Charlotte Rhodes, Associate Professor of Anatomy & 1st Semester Lead


    Academic Success Workshop

    9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Academic Success Center


    Learning Resources

    10:15 AM – 11:00 AM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    Morrisia Nicholas, Supervisor of Library Services


    Business Fair (optional)

    11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

    Courtyard, Building 1

    *Meet with representatives from local internet and mobile providers


    Introduction to the Student Government Association          

    2:10 PM – 2:20 PM

    Main Auditorium, Building 2

    SGA Representatives


    White Coat Ceremony & Reception        

    5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

    Auditorium, Building 2

    *Program will begin at 5:30 PM. Please arrive with your white coat / lab coat.

    *Dinner reception to follow at Port de Plaisance. Shuttle transportation will be provided.

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    MEDTalks Specialty Guest Lecture

    6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

    Main Auditorium, Building 2

    Dr. Robert Flannery, 2002 AUC Graduate and Assistant Medical Physician for the Cleveland Browns

    Hosted by the Office of Student Professional Development and the AUC Chapter of the American Medical Students Association

  • Wednesday, May 8, 2019

    Campus Dean Welcome Ceremony (optional)

    1:30 PM - 2:30 PM (refreshments provided)

    Lecture Hall 2, Building 1

    Hosted by the Office of the Dean 


    Canadian Medical Student Association Welcome (optional)

    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Multipurpose Room (MPR), Building 1

    Hosted by the Canadian Medical Student Association


    AUC Families Welcome & Game Night (optional)

    5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

    Cafeteria Patio, Building 1

    Hosted by Student Affairs

    *Students with significant others and children are invited to participated

  • Monday, May 13, 2019

    Honor Code Signing & Faculty Advisor Match

    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Courtyard, Building 1

    Hosted by the Student Judiciary Committee and the Academic Success Center

    *Dress in professional attire and your white coats

Orientation Advisors' Unofficial Guide to AUC

Three AUC medical students talking

  • Life in Sint Maarten

    Sint Maarten is a beautiful island nestled in the Caribbean. The island locals are very friendly and caring, and are happy to engage students in conversation. Being the “friendly island,” it is common courtesy to say good morning and good afternoon to those you pass.


    The weather is usually warm and sunny with intermittent rain during the spring season, making shorts, t-shirts, dresses and sandals the unofficial dress code. As with any tropical environment, there are mosquitos in Sint Maarten. To protect yourself from bites and mosquito-borne diseases, you can purchase repellents and sprays from the grocery stores and pharmacies around campus. During the summer months, when mosquito populations tend to grown, AUC will spray around the campus.

  • Travel Information

    Scheduling Your Flight

    Flights should be booked to arrive at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), located on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten. From there, you can take a 2-mile taxi ride to AUC’s campus for about $10-13.


    Travel Documentation

    You will need to travel with the following documents:

    • Valid passport (check that your passport is signed and has not expired)
    • Acceptance letter
    • Naturalized U.S. citizens must show an original naturalization certificate with photo ID
    • Permanent U.S. residents must travel with their Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and valid passport
    • Canadian residents must travel with their Residency Permit


    If you plan to bring a spouse or other family members:

    • Marriage certificate
    • Return tickets

    If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you may be required to obtain a visa. Please contact the nearest Dutch Embassy/Consulate to find out if you need a visa or other documentation. Our immigration coordinator will be in contact with you to get any appropriate information and will request a landing permit on your behalf if needed. Once you receive the permit, you will be able to meet with the embassy to obtain a visa for your stay in Sint Maarten.


    For additional information on travel to Sint Maarten, please visit the official Sint Maarten website at www.sintmaartengov.org.


    International Travel Registration

    All students and their family are encouraged to register with their government’s Department of State or Foreign Affairs. This will ensure that local embassies and consultants are aware of your extended stay on the island. The United States manages a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development also maintains a travel registration program. Registration allows home countries to organize proper resources in the event of an emergency on the island, including lost or stolen passports. Please check with your home country for registration availability or requirements.

  • Pack List

    We surveyed AUC students to compile a suggested pack list. Here is what they advise you bring:



    • A laptop or tablet (or both)
    • Dual screens to help you multitask
    • Hard drive to back up your documents
    • Grounded power strips
    • Wireless router
    • USB drive
    • Unlocked cell phone (for those who want to purchase an island sim card)
    • Camera

    Clothing - Leisure

    • Shorts, tank tops, flip flops, running shoes and slides
    • Sweaters, long-sleeved shirts for lecture halls and study rooms
    • 2-3 bathing suits

    Clothing - Professional 

    • Semi-formal outfits for special events
    • Business casual outfits for Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) courses
    • 3 pairs of scrubs for anatomy lab
    • 2 white coats for lab and ICM (available for purchase on campus)

