Frequently Asked Questions

General

Who is an SO?

The Significant Others Organization (SOO) is for individuals who have moved to Grenada to support their significant other and would benefit from assistance adjusting to island life.  The SOO recognizes spouses, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, children, parents, and siblings of a St. George's University student, staff, or faculty member as an SO.   SGU officially recognizes an SO as a person who is married to, or is in a committed relationship with, a student (who is currently in good standing and is registered for and attending classes at the Grenada Campus of SGU) AND who is living with that student in Grenada.  SGU also recognizes children of students living in Grenada as SOs.

Why should I join the Significant Others Organization?

The SOO plans many activities to keep all interested members active and productive.  Our organization works to provide regular weekly activities, volunteer opportunities, special events, and field trips to various locations around the island in order to give our members the opportunity to become acquainted with all the great things Grenada has to offer.  Becoming integrated with a community is a great way to feel at home and deal with the difficulties of moving away from friends and family.

I am a male SO.  Are there many other male SOs?

While there are more females than males, there are definitely male SOs who are active within the organization.  The male SOs often stick together and embark on adventures around the island, go fishing, hiking, host poker nights, etc.  Some of our male SOs get further involved by volunteering on the SOO board.  There is a Facebook group dedicated to facilitating activities among our male SOs.

Is the Significant Others Organization LGBT friendly?

Yes!  The SOO recognizes spouses, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, children, parents, and siblings of a St. George's University student, staff, or faculty member as an SO.  St. George’s University is an LGBT friendly zone.  Grenada is a very religious country and many same sex couples do not display their affection for one another in public.  Same sex couples will go through the same passport stamp renewal process, but the relationship between the SO and the student is listed as “friend” when a letter is requested from the Office of Enrollment Planning.  There is an LGBT organization at SGU that can answer more specific questions about LGBT life in Grenada. You can also find LGBT travel information through the US Department of State.

How can I get more involved in the Significant Others Organization?

If you’re used to more involvement besides just going to gatherings and events, you can be a part of the board that plans all those gatherings and events.  Behind the scenes the SOO board coordinates social events, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities and makes all this information available to you via the website, weekly email, and Facebook.  Every term the board holds elections to fill these volunteer positions.  If you’re interested in being a part of this, talk to any current board member or email soorgsgu@gmail.com.

Traveling To and From Grenada

What do I need to know about travel embargoes?

During certain times of the year, airlines will implement travel embargoes that may affect your luggage allowance and how pets can fly to and from Grenada.  If this is a concern for you, check with your airline prior to making your travel reservations.

What should I expect to pay import taxes on when coming through Maurice Bishop International Airport?

Your student will pay import taxes on computers, tablets, and other electronic items.  A Customs Agent will ask to see the receipt for the electronics.  If you cannot provide a purchase receipt, try to bring an invoice showing its value.  The Customs Agent will record the serial number of the electronics, assign the taxes, and issue a receipt.  It is up to the Customs Agent to determine if the SO has to pay import taxes on electronic items.  Be sure to keep all receipts for items you paid taxes on.  Showing these receipts to the Customs Agent in the future will keep you from having to pay the same tax twice.

Be aware that iPads have traditionally been taxed at a very high rate- 45%.  As long as you keep your receipt, you will only have to pay once.

In addition to electronics, you may pay a tax for bringing a pet into the country.  It is up to the discretion of the Customs Agent what each person pays taxes on.

After a long day of travel and long lines in the airport, remember that being polite and respectful with the Customs Agent will usually get you further.

I have a layover in Trinidad or another country during my travel.  What do I need to know about that?

Depending which airport your layover is in and the length of your layover, you may or may not have to leave security until the check in counters open.  If your layover is overnight, you can choose between staying in the airport or in a hotel.  SOs traveling with children have typically preferred to stay in a hotel versus the airport.  If traveling with pets, please read the pets section of the FAQ.

Do I have to have a return ticket when flying to Grenada?

Some SOs have had difficulties when traveling to Grenada with a one way ticket.  A return ticket is not mandatory for students and usually SOs are permitted to stay the same length of time as the student.  It is always best for the SO to fly with their student.  Once you’ve moved to Grenada and have obtained your SO identification card, be sure to keep it handy whenever flying as proof that you currently reside in Grenada.  If issues do arise with the airlines or Grenada Immigration, calmly explain that you live with your student while he or she is enrolled at SGU.

How early do I need to arrive at MBIA when leaving Grenada?

It is recommended that you arrive for an international flight three hours in advance.  The MBIA is small, but is always busy immediately following the end of a term.  Allow extra time if you’re traveling with pets.  Depending upon the time of year and your specific travel accommodations, you may be able to arrive two hours or less before your flight departs.

Housing

What is the campus married housing like?

Married housing is located in a total of four dorm buildings on campus (Neem, Nutmeg, Providence and Springs).  There are a total of six married housing apartments in each building (three on 1st floor, three on 2nd floor) with apartments for single students in between each married housing apartment.  The apartments are studios that include a queen sized bed, kitchenette, two desks, small dining table (for two), closet, and bathroom.  The apartments are approximately 250 square feet and wired with 220 volt outlets (unlike most of the newer dormitories on campus that have 110).  Twice a week housekeeping is included in the fee for on campus housing.

Does campus married housing have air conditioning?  Is there a limit to how much I can use?

Yes, on campus married housing has air conditioning via central air units.  The thermostat for the air conditioning is set by housing for the entire building and is not able to be changed.  Some find their rooms to be a bit warm, but most find their rooms to be chilly.  Many occupants have found blocking the air vents with 3 by 5 index cards helpful in controlling the temperature in their individual apartments.  Opening windows or doors to increase the temperature is prohibited by the Housing Office.  If you are going to live on campus, it is suggested you bring a blanket, long pants, and a sweatshirt.

Are there water or electricity use limits in the campus married housing?

Water and electricity are included in the fee for married housing, as is internet.  There are no limits of use.  However, during the dry season water may be restricted in the form of limited laundry hours.  The water system has also been known to have a few issues during the dry season, but these interruptions are scarce and are usually fixed within a few hours.

Is there wireless Internet in campus married housing?

No.  There is one outlet with two wired ports for internet connections so please bring two Ethernet cords.  At times the Firefly wireless network can be reached from some of the buildings, but this is not always a strong connection.  Some married housing occupants have been known to use a router, although this is against the SGU’s policy.

How does laundry work for campus married housing?

Each building has a laundry closet that includes one washer and one dryer (not coin operated) and are for dorm residents only.  Occupants are discouraged from using other buildings laundry facilities. Housing reserves the right to close laundry facilities due to water shortages- and typically tries to send an email warning in advance.

How do I find housing in Grenada before we get there?

If you are not living on campus, you can find off campus housing on the SGU Post (your student can log in through My SGU), the university’s list of recommended housing (email the Housing Department for the most current list), and through the local real estate agencies Central Lease and Terra Caribbean.

How do I find housing in Grenada once we arrive?

Some families choose not to sign a lease until they’ve arrived in Grenada and instead stay in a hotel until they’ve found their ideal home.  You can search for off campus housing via word of mouth, the SGU Post (your student can log in through My SGU), the university’s list of recommended housing (email the Housing Department for the most current list), and through the local real estate agencies Central Lease and Terra Caribbean.

Are there real estate agencies to help me find off campus housing?

Yes, there are real estate agencies in Grenada to help you find a home that meets your needs.  Student recommended agencies are Central Lease and Terra Caribbean.

When looking at potential housing, how do I know if it is on an SGU bus route?

There are six SGU bus routes: A (Grand Anse), B (Lance Aux Epines), C (Mont Toute), D (True Blue Inn), E (Frequente/Point Salines), and Grand Anse/Grand View Inn.  Ask the landlord if the property is on a SGU bus route, and if so, which one it is on.  Students can find a SGU bus route map by logging into My SGU.  There, students can also see the bus schedules to know how frequently that route runs.

