AUC Dorm or Apartment for First Semester?

Not long ago I received a question from a reader asking:

Would you recommend the dorm or apartment for first semester. Can a parent live with me in the dorm for a few days when I move in at the start of the semester?

I’ve decided to post my reply here because I’m recently in the process of finding an apartment for next semester, and have had enough experience living in the dorms.

Congrats on getting into AUC and thanks for emailing! I would definitely recommend living in the dorms the first semester over an apartment. The dorms are nice, safe, convenient, and generally cheaper, especially if you live in a double. AUC has its own power generator and water source, and so you don’t have to worry about power going out, as it often does outside of campus. Power, water, and internet are also very expensive off campus whereas they are included in the price of the dorms on campus (the internet is now wifi as of May 2012). There are laundry rooms on floors 2 through 5, and they cost $2 to warm wash and $1 to dry (as of September 2011), which you swipe with a laundry card (which you can purchase/refill at school). The gym is only a few steps away from the dorms, and it is open 24/7. The dorms are also only a few steps away from your classes, making it very convenient. Most importantly, your first semester is a time when you are adjusting to the rigors of medical school, and by not worrying about adjusting to the “real world” outside of campus, it can make your transition easier.

Guests may (officially) stay in the dorms for a fee of $100 for five days. If you get a double room, make sure your roommate is OK with it though :).

Dorm rooms are high in demand. Although first and fifth semester students get priority, it seems like half of my classmates could not even secure one, because of our large class size. If you do decide on the dorms, I’d pay the reservation fee as soon as i can. If you are entering January semester, however, it may be easier to secure one, because January classes are usually smaller.

The few (affordable) apartments I’ve seen aren’t as nice as the dorms. If you decide to go for an apartment, there are plenty within a 5-6 minute walking distance of campus. The housing department has a list of available apartments. I have heard good reviews from people who live in Cupecoy Beach Club, Rainbow Beach Club, the Summit, and Aventura. Despite the complaints one might hear on value md about Solutions Management, I’ve also met people who’ve had no problems at all with them. I know some people who also have good experiences living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. It may be cheaper and more like a “home,” but you’d need a car to get to campus.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend a dorm for first semester, but be quick in reserving a spot! Feel free to contact me if you have further questions. Hope this helps!

For more info on apartments near AUC, check out this post.

For more pictures of the dorms, please check out this post.

9 comments to AUC Dorm or Apartment for First Semester?

  • Joe

    Hey Benji,
    First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on an EPIC website!! I’ve been reading it for quite some time now and it’s filling up so many gaps!
    You mentioned above that power is not constant off campus. Seeing as you’ve lived off campus, how often and for how long do power outages persist? Once it’s gone you can’t use the internet and you don’t have any lights, so studying would be an issue, not to mention food it you need the microwave right then and there.
    Are there any generators? Why does it go out in the first place?

    Once again, epic site!

    • Benji

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks for reading! Yes, I lived in an off-campus apartment that did not have a generator, and we had power outages almost every week. Usually it would flicker in and out a few minutes at a time for a few hours. The longest time it had been out was probably 3-4 hours (apart from the time when we had the hurricane in which power was out for maybe 2-3 days). I usually kept my fridge closed whenever the power went out so never had problems with food spoiling. I would also kept frozen bottles of water in the freezer to act as an extra source of cold temperature. Yes, it was inconvenient whenever the power went out because the internet and water also went out as well. In these cases, I would pack up my things and go on campus to study, since campus had a generator and never had any problems with power outages. It was especially inconvenient the weekend before block exams, but I found ways cope and adapt. Some apartments around campus have generators. I’m not sure why the power goes out in the first place but GEBE is the power company on the island and their website usually has updates on power outages and any new generators that they are installing.

  • Marie-Lyne

    Hey Benji!

    Thanks so much for blogging about your experience!!! This is one of the schools I’m considering and just in the hour I’ve been reading your posts, you have answered so many questions! If I get accepted, my boyfriend would move to the island with me… I was wondering if the university has any dorms for students who have significant others/families? Also, would you happen to have information about (or any tips) as to how to get a working visa for him?



    • Benji

      Hi Marie-Lyne, thanks for reading! The dorms on campus are for students only, but there are plenty of apartments around the area within walking distance where you and your boyfriend can live. Also, I would recommend your boyfriend getting in touch with AUC Spouses Org to get info on working. I dont think anyone gets a working visa while on the island but there are other options to find work. I have a post about the spouses org that gives you contact info. Best of luck!

  • Isabel

    Hi Benji!

    I got accepted to AUC, starting Sept!! =)
    I’ll be living on campus for the first semester, however they only had apartments on the first floor that were still available. Do students usually complain about living on first floor on campus?
    thank you!

    • Benji

      Congrats Isabel! I lived on the first floor. We did have some ants at first but that resolved quickly. with a can of Raid. Best of luck.

  • Carmen Bithoney

    Hi Benji,

    Great website!

    I am an owner of 4 units at Cote DAzur Building C. I am always interested in finding ways to connect with students looking for quality housing. I know from reading your posts that you found Cote DAzur to be uninteresting from the outside. This is true in some cases, but the neighborhood is large and there are several buildings. I would like to think that my 4 units are quite desirable. I have a long history and many successful relationships with AUC students seeking off campus housing. I will be happy to support that comment with references if you have an interest in this. That being said, I am really writing for your advice and guidance in the best ways to reach student tenants currently. The many problems with Solutions and some rather disreputable landlords have clouded the issue of the tenant/landlord relationship. I am not trying to create an indirect marketing opportunity on your website so I will not describe or “sell” my units here, but I wonder if I might ask you to contact me privately so that I might get some feedback from you. I look forward to your response, even if you decline, and wish you the best of luck at AUC. Regards – C.

  • Jifeng

    Hi, I’ve heard that students need to move out during breaks if living on campus. If that’s the case where do they usually store their belongings?

    • Benji Ho

      Hi Jifeng, AUC really only has enough on-campus rooms to accommodate for 1 semester. Therefore, most people do move out after first semester. Some apartments may let you move in early before you have to leave the dorms. When I moved, I temporarily stored my stuff at a friend’s apartment.

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