    Medical Equipment / School Supplies

    • Stethoscope
    • ICM kit (can be ordered prior to arrival and picked up at the AUC Bookstore)
    • Dissection kit (can be purchased from an upperclassman; purchase extra blades on Amazon or at the AUC Bookstore)
    • Clipboard (transparent clipboards not recommended)
    • Notebooks
    • Paper
    • Pens/pencils/highlighters
    • Earplugs


    • If you take medications, bring enough to last you one semester


    • Eye contact solution
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrushes
    • Mouthwash
    • Q-tips
    • Floss
    • Facewash
    • Shampoo/conditioner/body wash
    • Lotion
    • Sunscreen
    • First aid items



    The U.S. dollar and Traveler’s Checks are widely accepted throughout the island. However, U.S. personal checks are usually not accepted. We advise students to travel with an ATM card and/or a sufficient amount of cash to support you during the first few weeks of school. If you have not made housing accommodations, be prepared to have two months rent in cash available for your off-campus security deposit.


    Favorite Snacks

    You will find a wide variety of foods at the local grocery stores but if you have a favorite, consider bringing it from home to fulfill those cravings!



    Many of these items are available for purchase once you arrive to Sint Maarten but you may find it more economical to bring them with you.

    • Swiffer (replacement pads are available on the island)
    • 3-4 bath towels and hand towels
    • 2 beach towels
    • Goggles
    • Combination lock for your anatomy locker/gym locker
    • Bedding and a pillow
    • Hangers
    • Bath rugs
    • Desk lamp
    • Flashlight that is rechargeable or has a manual crank
    • Room decorations/personal items

  • Shipping and Mail Services

    Bulk shipping is the most economical manner to deliver larger personal items, such as books, televisions, and computers to Sint Maarten. This means, however, that packages will be consolidated at Miami as an interim destination. For further information, please contact the following shipping companies:






    Fourstar Cargo




    Tropical Shipping



    *Note: Items are typically delivered within two weeks of placing an order. Multiple orders can be consolidated into one single package. When placing an online order, add the following address at checkout and then forward your order confirmation to stm@tropical.com. Shipments are delivered to Sint Maarten on Sundays and Wednesdays and you can request that your items be delivered to AUC’s campus. Once delivered to campus, they will be available for pickup at the AUC Bookstore.


         Student Name + STM

         Tropical Shipping

         9505 NW 108th Avenue

         Medley, FL 33178

         Tel: 305-805-7400


    Mail and Packages

    AUC receives packages and mail from various carriers, including USPS, Canada Post, UPS, DHL, and FedEx. Regular mail (USPS, Canada Post), takes between 6-8 weeks and express mail can take up to 10 days. Courier services take between 2-3 days for express delivery and can cost around $40 from the United States and $115 or more from Canada.


    Once you arrive to Sint Maarten, you can setup a local mailbox through the island’s mail service. Initial setup must be completed at the Mailbox Service office in Simpson Bay. Mail is distributed to campus every Monday and Thursday and is available for pickup in the Bookstore. Items should be sent to the following address:


         Student name

         American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

         #1 University Drive at Jordan Road, Cupecoy – Lowlands, St. Maarten

         Clearly mark “AIR MAIL” on all letters and packages and make sure to note that the packages are being       shipped to a PO Box.


  • Car Rental or Purchase

    Shipping a Car

    You can buy a used car in Sint Maarten for a reasonable price or you can ship your car to the island. For information on shipping a car, contact Intermar Shipping at 721-542-4734.


    Purchasing a Used Car

    Occasionally, cars can be purchased from students leaving the island, from dealers, or from ads in the local newspaper. The typical price range for a car is $800 to $4,000 depending on its condition. If you plan on purchasing a used car, we strongly advise you to have it inspected by a local mechanic before signing a purchase agreement. 


    Leasing a Car

    You may also choose to lease a car for about $350-700/month depending on the make and model of the car (insurance not included). Do not rush into a rental car agreement; give yourself adequate time to evaluate all of your available options. We do not recommend signing a long term rental agreement as they do not have cancellation options.


    Renting a Car

    Students can rent a car with an agency of their choice, however, we recommend Dollar/Thrifty Car Rental. A Thrifty representative will be on campus during the business fair to help you reserve a rental. There is also a Thrifty agent, Leo Jubenot, at Sapphire Beach Club near campus.


    To rent a car, you will need to have funds for a security deposit (typically $100-$500) and a valid driver’s license. Cars begin at $22 (plus tax) and liability and collision insurance are available for $8/day and $10/day each.


                    Thrifty Car Rental

                    102 Airport Road (1.34 miles from campus)

                    Philipsburg, NA





    Mandatory Inspections & Insurance

    The Sint Maarten Government issues stickers as a part of their road tax system. It will cost $35 to have your car inspected, which can be good for 1 or 2 years depending on the age of the car. In addition, you will have to pay a yearly road tax of about $210.