What questions should I ask a landlord before signing a lease?

What SGU bus route is the property on?  What safety measures have been taken?  Are there screens, locks, and bars on windows?  Is there proper lighting around the property?  Are there water tanks for backup in the dry season?  Does the property have hot and cold water?  Is the property fenced?  Are the bushes kept from overgrowing around the property?  Is the property fully furnished?  Is water, electricity, Internet, cable TV, or house cleaning included in the rent price?  Is electricity in both 110 and 220 voltages?  What is the policy for storage over the academic breaks?

Always make sure to sign a rental agreement, and keep a copy that the tenant and landlord have both signed.  Save receipts for all payments made.

Are the outlets or electricity different in Grenada?

Grenada typically uses 220V and 50Hz.  The outlets look like a UK plug.  Student housing often supplies both 220V/UK plug outlets and 110V/US and Canada plug outlets.  Click here for more information on converting electricity.

Do I need a transformer?

Transformers are essentially high capacity converters.  If your housing uses only 220V with UK plugs, you may need to purchase a transformer once you arrive in Grenada.  Most transformers are heavy, and they may take up valuable weight in your suitcase.  If your electronics have a range like 100-240V, you would only need an adapter to allow your US/Canada plug to fit into the UK plug outlet.  Most laptops and camera chargers can use either voltage and will need only an adapter.  If your electronics are only rated for 120V, you would need to plug them into a transformer.  The size of transformer you need will depend upon the highest wattage required by your electronics.

What is the general cost of living?

Some SOs have shared their budgets so that incoming SOs know what to expect when they move to Grenada.  You can see them here.

How do I set Internet up in my home?

If Internet is not included, students typically use Lime or Flow.  You will need to bring a note from your landlord giving you permission to set up Internet. You will also need to give a cash security deposit to rent a modem.  In order to get the cheaper student rate, your student will need to come with you (with his/her SGU ID and passport) to set up the account.

How do I pay my water bill?

There are several ways to pay the National Water & Sewage Authority (NAWASA).  You can pay in person by going to the NAWASA building at the end of the carenage in St. George’s.  All Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) locations accept bill payments for NAWASA.  You can also pay your water bill at Western Union.

How do I pay my electricity bill?

Some landlords will give you your electricity bill and take the payment in for you.  If yours does not, the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (Grenlec) building is located on Dusty Highway near Lance Aux Epines.  It is a tall, white building with large front windows.  Take your current bill in and pay the amount due.  You can also pay your electricity bill at Western Union.  Don’t forget to always keep your receipts.

My electricity bill seems high.  Why is that?

The bills are divided up by fuel charge and non-fuel charge, so half the bill is unrelated to consumption.  In general, electricity is expensive in Grenada.  Air conditioners frequently use a great deal of electricity.  Many SOs find a balance between fans, fresh air, and AC to keep their costs at a minimum.

Utility bill cycles are usually a month late.  How do I pay final bills before moving away from Grenada?

Flow and Lime can be paid ahead of time and they will prorate your bill to the day you are leaving.  Be sure to return the Flow or Lime box with your account information before you go.  For electricity, the meter reading can be called in and they will let you know how much you owe over the phone.  Then, you can go and pay it, leave the money with your landlord, or send money through Western Union.  For water, you can take the meter reading on your last day to NAWASA.  They will calculate what you owe and you can pay right then.

Life in Grenada

What is the weather like in Grenada?

The climate is tropical.  The daily average is 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius).  Grenada also has a wet season and a dry season.  The wettest months are typically between July and December.  The driest months are usually between January and June.

Does Grenada observe Daylight Savings?

No.  Grenada is in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone.

What is the proper tipping amount in Grenada?

10%-15% is common in restaurants, hotels, and for taxi rides.

What are some general differences I should expect to experience?

From various significant others: The culture and cost of living are two large differences that are sometimes alarming to those arriving in Grenada. A difference in culture should be expected, but many arriving on the island are not always prepared for such a big difference.  There are small details in the culture, such as extending a "good morning" or "good afternoon" to anyone you come in contact with that are easy enough to get accustomed to.  However, there are aspects of the culture that many find troubling, such as the flirtatious nature of many men towards women.  It is not unusual for foreign women to be hollered at or cat called.  Difficulties with cultural differences are handled in a variety of ways by incoming SOs and it is important to have an open mind when dealing with any new culture.  While the cost of living might be on par for those coming from big cities and expensive locations, for those coming from areas such as the Midwest, where the cost of living is fairly low, be prepared to pay double what you would back home for most everything.  It's important to keep in mind that although you are living in a more underdeveloped country, almost all goods are internationally imported, which adds to the cost.

The weather is hot and humid, which can possibly be a change from where you are from.  Cars drive on the left side of the road, like in Great Britain.  Drivers are fast paced and frequently stop in the street, regardless of traffic.  The roads are typically more rundown than what you might be used to.  Unless you buy/rent a vehicle, most students use SGU’s bus system.  Routes are preset for certain times and have weekday/weekend hours.  City buses are the main form of local transportation and frequently shout to pedestrians to alert them of the bus.  Local fruits and veggies differ in a tropical climate.  The availability of certain foods (such as milk and butter) can vary so cooks need to be flexible with their meal schedules.  Grenada has approximately 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark year round.  It may take some time to get used to the Grenadian accent and slang.  Leisure shopping is almost non-existent.  Facebook is actually necessary for effective communication with the SO community.  Stray animals are a common sight.

As an SO, how long can I stay in Grenada?

When you go through Grenada’s Immigration lines at the airport, SO passports will be stamped for up to three months.  Student passports are usually stamped for the entire term.  Make note of the date your passport stamp expires.  You will have to renew the stamp in the week it expires by following this process.

Do I really have to go through the passport stamp renewal process every term?

By law, you must keep your passport stamp current while you remain in Grenada.  This is not unlike visitors to any other country in the world.  You can, of course, choose to not follow this, but you assume all risks associated with not doing so.  Legal actions could include fines, deportation, or being denied entry in Grenada upon return.

What do people like about living in Grenada?

From various significant others: The weather and the ability to do outdoor activities year round.  Living near the beautiful sea and having fresh fruits and veggies throughout the year.  The laid back, easy pace of life.  Fresh, tropical fruit and the ability to leave doors and windows open for the breeze.  The cheap rum.  Originality of culture, intact nature, and local life.  The beaches, the friends they meet, the exposure to new foods, the chance to explore a Caribbean island, the snorkeling, the flora and fauna, the opportunity to experience living abroad.   I love the close-knit SO community and having so many friends close by!  Being able to support and be with your other half.  How nice the locals are.  The dark night, the stars, and the quiet.  Freedom from TV, advertisements, and shopping/consumer culture.

What are some of the top things to do in Grenada?

There is much to see and do in Grenada!  Consider buying a guidebook before moving and check out the list of things to do on the SOO website.  Trip Advisor is another place to read about and rate Grenada’s attractions.

I’ve heard you can see leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs in Grenada.  How can I do that?

The best chance for this is at Levera Beach on the north end of Grenada between April and July.  The leatherback sea turtle is a critically endangered species, so to see them lay eggs, you must make a reservation through SPECTO.  The price is approximately USD$20 per person, but they may offer a student discount.  Call 473-442-1018 or email specto.grenada@gmail.com to make a reservation.  A taxi ride from Grand Anse to Levera Beach will take approximately 1.5 hours and cost ECD$40-$50 per person.  SPECTO will instruct you to arrive by 7:30 for a presentation on their conservation efforts and what to expect during the trip.  After the presentation, you will continue to the beach where you’ll quietly wait until a nesting leatherback sea turtle has been spotted.  You are not guaranteed to see a turtle or you may wait several hours on the beach before seeing one.  You may not return to Grand Anse until 1:00 a.m. or later.  You can learn more about the leatherback sea turtles in Grenada through Ocean Spirits Inc.

