AUC Resumes Classes in Sint Maarten Following Temporary Relocation After Hurricane Irma
Four months after Hurricane Irma caused AUC to evacuate students and faculty from Sint Maarten, AUC has resumed classes on its Sint Maarten campus.
The medical school has begun a phased return to Sint Maarten after holding its September 2017 semester on the campus of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, United Kingdom.
“The last four months have required a tremendous amount of teamwork, support, and resilience from our students, faculty, and colleagues as well as from UCLan, which welcomed AUC and provided immense support,” said Heidi Chumley, MD, Executive Dean at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. “Now we are excited to be back in our campus home, engaging with our community partners in Sint Maarten, and looking forward to playing our part in advancing the country’s continued recovery.”
The category 5 hurricane, which swept over Sint Maarten on September 6, 2017, had a major impact on the island, where AUC’s students complete their first two years of medical school. After evacuating more than 700 students, faculty, family members, and staff to the U.S., AUC and its parent organization, Adtalem Global Education, commenced planning to find a temporary site in which to continue classes. Faculty and students mobilized to the UK quickly in September and completed the semester in the first week of January.
Now, as Sint Maarten continues to recover and rebuild, AUC is pleased to return for the January 2018 semester. While first, second, and third semester students will be based in Sint Maarten, fourth and fifth semester students will continue their studies in the UK, taught by AUC faculty. These students will benefit from clinical learning opportunities at our affiliated hospital sites in the UK.
Throughout the semester, AUC students and colleagues will mobilize to help the country rebuild. In February, the medical school will host Community Action Day, a day dedicated to volunteer work throughout the island. Students will also continue their work on public health, health education, and other programs to benefit the people of Sint Maarten.