I Found An Apartment!

My new home!

As much as I like living in the dorms, it is the time of the semester in which I need to start finding off-campus housing to stay for the remainder of my stay in St. Maarten. This place has to be somewhere where I can tolerate and enjoy living for a year or more, if I don’t move back onto campus during fifth semester. AUC has limited dormitory space, and that means that first and fifth semester students get priority. Everyone else need to move on to make way for the upcoming class.

Well, I am just doing that, moving on, and after weeks of apartment searching, I have finally found one that I like: Aventura Inn. All the units have one bedroom, one bathroom, kitchen, living room, and a shared balcony. It is new, gets a lot of lighting, and as I’ll be on the fifth floor, I’ll be getting a nice view of the Lagoon as well. Although it has security, a swimming pool, and laundry on every floor, it wasn’t until I saw the roof terrace that I was sold. With gardens, shade, and a great view, I’ll definitely be spending a lot of my study hours up there for the next year!

Despite AUC’s lower tuition, in the end, I probably won’t be saving too much due to the high costs in St. Maarten. Living here on the island is expensive, especially within walking distance of school. If I were in the states, I would agree that $1100/month for a single-room apartment at Aventura is a rip off, but here in St. Maarten, I am forced to see it differently. I have only what’s around me to compare: Cupecoy Beach Club is $1500, Lagoon View is $1200, Rainboy Beach Club is $1350, and even the AUC dorms are $1200/month for the single units. Palm Court is $1100 as well, but with Aventura, I get so much more bang for the buck. So comparatively, I’ll actually be saving! Thank goodness here at AUC we get federal student loans! It’s so easy to fall back on the government, yet this extravagant lending gives me even more reason to make sure I pass all my classes, do well on the boards, and truly become a doctor so I can pay it all back!

14 comments to I Found An Apartment!

  • Dear Students,
    I have 2 nice apts. available at Aventura for $1k each with pool, gated complex and a short walk to AUC.
    Studio apt. at Tradewinds and 2 bedrooms at Arbor Estates.
    You can email me at KLarmony@gmail.com or call 011 599 520-1402.
    Regards, Karen

  • Wonuola

    Hi Benji,

    I have been reading your blog for months now and it has helped me with my decision to attend AUC. I will be starting in may 2012 and i have a question about the utility. How much was your typical utility bill?

  • Benji

    Hi Wonuola,
    Congratulations on your acceptance to AUC!
    Usually, I paid anywhere between $110-140 for my power and water. I usually turn off my AC during the day and only leave it on when I’m there, including night.
    Best of luck in med school!
    Benji

  • Jacob Maddela

    Thank you soo much for all the information you have given. I have 3.3 GPA bio major and 26 on the MCAT. I am waiting on my professors to finish the recommendation letters. After reading a lot of stuff on your site and other forums. I decided AUC would be my first choice then SGU then Ross hopefully I get into AUC. I am going to have everything ready by August 15th I think. Hopefully I can start AUC in January 2013.

  • Sienna Dow

    Benji, thanks SO much for this blog, I feel a lot better abt applying to AUC. I have 3 questions; 1. Are there 3 bedroom apts? and if so, how much. 2. U.S. Fed Loan reimburstment will be roughly $15,000/semester which is abt $30,000/year? 3. Homeschooling or public school for the kids?

    • Benji

      Hi Sienna,

      Thanks for visiting my site!
      I’m sure there are 3 bedroom apartments around campus somewhere, most likely at Cupecoy Beach Club, Porto Cupecoy, Ocean Club, Rainbow Beach Club, or The Cliffs. There are also the penthouses of Rising Sun or Palm Court, which I believe have 3 bedrooms as well. There is also a few units at Regency Park that has multiple bedrooms. You could contact these places to see what they have and their prices. I hear that Porto Cupecoy offers the best bang for your bucks. Prices in St. Maarten are expensive compared with the states, and housing is no exception. Expect to pay over $1000-1500 per person for a 3 person place. Check out my post about apartments around AUC for more contact info on these places: http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2009/11/apartments-near-auc/

      As for US federal loans, you’ll get a reimbursement of about $15K per semester. As there are three semesters per year, that is $45K per year.

      As for public school vs homeschooling, I know that families here have done both options. Right next to school, there is the Caribbean International Academy (CIA), which is has K-12. The school is Canadian-based but it is open to all. I would contact the Spouses Organization for more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/73657861369/ or http://aucspousesorganization.wordpress.com/ .

      Best of luck!
      Benji

  • Carver

    Hey,
    Love your blog. One question, when if your first semester do you recommend starting to look for an apartment?

    • Benji

      Hey Carver,
      I’d recommend start looking maybe after first or second block exams are over. That way, it gives you a feel for things on the island and in the area first before you really focus on looking into places. Best of luck!
      Benji

  • Emad Agil

    Thank you Benji.
    your blogs has helped many people for so many years. its July,2016 and we are viewing your blogs.
    we will be buying a unit at Aventura for my son who will be attending ACU in August,2016.
    all of your blogs (banking, cell, etc) has helped me make lots of desigins.
    Thank you Again.

  • Alwin

    Hey Benji, was internet included with the rent? Or were you paying separately for power, water and wifi?

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