Throughout my time at AUC, I’ve never received more than 3 things in the mail: A care package from Irene, a wedding invitation from my old roommate at Wash U, and a book that my friend from Taiwan sent to me as a gift. If given a choice, I prefer sending and receiving things paperless, and unlike Irene, I don’t buy that many things online, and so I never had that much of a need for shipping services. However, for new students coming into AUC, it’s good to know the options for shipping. There are three ways, depending on what you want to ship and how often:
1. AUC Note Service
First, Note Service on campus can receive any letters or packages for you, free of charge. They do not send. This is great if you are like me and are not a frequent user of mail services and don’t plan on receiving that many letters while you are at AUC. However, Note Service only receive packages that are sent by USPS Priority, EMS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL, so make sure whoever is sending you the package sends it via these carriers! Otherwise, all other packages will be sent to the main post office in Philipsburg, which is very far away. The letters and packages should be addressed to:
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
#1 University Dr. at Jordan Road
Cupecoy, Sint Maarten
Once Note Service receives a package, they will email you to come pick it up. They also post a list outside their window that shows the students who have packages waiting to be picked up. Here’s more info about Note Service: Note Service Pamphlet. As I mentioned above, AUC Note Service is limited as they only receive and not send, and if you are shipping from the United States, the packages must be sent to a foreign address. However, if you plan on sending or receiving packages frequently, a great service that many students use is the MailBox, which I’ll talk about next.
2. The MailBox
If you plan on using mail services frequently and regularly throughout your stay on the island, you can sign up for the MailBox, a local company on the island. Unlike Note Service, you can both receive and send mail via the MailBox. The best part is they give you a Miami P.O. Box address that the sender can send the mail to, so it would be just like sending something domestically in the US, without the international shipping fees. Although their main office is in Simpson Bay, the MailBox comes to campus twice a week (Mon and Thurs from 11:30am-12:30pm in the Rotunda) to deliver the packages as well as receive stuff you want to send off. You could either pay a monthly fee to use their service (I forget how much it is), or you could get a discounted student price of $105 that would cover you for an entire year. You can sign up for The Mailbox when they come to campus during the Business Fair during Orientation.
3. Tropical Shipping
While Note Service and the Mailbox is good for shipping small things like letters and packages, what if you are an incoming student and want to ship big things, and lots of it? Well, for that, many people recommend going with Tropical Shipping. Since I didn’t have that many things to bring to the island, I’ve personally never used the service, but I know many students here at AUC who felt it was the easiest company to work with in terms of bulk shipping to the island. You can even have them deliver to campus free of charge!
So to summarize, if you’re not the type of person to receive much mail, then it’s easiest and most affordable to stick with the free mail receiving service at Note Service on campus. If you’re the type of person to receive and send mail very frequently, then it may be worth it to pay for a mailing service like the MailBox. If you are a new, incoming student and want to ship a lot of stuff to the island, then consider Tropical Shipping.