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!