Sunday, September 16, 2012

Where To Go For ____? + General Advice for Prospective and Current Students and Their Significant Others

This  "Where To Go For" section has been built of answers from various Significant Others that kindly filled out my "Where to Go For__," survey.    

Our aims: to help current and prospective SGU students + their significant others in figuring out where to go for everything (food, services, items, entertainment, etc.).  General advice is also included below.

Many thanks to everyone that took the time to fill out my survey!!! I had a blast reading your answers.

Business Directory
Restaurant. Menus. Reviews.
Things to Do, Sights to See
Downtown St. George's

Describe Grenada in one sentence.
*Grenada is an amazing place and experience, but it's all in how you take advantage of it and embrace it.
*Grenada is a beautiful country that will change you for the better if you keep an open mind.
*Humid, delicious fruit, unpredictable weather, beautiful.
*If you weren't in school, you'd love it here!
*I miss it there =(.

Expenses and Banking Advice
*Try to set up and stick to a budget. Grenada is expensive!  Sign up for the Frequent Shopper Card at IGA. 
*We used Charles Schwab bank for our checking account. They have a free checking account with no minimum balance and ALL ATM fees are waived and there is no currency exchange fee, so you can truly use your debit card the same way you do in the US. 
*If you fly American Airlines.  Sign up for the frequent flyer program.  Your miles will rack up fast! 
*Scotia Bank is sister banks with Bank Of America. You can withdraw money from Scotia Bank's 24 hr. ATM machine located across the street from Food Fair (~ 6min drive from campus by public transportation).  Max withdrawal for me 1,500 EC a day.
*Charles Schwab! Seriously, I don't have to worry about anything because Schwab is so wonderful! Easy to set up, easy to transfer, cash checks through their iPhone app.  You can do anything by mail.  You can pull out money anywhere or use their card at IGA without extra charges, and their phone support is amazing. Also, their checking account has a better interest rate than my previous savings account...
*Try to sign up for credit cards that waive foreign transaction fees. These small fees will add up each time you use credit card for grocery shopping, etc.
*If you're from Canada, set up a Scotia Bank account before you come.  Then you can use their ATMS 24/7 at no charge, to get cash.
*We got the Venture credit card, because it earns flyer miles.

Best Advice you can give to newcomers?
*Go with the flow, and try to enjoy it. Your time in Grenada will go fast.
*Embrace the new opportunity, get to know the locals, get involved in the community and enjoy the beauty...it goes by too quickly!
*Keep an open mind and be respectful of their culture. Don't expect things to work the way they do in the US. See everything you can and do everything you can while living here. If not working, use this time to pursue new goals and dreams. Write down some things you want to accomplish while living abroad.
*Get out there and experience and discover the island. You won't be sorry
*Enjoy the island while this experience last.
*Things are more expensive here. Things/people move very slowly here; don't expect the same pace as back home.
*Take life here one day at a time. Be patient and keep yourself busy.
*When looking for an apartment, make sure that the walls, ceiling, and floors are light in color. It makes finding mosquitoes easier (you can save yourself loads of agony). 
*When looking for apartments, ask your landlord how close and frequent school buses run. 

Apartment Recommendations 
*Von's Apartments (vonsapartment@gmail.com) – great location, great landlords

*We lived on campus then at Sugar Apple Apartments in LAE. I would recommend both.  Campus was 
great for being new on the island and learning the island and the bus system. The a/c wasn't bad either!!! But...I wouldn't recommend campus for more than the initial term, b/c it's too expensive. 

I liked where we lived in LAE. You didn't have to have a car as the bus stopped at the bottom and our landlords would take you to the grocery once a week and to school/bus stop if it was raining. The landlords were Mike and Jackie Cowan. They have a facebook page: Sugar Apple Apartments. Their email is sugarappleapartments@yahoo.com. It was a little expensive too, but we felt safe there. Most of the community knows the Cowans as they run the hashes.

*I would recommend Mont Toute for price, bus route and accessibility to groceries.