What does a typical day look like for an SO?

  • The awesome thing about being an SO was the ability to be as busy as you wanted!  If you wanted to fill up your day (with volunteering, SO events, exploring, hanging out with friends, etc.) it was really easy to do so, and if you wanted to do absolutely nothing, apart from maintaining a household, it was easy to do that as well!  In America I'm finding I do not have the same luxury.

  • A cool thing about living as an SO has been the freedom to do the stuff I have always wanted to do.  While living here I made huge progress teaching myself classical guitar, digital music production/sound engineering, and computer science- all things I've been meaning to do forever but never felt like I had the time.  I’ve had a year of doing these things every day and it's been like cheating at hobbies.  All of a sudden I'm pretty good at all three.

  • Wake up whenever you like.  Some like to have breakfast with their students before they leave for class while others take the opportunity of being unemployed to enjoy sleeping in.  Spend some time on the computer catching up with friends on Facebook, downloading movies/tv shows, and answering email correspondence.  Tackle some household chores like laundry, sweeping, and dishes (cleanliness really helps to cut down on the ant problems).  Prepare lunch, serve student, and wash/cleanup.  Maybe head to the University Club pool, beach, or social event planned by the SOO.  Make a trip to the grocery store to see if they have milk (or that one item you've been waiting to come in stock).  Maybe volunteer at one of the many volunteer opportunities planned by the SOO.  Head home to prep and prepare dinner so it's ready when your student takes his/her quick break from studying to eat a meal with you.  Wash dishes and clean up dinner.  Watch a movie, do a craft, read a book, or play computer games until bed.  The beauty of being an SO on an island where employment is unlikely- YOU can decide how busy or relaxed you want your days to be!

  • My day was get the kids to school, clean house, grocery shop, relax, get kids from school/after school activities, home for dinner (with SO), bedtime routine for kids, a little time with the hubby before he went back to studying, and then some time for me.  Repeat daily.  Weekends were typically just lounge at the beach/pool with friends, sleep over for/with the kids, etc.

I want to work in Grenada.  How do I find a job?

Finding employment in Grenada is not unheard of, but is unlikely.  Work permits may be difficult to obtain because they are issued to persons to work in areas where there are shortages of qualified Grenadians.  SOs have earned income as resident assistants on campus or through other SGU departments in administrative roles.  These opportunities are limited and highly competitive, and should not be factored into your budget.  You can find open positions at SGU by visiting their employment page.  You can find out more about obtaining your own work permit by visiting here.

Can I work online based in another country while living in Grenada?

Yes, you can!  We’ve had several SOs who remained employed with their company and were permitted to work remotely.  If you don’t currently have a job that will allow you to do that, you may be able to find work online.  One of our SOs, who is employed online, wrote an excellent article about finding such work.  You can find her advice here.

What volunteer opportunities are there?

We provide volunteer opportunities to work with children, individuals with special needs, animals, environmental cleanup and fundraising.  We’re establishing new volunteer events and opportunities all the time.  For more specifics, check out the volunteer section of our website and the volunteer coordinator’s blog.

Why should I volunteer?

Not only can volunteering make you feel great and add purpose to your day, but it is a good way to meet other SOs and establish contacts in the local community.  If you volunteer through the SOO, we keep track of your volunteer hours and will supply you with a letter stating the work you’ve done.  Some SOs include this letter with their resumes when applying for jobs after they’ve left Grenada.

What are my options for places to exercise?

SGU has a gym that is available to Students currently, however, we are working on getting SO's gym access. Remember to keep hold of your SO identification card.  Many students run on and around the SGU campus and in Lance Aux Epines during the cooler hours of the day.  There are also gyms and yoga studios in the Grand Anse area.

Please do not run, jog, or walk off campus after dark, and ideally find others to exercise with when you do so in the day time.  Be aware of cars and don't run side-by-side, as people have been hit by cars while running.  Also, be aware that students have been bitten by dogs in Calliste, by Cool Runnings in True Blue and at the True Blue Point (if you turn right on Lighthouse drive--near the end).

Can I play team sports anywhere?

SGU has intramural sports teams that SOs can join.  In the past, SOs have played basketball, soccer, and kickball.

I noticed Netflix and Pandora won’t work now that I’m in Grenada.  What’s the deal?

While Netflix is expanding to the Caribbean and South America, not all shows are able to be streamed from Grenada.  Pandora is not currently available in Grenada.  Certain locations on the SGU campus maintain a United States IP address, which means Netflix and Pandora will work from campus.  If you would like access to these and other location restrictive sites off campus, you can consider using a VPN or IP anonymizer.

Are there any trips we can take from Grenada or places we can travel to?

Many students and SOs travel to Carriacou, the second largest island that makes up the country of Grenada, at least once during their stay.  Petite Martinique and Union Island are close to the north and Trinidad and Tobago lies just south.  There is great snorkeling to be found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados is a plane ride away.

Domestic Issues

Can I recycle in Grenada?

You can recycle glass bottles by taking them to Real Value IGA in Spiceland Mall, Grenada Breweries Limited at Frequente Industrial Park #3, or CK’s behind the Rubis gas station.  Real Value IGA accepts the following at $0.40 per bottle: Maxi Malt, Vita Malt, Carib, Piton, Shandy Carib, Ginseng Up, Juicy Cool, Ting, and Guinness.  You will receive $0.35 for Heineken bottles.  You will receive $0.25 for Stag and Presidente bottles.  Take these bottles to the customer service desk to receive a voucher for the value of the bottles.  The voucher can be used toward the purchase of groceries at Real Value IGA.  Grenada Breweries Limited accepts full cases only of Carib, Stag, Guinness, Vita Malt, Maxi Malt, Malta Carib, Ginseng Up, Shandy Carib, Ting, and Juicy Cool bottles.  You will receive cash.  CK’s accepts any amount of bottles (full case not required) and issues a voucher good for CK’s purchases.

Some SOs look for creative ways to recycle and upcycle as well.  Buy used whenever possible; there are sales at the beginning and end of each term for students and SOs to buy and sell items.  You can do the same on the SGU Post in students’ My SGU page.  There is also a Facebook group dedicated to facilitating sales between SOs.  Save glass jars and bottles for organizing, making household decorations, or for storing dried goods like rice and beans.  Coffee canisters, butter tubs, and sour cream or yogurt containers make excellent food storage containers.  Plastic bottle bottoms can be used for plant starters.  If you buy eggs on campus, the egg crates are appreciatively taken back when you’ve used all the eggs.

What do I do if my water goes out?

First, check with NAWASA Grenada to see if everyone is affected or just you.  If the water has been shut off and your landlord has a reserve tank, you may have to ask him or her to turn the tank on.

During very dry dry seasons, it isn’t uncommon for the water company to have to conserve water sources by shutting down the water mains.  This mostly impacts those living off campus, but SGU may take precautionary drought measures as well.  During these times it is especially important to conserve water when doing laundry and dishes and while bathing.  It is advisable to keep a jug of potable water and a bucket of water for non-drinking uses.

How do I deal with bugs?

As with almost anywhere in the world, pests are part of life in Grenada.  You’ll find some different ones, like millipedes and centipedes, and more common ones like ants and cockroaches.  SOs mostly complain about the ants.  Keep food airtight and in locations not easily reachable by ants, like the refrigerator.  If you have ants in your home, there are many natural remedies found online.  Some SOs have had good luck with coffee grounds, vinegar, baby powder, and mint extract.  You can also go for borax or store bought baits that will poison the colony.  

