Sunday, September 4, 2011

Once You've Arrived Checklist

  • if you live off campus, straighten out all housing details with landlord-sign contract, ask when rent is due, make copy of keys, inquire about access to laundry facilities, straighten out electricity, cable, and internet concerns, and so on.
  • make your way to the grocery store - IGA is the preferred grocery store of students with.  They have items you'll be most familiar with (assuming you're from America).  At the same time, they're more expensive because these items are imported and you're also paying for the convenience of buying from an AC ventilated store.  Don't forget to sign up for a "frequent shopper" card. Receive 1 point for every dollar you spend. 500 points will land you $5. If you would like to accumulate, great! They don't expire. The "Grand Anse" bus (you can catch it at the campus bus terminal or at any of the stops on the bus route) stops right in front of the store.  Foodfair is about 1/4 mile away from IGA. You will find a more local selection of produce.  I buy produce here because it's cheaper and always fresh.
  • visit the hardware store for pots, pans, utensils, converters, surge protectors for your computers, and everything else you need for your house.  There's a hardware store right next door to IGA but it has limited selections with high prices.  If you end up purchasing items from here, don't forget to ask for your student discount!  They don't ask for ID but I would have it just in case you come across a by-the-book type of person.  You may not want to venture out at this point because you're completely new to the island, but I highly suggest you do to a nearby hardware store called Hubbards found about 1/4 mile away from IGA. It's past wall street (where all of the banks are located) in the shopping center across the street of Scotia Bank.  Foodfair is also located in the shopping center.  Ask a local or student nearby to help you find your way. They are very friendly.   
  • hang lines up for laundry or purchase clips if you already have them. you can also purchase stands made specifically for drying laundry at the hardware store.  Make sure that if you arrive during rainy season (June-December) that you get the rhythm of how weather works here. One moment its sunny and the next, it's pouring.  Very unpredictable! I chose to dry clothes outside because the sun is so warm and it's also FREE to use.  I dedicate all of the energy I would've used for my dryer to my marvelous Air Conditioning machine that keeps my dog alive. 
  • attend Meet and Greet SO events. Here you will find many older term SOs that will answer all of your questions. You will also have an opportunity to meet friends-both new SOs and older SOs.
  • apply for your SO ID. Take your husband with you and make sure he already has his school ID. Also, don't forget to bring another form of ID to confirm who you are.  SGU guards do a good job at checking ID upon entering the school.  You will also need your ID to use the Pool dring SO pool days.
  • sort out all financial matters.  The SO website has detailed information on banking. If you have a Bank of America account, you can use Scotia Bank to withdraw money without getting charged a fee.  Note: Be aware of your credit card international fees.
  • bus system is dependable for me and the husband (we're in a busy area where they frequently stop), but for those of you who want the extra convenience of driving, it's good to do some research.  Make sure you check out the post through your significant other's school account to find the best deals.  Try finding out which cars are common in Grenada and try getting one of them.  You'll have an easier time with maintenance and finding parts.  Otherwise, parts and labor can be expensive.

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