    If you own a car in Sint Maarten, you will need to insure it with a local company. You cannot use your vehicle insurance from home. Annual automobile insurance can cost approximately $200-400 and scooter insurance can cost $60-$150. Representatives from People’s Insurance regularly visit campus to setup and renew insurance for students.


    Driver’s License

    Obtaining a Sint Maarten driver’s license is mandatory if you or a significant other wants to drive a motor vehicle on the island. To obtain a driver’s license, you will need to present two recent passport photos (35 x 40 mm), a valid driver’s license, a valid passport, and payment for the fee.

  • Shopping Guide



    Tung Yuen Supermarket (Asian Market)

    1-minute walk away from AUC Welcome Center
    This is a corner store market with a lot more than you’d expect. Anything from dry to wet goods. Eggs, milk, juices, spices, dry food, canned food, bread, sauces/spreads, and a few microwavable items. If you don’t feel like cooking or forgot an item from one of the larger grocery stores, a stop to the Asian market is perfect. It also has a few household items.



    10-minute drive from campus

    This is the most similar store to Sam’s Club/Costco, though probably half the size. Everything here is sold in bulk so this is a very good location to buy cereal, canned goods, snacks, and anything else you would buy from a wholesale store.


    Carrefour (Porto Cupecoy location)

    10-minute walk from campus or a 2-minute drive via AUC shuttle or Carrefour shuttle

    This is a small supermarket with a lot of American food and products. You can buy most of the necessary cooking items here. Fresh produce, fruits, meats, fish, snacks, breads, cheeses, etc. They give a 5% discount to AUC students.


    Carrefour (Phillipsburg location)

    25-minute drive from campus

    This is the largest Carrefour on the island and is brand new. With a large stock and wide variety, you can find almost everything you need here, including spices, American brand goods, frozen food products, and household items. Students recommend buying meat and produce here. They also give a 5% discount to AUC students.


    Super-U (Marigot)

    30-35 minute drive to the French side of the island

    This is another very large supermarket where you can find most of the groceries that you need. Be aware that everything written on products is in French but item locations and pictures make it navigable. This store is cost-friendly option that also provides a 5% AUC student discount.


    Shopping Tips

    The island is big on reusing bags and shoppers often reuse their old plastic bags or buy 2-3 reusable ones. Bagboys are available at most grocery stores to help bag your items but they expect tips. Unless you tell them that you will bag your groceries, they will do it for you.


    Going to buy groceries will most likely require a vehicle. If you are going to rent a car, do so a few days in advance to secure transportation.


  • Local Eats

    With a mix of cultures and cuisines, Sint Maarten has an abundance of restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Students suggest the following favorites to begin your culinary experience.


     $ = under $15     $$ = $15-25     $$$ = $26+



    • Crave, Simpson Bay $$$
    • Beirut, Simpson Bay $$
    • Little Jerusalem, Simpson Bay $
    • Little Beirut, Cupecoy $$
    • Al-Pasha, Simpson Bay $$


    • 3 Amigos, Maho $$
    • Jimbo’s, Simpson Bay $$
    • Ernest and Fidel, Porto Cupecoy $$


    • Wasabi Charlie, Simpson Bay $$$
    • Avantika, Simpson Bay $$$
    • Little Bamboo, Simpson Bay $$
    • Gong Fu Tea, Porto Cupecoy $$


    • Pollos Hermanos, Simpson Bay $$
    • KFC, Cole Bay $
    • Buffalo Wings, Simpson Bay $$


    • Izi, Simpson Bay $$$
    • Spaghetti House, Cupecoy $
    • Mario’s, Porto Cupecoy $$
    • Rialto Pizza and Pasta, Maho $


    • Rendez Vous Lounge, Porto Cupecoy $$ (good breakfast!)
    • Greenhouse, Simpson Bay $$ (discount for AUC)
    • Sunset Beach Bar, Maho $$
    • Dinghy Dock Bar, Simpson Bay $$
    • Topper’s, Simpson Bay $$
    • Zee Best, Simpson Bay $$ (good breakfast!)
    • Bar Code, Cupceoy $$
    • BBs, Cupceoy $ (bar food!)
    • Sint Maarten Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant, Simpson Bay $$$
    • Karakter, Simpson Bay $$
    • El Zafiro, Simpson Bay $
    • Jule’s Bakery, Cupecoy $


    • Le Bateau Ivre, Porto Cupecoy $$$ 
    • Vesna Taverna, Simpson Bay $$$

    Sweets/Ice Cream

    • Carousel, Simpson Bay $
    • Rendez Vous Lounge, Porto Cupecoy $
    • Jule’s Bakery, Cupecoy $

  • Island Activities

    With a mix of cultures and cuisines, Sint Maarten has an abundance of restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Students suggest the following favorites to begin your culinary experience.