Mosquitoes are almost always a nuisance in Grenada.  Wear insect repellent when you go outdoors.  Be aware of the potential for dengue when dealing with mosquitoes that are out in the daylight hours.

Where do I change out my cooking gas?

Before your cooking gas runs out, ask your landlord what he or she would like you to do.  If you are expected to take care of it yourself, take them empty tank to the Rubis gas station on Maurice Bishop Highway.  You will return the empty bottle and purchase a new one.

Are there recommended house cleaning services?

Many landlords include house cleaning in the price of rent.  If you would like to hire someone to clean, ask other SOs and off campus students who they would recommend.

Is there a plant nursery around St. George’s?

Jessamine Eden Botanical Gardens are also a plant nursery.  They are located fifteen minutes north of St. George’s.  St. Rose Nursery in La Mode specializes in tropical horticulture varieties.  Kool Nursery is in Morne Jaloux.  Plants can sometimes be purchased in the local hardware stores and at the farmers’ market in the Trade Center behind Spiceland Mall.

Are there recommended locksmiths?

SOs have used Andy Julien at 473-440-6920 or 473-406-5544.

Money and Banking

What is the local currency?

Grenada’s currency is the East Caribbean dollar (EC or ECD).  It is a fixed rate of 2.67 to the United States dollar.  

Should I bring my home currency to exchange into East Caribbean dollars?

You can convert foreign currency into ECD at the various banks or at the airport.  You will likely be charged a higher fee for converting at the airport.  If you are keeping an account in your home country, check with your bank to see if they have partnerships with any international banks.  For example, Bank of America has ties with ScotiaBank.  Individuals with a Bank of America debit card can withdraw cash from their checking account, in ECD, without incurring a fee from Bank of America.  For some, this is an easier option than bringing currency to Grenada.  You can also open a local account.  For more information, check out the banking section of the SOO website.

Where should I convert foreign cash into ECD and vice versa?

If you choose to convert cash in Grenada, take two forms of identification to the bank of your choice.  You can also do so at the airport, but the exchange fees are typically higher.

What are my banking options in Grenada?

There are two main options; you can do everything from your home account or you can open a local bank account.  If you choose to operate with just your home account, you’ll want to pull cash from an ATM periodically and keep it in a safe place.  Some banks have partnerships with international banks that allow customers to avoid bank fees when using the ATM, although an international fee is still typical.  Credit and debit cards are accepted at major stores and restaurants.  Be sure to notify your bank of your travel dates.  Banks that monitor card activity for potential fraud may shut off access to your account when you first use your credit or debit card in Grenada if you do not notify them of your travel plans.

If you want to avoid all fees, you may want to open a local account.  Even with a local account, you may still find yourself using the ATM.  Cash is the most commonly accepted form of payment.

Some SOs have recommended opening a Charles Schwab account before moving to Grenada.  Schwab offers refunds on ATM fees so customers can use any bank’s ATM.  Using the Schwab debit card at stores does not result in an international fee and the accounts have competitive interest rates.

How do most people pay for things?

Cash is the easiest and best way to pay for things.  Credit and debit cards are accepted at major stores and restaurants.  Foreign checks are generally not accepted.

Should I open a bank account in Grenada?

Your individual needs will determine if opening a local account is the best option for you.  Ask your landlord how they want the rent payment and/or other bills paid.  If you’ve weighed your options and have decided to open a local account, there are several banks to choose from.  Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) is popular with students because there is a branch located on campus.  The Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank) is also popular because of its partnership with Bank of America.  Read about all your banking options on the SOO website.

Are there ways to save money in Grenada?

Yes! Setting a budget is the best way to save money. Just as you allocate a certain amount to rent and groceries, also allocate a certain amount for savings. We recommend that you put away savings at the beginning of the semester and try to live on the rest. If you wait until the end of the semester to save, it will not be as easy. If you are a med student SO, keep in mind that you will not get student loans when your student is studying for the Step 1, so it's important to save for those few months between the end of Term 5 and the beginning of the clinical years.

To help put money away in savings, look for stores that offer an SGU discount.  Several stores, including the hardware/housewares stores, offer a discount when you show an SGU ID at checkout.  You can also price shop for items and sometimes haggle for a better deal.  Produce may be cheaper from vendors than the grocery stores and fresh eggs are cheapest on campus.  It’s usually cheaper to make food from scratch than to buy convenience foods.  You may also consider sharing items with another family; some SOs in the past have shared vehicles, living spaces and bulk food items.

Is it really possible for my family and me to live off my student’s school loans?

Yes, it is possible, and many families have successfully done so before you. However, we highly recommend that you discuss your loans with Financial Aid and plan ahead. Knowledge is power. If you can adequately estimate the amount of the refund that you will receive, it will be much easier to plan your budget. For example, knowing this number will help you to choose an apartment that you can afford and know whether or not you can buy a car. These numbers vary from term to term and by family size, so you will need to do your research to find out how much of a refund you will receive in your specific situation.

Communications

What are my options for cell phone providers?

Flow and Digicel are the two cell phone providers in Grenada.  During orientation week at SGU, both companies will have tents set up on campus.  They’ll be offering special student deals in the form of prepaid minutes.  The plans usually come with a basic cell phone.

How do I add more minutes to my Lime or Digicel phone?

Adding minutes to your Flow or Digicel phone is easy.  You can “top up” at numerous locations or you can do so online.  There are often great top up deals at the Flow and Digicel tents during SGU’s orientation week.

Should I bring my current cell phone to use in Grenada?

Some students bring their iPhones, Blackberries, etc. to use in Grenada.  If you’re particular about the type of cell phone you use, this may be a good option.  Most phones bought in the United States are carrier locked.  These phones must be unlocked for international use, and they must be a GSM (quad-band) phone as opposed to CDMA (most Verizon phones).  Flow can cut SIM cards to micro or nano SIM size to fit your phone.

What’s the easiest way to call home?

Many SOs use Skype or FaceTime with an iDevice.  Both are free services using Internet you provide.  Some SOs purchase MagicJack before moving to Grenada.  MagicJack is a device that plugs into your computer to make calls.

How do I receive mail (letters, postcards, etc.) in Grenada?

During orientation week, students can sign up for a PO box in Charter Hall.  You will receive a piece of paper with the exact mailing address someone would write on a letter being mailed to you.

How do I receive packages in Grenada?

Friends and family can send packages to Grenada via USPS, DHL, FedEx, or Amerijet.  Packages sent via DHL or FedEx will come to SGU.  Packages sent via USPS will go to the post office in St. George’s.  Students will receive a slip of paper in their PO box indicating a package is ready for pick up.  You can pay a little extra to have a courier bring the package to SGU or you can go to the post office in St. George’s to pick it up.  At the post office, you will present photo ID and an employee will open your package and asses the duties for the contents.  

How do I send mail from Grenada?

Postcards and other letters can be sent from campus.  You can buy Grenadian postage from the bookstore, where they’ll sometimes take your mail for you, or you can take your mail to the mail shoot in Charter Hall.  Packages must be sent from the post office in St. George’s, the DHL office, or the FedEx office.

What is the Internet like in Grenada?

Off campus Internet can vary between 250Kbs and approximately 700Kbs.  Campus Internet peaks at 7Mbs.

Should I bring a wireless router?

Wireless routers are not allowed in campus housing.  Students and SOs living off campus often find wireless routers useful.

Where can I send or receive a fax in Grenada?

You can send and receive faxes in the SGU library.  You can also send faxes from Bryden & Minors in Spiceland Mall.

Transportation

When we arrive in Grenada for the first time, how will we get from the airport to campus?

The Orientation Team staff will greet you and your student directly outside the airport for flights within a week before classes start. Be sure to email your flight details as requested through your acceptance documents. The orientation team will arrange a taxi for you.  They will provide your dorm building assignment so the taxi knows where to drop you off. If you are living off-campus, your taxi will be covered, but you must be able to tell your driver where to go (get detailed directions from your landlord before arriving).

If you are not moving to Grenada with your student, but just helping him or her get settled, you are responsible for your own taxi fare. The orientation team is still able to place you in the same taxi as your student, but you may be asked to wait for another student to join your ride (to make the vouchers more economically efficient for SGU and the drivers).

If you arrive at the airport and do not find the Orientation Team, ask your driver for a receipt and pay for your own way to campus (we recommend getting dropped off at Taylor Hall to find Registration or Orientation staff, if it’s within one week of classes starting). Expect to pay ECD$35 or USD$14 for the 7 minute ride to campus. Tipping, whether you are paid for by the school or paying your own fare, is up to you and is recommended at USD$1/large bag.  Once you are on campus, feel free to ask security to contact housing for you. Save your receipt and request a reimbursement through the Housing Department.

The school facilitates and pays for transportation for your arrival when starting a new program only (so foundations students would get transportation when starting the foundations program, and again when starting their med or vet programs).

Is there public transportation in Grenada?

Public transportation in Grenada takes the form of local mini-vans decorated with in an endless variety of names and slogans.  You can read all about local buses on the SOO website.

What’s the easiest way to get to and from the airport?

Taxis are the most convenient way to travel to and from the airport.  When leaving the airport, drivers will ask if you need a taxi. The fees are flat rate from the airport to major areas, but ALWAYS get a price before getting in the taxi. Expect to pay ECD$35 or USD$14 for the 7 minute ride to campus. Tipping, whether you are paid for by the school or paying your own fare, is up to you and is recommended at USD$1/large bag. When going to the airport, call a local taxi service and arrange a pick up time.

Should I buy or rent a car?

SGU has a good bus system for all the main area students live.  There is also good public transportation for going into St. George’s and beyond.

If you’ve decided to get a vehicle, you have two main options.  Keep in mind that most student vehicles in Grenada are relatively old vehicles that have passed through many owners.  Renting a vehicle means you don’t have to worry about selling it when you leave.  Though usually a more expensive option long term, students like that renters will take care of normal repairs on their vehicles.  Purchasing a vehicle may cost less over the length of your time in Grenada, but you’ll also be responsible for repairs.   You can find out more about buying and renting cars on the SOO website.

One way to save on the costs associated with vehicles is by sharing a vehicle with housemates or neighbors.

Where do I look to buy a car?

The SGU Post is the most common place to look for vehicles for sale.  Students soon leaving the island will be listing their vehicles for other students.  You can also search the SO Marketplace Facebook group.

What form of payment do I use to purchase a car?

Most sellers will prefer cash.  You can make daily visits to an ATM or call your home bank and ask for a temporary raise in your withdrawal limit.

Where do I look to rent a car?

The SGU Post is a common place to look for vehicles for rent.  Ask other students or SOs for recommendations on good renters.  There are many businesses that rent out vehicles for short term vacationers, so be sure to ask about long term student rentals.

Can I buy or rent a motorcycle or scooter for transportation?

Yes, some students use motorcycles and scooters for an alternative form of transportation.  You can find these listed on the SGU Post, which is accessible to students through My SGU.

How do I get a driver’s license?

You must have a valid driver’s license from your home country in order to obtain a driver’s license in Grenada.  Take your home driver’s license to the South St. George’s police station in Grand Anse.  You will be asked to pay ECD$30 and your license will be valid for three months.  You must keep your license current at all times.  You can find out more about car paperwork on the SOO website.

How do I get to the police station?

The South St. George’s police station is on the A (Grand Anse) bus route.  The police station is located behind Spiceland Mall and across the road from the Fountain of Youth Yoga Studio.

Do I need insurance if I have a car or scooter?

Yes, you will need vehicle insurance.  Insurance costs anywhere from ECD$400-$700 a year.  Grensure (in the Excel Plaza), Grenada General (downtown St. George's), and Netherlands Insurance (on Wall Street in Grand Anse) are popular among SOs, although there are many options from which to choose.  Providing a letter from your home country’s vehicle insurance stating that you are in good standing may get you a discount on your Grenada vehicle insurance.  Netherlands Insurance has been known to refund customers on unused months of insurance coverage if the vehicle is sold before the coverage period has expired.

How do I get an SGU parking pass?

In order to enter SGU campus, your vehicle must have a current SGU Permit.  They are free and you can acquire one at the DPSS Office at the ground level entrance in the Chancellery Building.  Fill out the yellow form and bring with you the following: valid Driver's License for Grenada, Driver's License from home, SGU ID, and your valid vehicle insurance policy. In addition, you will have to know the following about your car: make, model, year, color, LICENSE PLATE number, and LICENSE DISK number (the Inspection decal in the lower left corner of your windshield).  A new SGU decal is required each term. Office hours for this department to assign Permits are from 9:00am - 3:00pm M-F.

As a reminder, some SOs park their vehicle on either the True Blue or Grand Anse campus in between terms.  If you choose to park on campus, you must obtain Letter of Permission from DPSS.

What happens if I get a ticket?

Parking or traffic tickets received on the SGU campus must be paid within ten days.  Tickets are usually between ECD$50-$100.  Fines are paid to the Business Administrator’s Office in the Chancellery Building.  Appeals may be directed to the Judiciary Panel in the Business Office.

Parking or traffic tickets received off campus must be paid at the St. George’s courthouse.

How do I get to the courthouse?

The courthouse (Magistrates’ Court) is located in downtown St. George’s on Church Street.  It is located in front of the large church that you can see from most of St. George’s.  Drive through the tunnel into St. George’s and turn right up the big hill heading to the church.  Walk to the back of the building or ask someone where to go (courthouse 2 for tickets).  The courthouse is open Monday through Friday and the person who received the ticket must be present with identification.

What else do I need to know about car ownership in Grenada?

Many students and SOs will find driving in Grenada to be quite different than what they’re used to.  Some of those laws and driving customs are listed here.  Because of the age of the average vehicle in Grenada, you might expect to have to make some repairs during your ownership of a vehicle.  Find out more about vehicle repairs on the SOO website.

If I’m going to borrow a vehicle from a friend for a couple weeks, do I need to purchase insurance or does their insurance cover me?

You will need insurance whenever driving a vehicle.  If you are covered by the vehicle owner’s insurance, no further action is necessary.  If you are not covered, you will need to purchase insurance.

Are there recommended mechanics?

There are many, many mechanics in the Grand Anse area.  Ask fellow SOs and students who they would recommend or who they would advise you stay away from.

How do I sell a car before leaving the island?

You will likely be able to sell your car to another student.  List your vehicle on the SGU Post and in the SO Marketplace Facebook group.

Children

What school options are there for my child(ren)?

There are both public and private schools in Grenada.  There is a section of the SO website dedicated to schools.  Read the general school information to find out more.

My child(ren) is not school age.  Are there daycare options available?

The Grand Anse Playgroup (GAP) is a daycare option specifically for the SGU community.  

What items should I pack for my child(ren) instead of buying once we arrive?

Some recommended items include favorite toys, swim diapers, shoes, clothes your child(ren) can grow into over the years you will be in Grenada, medicine specific to their needs, lice kit if child(ren) is school age, swim floaties, swim goggles, water toys, kid sunscreen, sports balls, Halloween costume, and a tablet or an e-reader if homeschooling.  Specifically for infants to toddlers, recommended items include cloth diapers (to save money), lightweight umbrella stroller, baby sunscreen, sunhat, baby carrier (especially if you don’t plan on purchasing a car), shoes, bottles/sippy cups and replacement spouts, bottle scrubber, booster seat, lightweight sleep sack, crib bedding, lightweight activity gym, non-insecticide treated mosquito net, sleeveless onesies, organic baby cereal/starter foods (non-organic can be found in Grenada), small lunch bag with ice packs, inflatable bathtub, blow up exercise ball (can mimic rocking chair motion), bouncy chair, dual electric breastfeeding pump with hands-free bra (student moms can maximize study time this way), manual breastfeeding pump, breast milk storage bags, nursing pads, nursing pillow, vitamins, Fenugreek tablets, baby monitor, child safety locks for cabinets and door knobs, and a sound machine or music player.

Some of these items are commonly sold by SO parents on the SO Marketplace Facebook page.

Where do SOs buy their cost effective diapers?

Davidson Alexis is a local supplier of diapers, pullups, and wipes.  You can find more information here.

My child was born in Grenada and does not yet have a passport.  How do I get one for him/her?

The following directions are for United States citizens: Call the Embassy (473-444-1173) to set up an appointment.  Follow the automated answering machine.  Leave a message with your name, a number where you can reached, and the reason you are calling.  You will receive a call back and be sent an email with all the required paperwork and a checklist of items to bring to the Embassy.  After finishing the paperwork and gathering all materials, call the Embassy again and leave a message saying you need to make an appointment to get your child’s passport.  You will receive a call back to schedule the appointment.  Make sure the appointment time you make is good for both you and your significant other as both parents must be in attendance.  Bring cash or a bank check to the appointment (approximately ECD$570).  The appointment should last about an hour and you’ll have to sign paperwork and swear on your information.

One of the items you will need to bring to the appointment is your child’s passport photo.  SOs have used Modern Photo Studio and Colour Lab (473-444-1701) on Wall Street (approximately ECD$40 for four US passport pictures).  Additional items are your marriage license, your child’s birth certificate, both parents’ passports, and both parents’ US drivers licenses.  The Embassy will contact you when your child’s passport is ready to be picked up.  The entire process takes approximately one month.

When you arrive at the Embassy, located in Lance Aux Epines, park on the side of the road.  Walk up to the gate and tell them you have an appointment.  You aren't allowed to bring in cameras, phones, iPads, or other electronics.  The content of your bags will be screened before you can enter.

Pets

I want to bring my pet to Grenada.  What do I need to know?

In order to bring a dog or cat to Grenada, students must have a permit with the seal and signature of the Chief Veterinary Officer of the Grenada Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Lands and Fisheries affixed.  Students must also obtain a certificate of health from their veterinarian a few days before arriving in Grenada to ensure that the pet has all his or her shots and is in good health.  Other rules and regulations, like pet travel embargoes, may be in effect within the individual airlines.  Contact your preferred airline about pet travel before making reservations.  Before traveling to Grenada with a pet for the first time, request a pet permit package from SGU.  The kit will have a list of pet importation requirements.  Click here for more tips on traveling with pets.

If you choose to bring a pet(s) to Grenada, you will be limited to off campus housing and your airline tickets will cost more.  There is no quarantine period when bringing pets to Grenada, but returning home may present a problem if your home country does impose a quarantine period.  Click here for more information on pet considerations.

Are my travel options limited when traveling with pets?

If possible, book a flight directly to Grenada from your home country.  Barbados and Trinidad are common connection airports, but have strict rules on traveling animals.  Trinidad demands that your pet be physically examined by a representative of the Veterinary Ministry or another qualified vet.  The airport vet is only available between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  If your flight arrives in Trinidad outside of this window, your pet will not be allowed off the plane or will be quarantined until a vet is available.  

I want to take my new pet from Grenada to my home country.  What do I need to know?

As early as possible, you’ll want to let your airline know you’ll be flying with an animal.  There are certain times of the year animals cannot fly and the airlines usually have a limit to the number of animals per flight.  Airlines may also restrict the breed and age of animals that can fly.  Your airline will have a list of requirements your pet must meet before he or she can fly.  Typically this includes a visit to the SGU Small Animal Clinic, within a specific number of days before the flight, for an examination and health certificate.  This means the animals must also have certain vaccinations.  You should also check your home country’s requirements for bringing in an animal.

I want to go home for the break, but also want to leave my pet in Grenada.  Is that possible?

You may be able to find an SO or student who is willing to keep your pet while you’re away.  An SO or student might also be willing to leave your pet at your house and regularly check in on it.  Ask friends, post in the SOs of SGU Facebook group, or look on the SGU Post (your student can log in through My SGU).

Are all pet supplies available for purchase in Grenada?

Most pet supplies are available in a store or by purchasing from another pet owner.  As a general rule, plan to bring some of your pet's food with you in your travel case because stores on the island may run out of or not carry your preferred brand.  Veterinary students are able to purchase discounted cat and dog food from SGU.  Special food for pets with dietary concerns are available at the SGU Small Animal Hospital, however, you must first make an appointment to see a vet there.  Treats, toys, litter, etc. can be purchased from grocery stores and Island Aquariums & Pet Supplies in the Grand Anse Shopping Centre.

Are there recommended pet grooming services?

Andrea Frederick is a professional dog groomer (473-420-1874).  She grooms out of her house, which is also a pet boarding facility.  She is located in True Blue on Light House Drive.  To get there, take a left at the fork past Bananas heading toward True Blue Bay Resort/Dodgy Dock.  Take a left on the only road and follow it to the split; take a left onto Light House Drive.  Follow the road down and her house will be clearly marked on the right.  You can drop your pet off with her.  Andrea’s prices are comparable to groomers in the US.  It is best to make an appointment well in advance as she can book up quickly.  You can also call the GSPCA at 473-440-4874.  Occasionally they will have visiting groomers that offer their services.

Healthcare

Do I need vaccinations before coming to Grenada?

SGU requires all students to have certain vaccinations before coming to Grenada.  SOs can check with the Centers for Disease Control to find out what current vaccinations, if any, are suggested before travel.

What are my options for healthcare if someone in my family needs to see a doctor or dentist?

You can find a list of important contacts on the Significant Others Organization website.  To see a general doctor, make an appointment with the health clinic on campus.

I have prescriptions from my home country.  Can I get them filled in Grenada?

Not all medications are available on the island, including many psychotropic medications (especially those that are newer). If you have preferred brand names, it is better to bring them from home. When coming to the island for an extended period, you should plan ahead to ensure that you have sufficient medicine for your needs. Many students have found it useful to arrive with a two month supply. Additional refills should then be shipped well in advance of running out. Please note that prescriptions from your home country are not valid in Grenada. All prescription medications should travel with you in your carry-on luggage.  If you cannot bring all necessary prescriptions with you, there are several pharmacies on SGU bus routes.  All local pharmacies should accept the SGU health insurance.

I’m pregnant or intend to become pregnant while in Grenada.  Is prenatal healthcare available?

SOs have recommended Dr. McGill and Dr. Lendore (473-440-8569).  Dr. McGill sees patients once per week at SGU’s health clinic.  You simply call and make an appointment.  Dr. McGill will see patients as early as eights weeks into pregnancy.  Without the school insurance, visits are approximately ECD$70.  Ultrasounds cost approximately ECD$80.  Dr. Lendore is located in the Belmont area, just before Port Louis.

What pediatricians are recommended by other SOs?

SOs have recommended Dr. Lowe (473-443-5693) and Dr. Nelson (473-440-3916).  Additional contact information can be found in the important contacts section of the website.

Is there a chiropractor on the island?

Grenada Chiropractic is located at Le Phare Bleu Marina Resort.  

Is there a dermatologist on the island?

SOs have recommended Dr. Jennifer Isaacs (473-440-3963).  She is located in downtown St. George’s on Grenville Street.

Is there somewhere to have an eye exam, get glasses, or have glasses repaired?

SOs have recommended Dr. Yesmin Zurita at Eagles’ Sight Eye Care Centre (473-444-3937).  Grenada Optical in St. George’s offers SGU students a discount with valid SGU ID.

I have the health insurance through SGU; how and where do I use it in Grenada?

Start by making an appointment with the health clinic on campus. Bring proof of insurance. If they make referrals to other locations (such as an MRI or admittance to the general hospital), your insurance will be more easily recognized, and rather than getting reimbursed, you will only have to pay your copay or nothing at all.

What the clinic provides: family practice typical complaints, dealing with all aspects of medicine for adults and children; phlebotomy, ultrasounds, laboratory work (such as throat cultures, urine cultures, etc. sent to local laboratories); referral of services to in-house counseling services, local or outside consultants; all emergency services requiring acute care are assessed and treated initially and then referred to a local hospital or private acute care clinic, and if needed, University Health Services will assist students with air evacuation.

I have my own health insurance.  How does that work in Grenada?

If you have insurance through another company, you will want to check your policy for a list of accepted providers and services accepted.  If you need to use them in Grenada, keep all receipts and file your own claims through your insurance company for reimbursement.

You can still see a doctor at the SGU health clinic without having the SGU health insurance.  Make an appointment and expect to pay approximately ECD$70 for a basic visit.

Where can I find information about the SGU health insurance?

Students can log into My SGU.  Under Student Services there will be a link called Health Insurance.  There you can find a summary of benefits.

Where can I go in Grenada for non-emergency or mental health support?


The SGU Psychological Services Center (PSC) is a great resource for both students and SOs.  They are available for everything from anxiety to career counseling, from conflict resolution to substance abuse.  They routinely host information sessions for SOs who are new to the island and would like to talk about their experiences and challenges.  The PSC’s many services are confidential and free.  Visit sgu.edu/psc to find out more.

One of the pillars of the Significant Others Organization is to help SOs adjust to life in Grenada and provide a sense of community.  We understand that this phase of your life may be challenging, and each of us needs support in different ways.  If you have an issue you would like assistance with, or a question you'd like answered, fill out the Support Form.  Names are completely optional.  We recognize that some people have complicated issues and we respect your desire to remain anonymous.

Examples of ways to use this form are personal struggles adapting to your new environment, uncertainty of how to support your student if he or she performs poorly in school, or addressing concerns about handling the stress of medical or veterinary school.

You can choose to have your question answered by the Significant Others Organization board or posted in the SOO Facebook group without identifying information.  A post in the Facebook group will usually provide a wider range of insight and answers.

Packing

What are some items my student needs for school?

SGU provides students a list of items they’ll need.  Most items can be purchased in Grenada, especially school supplies.  Specialty electronic items or accessories like tablet styluses, extra Apple cords, and noise canceling headphones can come in handy to bring.  Students and SOs sell items at beginning and end of term tent sales.  Items can also be purchased from other students year round on the SGU Post (students have access by logging into My SGU) and in the SO Marketplace Facebook group.

I can’t possibly bring everything we need.  How and where do I buy stuff when we arrive?

It’s true!  Suitcase space and weight is valuable.  Students and SOs sell items at beginning and end of term tent sales.  Items can also be purchased from other students year round on the SGU Post (students have access by logging into My SGU) and in the SO Marketplace Facebook group.  There are shops in the Grand Anse area and in downtown St. George’s for home goods, cooking supplies, etc.  This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it will give you an idea of what is available to you.  Once you know that you’re definitely moving to Grenada, this is a great question to ask your Footsteps Buddy.  He or she should be able to guide you to specific stores for your needs.

How do I ship a barrel to Grenada?

Some families find they need to bring more to Grenada than what they can bring on a flight.  If you’d like to ship a barrel to Grenada, you must first decide upon a shipping company and purchase a barrel.  In the past, SOs have used Tropical Shipping, Whisky Shippers, Amerijet, Compass, and Rich & Rich Inc.  Barrels usually cost around USD$25 and shipping can cost from USD$75-$150.  You will likely have to provide a Grenada address and phone number when scheduling the shipping.  In Grenada, the barrels get dropped off at the carenage port.  A customs officer will go through the contents of the barrel and assess them for duties.  You may also have to pay a paperwork fee.  You can either call the shipping company to confirm the barrel has been delivered to Grenada or you might receive a notification in your mailbox.  It is not uncommon for the whole shipping and unloading process to take a few weeks.

Grenada also offers duty free barrel shipping about once per year around Christmas.  To qualify for the duty free shipping promotion, the barrel must contain mostly foodstuffs and no electronics.

Suitcase space is valuable, but what are some things SOs wished they had packed for Grenada?

From various significant others: Recommended items include reusable water bottles, a small lunch bag with ice packs (for students and SO field trips), your favorite powdered and instant drink mixes, specialty food items (e.g. gluten free soy sauce, gluten flour, sriracha, etc.), peanut butter, nuts, sweet and chewy candies, coffee (if you’re particular about the quality), seasoning mixes (Grenada has most spices), reusable grocery bags, insulated grocery bag, your favorite kitchen equipment, quality airtight food storage containers, french press, high quality chef’s knife and paring knife, oven thermometer (most ovens are not set by temperature), small blender, small food processor or chopper, small crockpot, wine bottle opener, high quality non-stick pan, handmixer, dish drying mat, extra water pitcher filters, medicines, high quality bath towels (they dry softer when line drying), memory foam rugs, dry shampoo and waterless face cleansing towelettes (handy during dry season), a router, and a tablet or e-reader.  If you’re living on campus, recommended items include a blanket, pants, and a sweatshirt.  Leather items are suggested against bringing because of their ability to grow mold in hot and humid environments.  You can find even more packing tips on the SOO website.

Don’t forget to request a list from your landlord of items included with your home or apartment.  This will greatly help in packing!

Additional advice is to find luggage that is lightweight so that your weight limit when flying isn’t reduced further.  These duffle bags have been recommended by SOs.

Your first trip to Grenada, you may find that you want to take more than what you are able.  Narrow it down to what you cannot live without for the first semester.  You should be able to buy items from other students and SOs when they leave the island.  If you’re going home for the academic breaks, you can always bring more items when you return.  Keep in mind the length of your stay in Grenada (2-4 years) and remember how much of your possessions you’ll want to bring back home.  What you cannot take home at the end of your time in Grenada, you’ll likely want to sell before you leave.  The more you bring to Grenada, the more you’ll have to take back or sell to fellow students and SOs.

Students and SOs sell items at beginning and end of term tent sales.  Items can also be purchased from other students year round on the SGU Post (students have access by logging into My SGU) and in the SO Marketplace Facebook group.

Why can’t I take conch shells back to the United States when I leave Grenada?


Conch shells cannot be taken into the US from Grenada because of Grenada’s lack of conservation efforts to sustain conch populations long term.  Even if you did not kill the conch yourself, the shell cannot be imported into the US.  You can find out more from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Academic Breaks

Should I stay in Grenada over the winter or summer breaks?

Money is often a consideration, so you may want to look at your finances when deciding.  If housing and food will be provided by family over breaks, it may be cheaper to go home.  If your costs in Grenada aren’t too high, buying tickets to fly home may be more expensive than paying rent over the breaks.  Most single students go home, but many families with multiple children stay for economical reasons.  The SGU buses run less frequently over academic breaks.

If I decide to go home for the breaks, what are my options for storing our possessions while away?

If you live on campus, you may be allowed to keep your stuff in your apartment.  Campus also has storage facilities.  If you live off campus and your landlord will not allow your stuff to stay, or if you’re moving from one home to another, another SO may be willing to store your possessions for you.

I want to go home for the break, but also want to leave my pet in Grenada.  Is that possible?

You may be able to find an SO or student who is willing to keep your pet while you’re away.  An SO or student might also be willing to leave your pet at your house and regularly check in on it.  Ask friends, post in the SOs of SGU Facebook group, or look on the SGU Post (your student can log in through My SGU).

Preparedness and Planning

Do I need to worry about hurricanes?

Grenada is south of the hurricane belt, the path most hurricane travel in the Atlantic Ocean.  There have only been a few hurricanes to impact Grenada since the 1950s, but it is a danger to be aware of in the Caribbean.  All SOs should have a plan in case of emergency.  Hurricane season can be from July to November, with August and September being the most likely months.

What about other natural disasters or country wide emergencies?

If you are a United States citizen, register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  This free program allows the US Department of State to better assist you in case of emergency.  You will also have the option to sign up for important messages from the US Embassy in Grenada.

Are there other situations I need to plan for?

Grenada has a wet season and a dry season.  The wettest months are typically between July and December.  The dryest months are usually between January and June.  During very dry dry seasons, it isn’t uncommon for NAWASA to have to conserve water sources by shutting down the water mains.  This mostly impacts those living off campus, but SGU may take precautionary drought measures as well.  During these times it is especially important to conserve water when doing laundry and dishes and while bathing.  It is advisable to keep a jug of potable water and a bucket of water for non-drinking uses.

What do I do if I have an emergency?

777 is the emergency number (dial 9 first from a university extension).  If for any reason you cannot get through on 777, dial the True Blue security booth at 444-3898.  All emergencies are managed through the SGU security booth.  Security has contact information for the Physician Extender on call, for the Counselor on call, the Administrator on call, and for the ambulance and will initiate any necessary emergency protocols.

Call the Safety Patrol for assistance off-campus during safety patrol hours (11am-5am): 405-9101.

For non-emergencies contact the Security booth on a regular line:

  • 444-3898: True Blue Security Booth (regular line)

  • 444-4456: Grand Anse Security Booth (regular line)

  • 444-4454/1535/1537: Grenada Police Station (Grand Anse)

  • 440-3999: Grenada Police Headquarters

  • 444-1958: Grenada Police Information Hotline

Please report ALL crimes that you experience or witness to the SGU Chief of Security or the designated officer in the True Blue Security Booth (in addition to the police, if it happens off campus).

Please make sure SGU has your local contact information (you are asked to provide it when you register) and please keep it updated.  If your phone number or address in Grenada changes (or you only get a phone after you have registered) please email your updated information to chazzard@sgu.edu.

What do I do if I have a medical emergency?

As with all emergencies, call 777.  If you live on campus, you can also contact your RA to make the call for you.  The Security Officer who answers the phone will contact the physician extender or the doctor on call who will contact you and either come to you or advise you on the best action to take.  If you need transport to the hospital, that will be arranged.  If there is need, the Counselor or Psychologist on call will be contacted.  The Dean of Students would like to be informed of any serious incidents or accidents, so please keep them updated if you are hospitalized (if this occurs through normal channels, SGU would be informed, but sometimes students are driven to the hospital by friends or they move from one hospital to another and SGU has difficulty tracking them down).

Please be aware that hospital stays usually require an ECD$2,000 deposit.  This deposit is not needed before a patient is admitted, but you will be asked for the deposit before leaving.  If the hospital bill is not that high, you should receive some of your deposit back.  Visiting patients in the hospital requires modest clothing, including covered shoulders and knees.

What hospitals are near the university?

The Grenada General Hospital and St. Augustine’s are nearby.  Many prefer the care and facilities of the private hospital, St. Augustine’s.

Miscellaneous

My student did not get me a ticket to see the White Coat Ceremony.  What do I do?

Students normally pick up tickets when they pick up their white coat.  They should also be watching their SGU email address for announcements regarding White Coat Ceremony tickets.  If there are no tickets to be had there, sometimes other SOs may be willing to give up extra tickets.  You can ask around or ask in the Facebook group.  Finally, you can try asking the SGU Events Office for a ticket.  If they do provide a ticket, it will most likely be to watch the live streaming of the ceremony in another on-campus location.  SGU usually provides a live webcast on the SGU website for friends and family who want to watch from abroad.

Can I vote while living abroad?

Yes! Most countries allow you to vote abroad by registering online federally or by state/province/district.  Register far in advance as most countries will require a vote by written ballot that will be required before the actual election date.  Americans can register through Rock the Vote or with the Federal Voting Assistance Program.  Canadians can find out how to vote here.  British can register through About My Vote.

What happens if my passport expires while I’m in Grenada?

If your passport will expire soon, you may be stopped from leaving your home country or barred from entering Grenada.  It is always a good idea to make sure your passport will stay current for the duration of your stay in Grenada.  If you are a United States citizen and your passport expires while in Grenada, you must make an appointment with the US Embassy (473-444-1173).  You will leave a message and wait for a call back to schedule your appointment.  You will receive further instructions detailing what paperwork must be filled out and how many passport photos to bring.  SOs have used Modern Photo Studio and Colour Lab (473-444-1701) on Wall Street (approximately ECD$40 for four US passport pictures).  This process can usually be completed in one week.

When you arrive at the Embassy, located in Lance Aux Epines, park on the side of the road.  Walk up to the gate and tell them you have an appointment.  You aren't allowed to bring in cameras, phones, iPads, or other electronics.  The content of your bags will be screened before you can enter.

I am enrolled in online classes, but need to have proctored exams.  Can I do that through SGU?

Yes! Email examinationservices@sgu.edu.  Inform them of your exams, all requirements for taking the exam, when you need to take the exam, etc.  The Department of Educational Services can also help with proctoring exams.  Contact Sara Rabie at srabie@sgu.edu.

How can I rent out the Grand Anse pavilion?

Contact the current SOO president with the date and time you would like to book the pavilion by emailing soorgsgu@gmail.com.  

I hope to have visitors while in Grenada.  When is the best time for them to come and where could they stay?

SGU hosts a family weekend each term that is filled with fun events and excursions.  In general, the cooler months of December, January, and February are the most pleasant for visitors not accustomed to a warm climate.  There are many lodging options of multiple price ranges and level of luxury.  The best way to find current recommendations is to ask other SOs and students or read reviews on websites like Trip Advisor.

If I lost something on campus or on an SGU bus, is there somewhere I can go to try to find it?

There is a lost and found in the library and at the security booth at the entrance to campus.  There is also a lost and found section of the SGU Post where you can look to see if anybody found your missing item.

Where can I get photos developed in Grenada?

SOs have recommended Modern Photo Studio and Colour Lab (473-444-1701) on Wall Street.

Where can I find reasonably priced ink cartridges for my printer?

Cartridge World is located in Excel Plaza.  You can also purchase ink at the Computer Store on Wall Street and at Bryden & Minors in Spiceland Mall.

Is there a recommended dry cleaner in Grenada?

SOs have recommended Grenada Laundry Services Ltd. (473-444-4747) at the entrance to Lance Aux Epines across from the tire roundabout.

What do I do if my computer has an issue in Grenada?

Depending on the severity of the issue, you can get it fixed on the island.  There is no Apple store in Grenada.  The Computer Store is located on Wall Street and can do most fixes, such as ram, harddrives, OS reinstalls, etc.  Campus IT can also do some basic troubleshooting.

Is there an animal control service available?

Grenada’s animal control is for having a dangerous animal euthanized.  The individual who calls to report the animal may be charged with the cost of euthanization.  To report an animal, you can call Kenny James (473-440-2095).



If you’d like a question added to this list, or if you have an edit or suggestion for answering a question, email us at soorgsgu@gmail.com.

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