*Yes, in LAE right off the bus route by Charcoals. If you are a bus-er, you can catch the bus going either way. It's towards the beginning of LAE, so it's usually a very quick bus ride. Unfortunately, you have to work out grocery shopping or take two buses, though it's about 5 minute walk to the Texaco. Our building is only a few years old and in great shape! 

Randy (456-6413) is a good, chill landlord who always posts openings on the SGU post. His prices are very reasonable, so they fill up quick.

*I would recommend Bougainvillea Apartments to newcomers. If you're without a vehicle, it's close to stores, banks, the beach, local bus routes, and directly on the SGU bus route. The rent is reasonable, premises are safe (guarded nightly) and landlords quite reliable. (Rent varies based on 1 or 2 bedrooms, and 'standard' vs. 'superior' apartments.) 

*I live at the Grand View Inn and Absolutely love it. It includes rent, cable, a pool, laundry, twice weekly housekeeping, and all the air you want!  The staff here is wonderful and very accommodating!
Contact Information:
-Phone: 1 (473) 444-4984
-Address: Morne Rouge, Grenada
-Website: www.grenadagrandview.com
-Email: grandview.inn@facebook.com

*I suggest living in Benoits Apartments, though the apartments are a bit on the older side (plumber had to come in to fix a leak one time).
-about 5 minutes bus ride away from campus
-1 min walk to SGU bus stop. Buses run frequently.
-Dirt Cheap rent. My bed, bath, kitchen (all separated from one another) = 600 usd a month.  Also, I run the AC (super cold)  24/7 and that's ~an extra 200 usd.
-across the street from a grocery store (CK's). Next to Texaco mini mart (closes late night 7 days a week). Next to Chinese restaurant, Burger joint, Barber, Excel Plaza (gym, movie theater, MNIB mini grocery, subway).
-The only thing about where I live is that it's busy with locals walking all over the place.  Apartments are on a main road and a local bus stop is right across the street).  I've never had any trouble at all. Actually, I got to know a lot of locals that I see often.
-My area is safe since it's in the middle of a busy area. Also, SGU bus stop is right in front of Texaco (where there is always a guard on duty).
-My landlady is fast at addressing concerns and she's super nice.  Her name is Mrs. Ashby. 1 (473) 417-7554

Top 5 places to Visit

I have a Things To Do, Sights To See section that includes details and pictures of some places listed below. 
  1. La Sagesse, Lavera Beach while turtles are nesting, magazine beach, hashes (Grenada Hash House Harriers), Waterfalls
  2. Underwater Sculpture Garden, Laver Beach for turtle watching, Mt. Carmel Falls, Grand Etang, BBC Beach at sunset
  3. Belmont Estate, see monkeys at Grand Etang, Jessamine Eden Botanical Garden, Forts
  4. Belmont Estate, 7 Sisters. Downtown St. George's, Annandale Falls, Mt. Carmel
  5. Mt. Carmel, Belmont Estate, Grand Anse Beach, Fort Frederick, Fort Matthew, 7 Sisters
  6. Annandale Falls, La Sagesse Beach, Belmont Estate, Botanical Garden, Spice Market downtown
  7. Grand Etang
  8. Magazine Beach, Belmont Estate, Lavera Beach (turtle watching), La Sagesse Beach, waterfalls
Top 5 items that you encourage everyone to bring to Grenada

Here is my entry on What to Pack.
  1. sunscreen, bug bite cream, favorite toiletries, camera, books
  2. toiletries, kindle, hygiene products like make-up and face wash
  3. plastic baggies- various sizes, bug spray, sunscreen, face sunscreen, decorations
  4. brita pitcher and replacement filters, e-book device, popsicle tray
  5. sunscreen, bug spray umbrella, laptop (w/ external speakers), Kindle, hard drives full of entertainment
  6. towels, mementos, fancy outfits, swimsuit, a pair of shoes that can get muddy and ruined
  7. bug spray
  8. bug spray, sun screen, bedsheets, light blanket, adapters/converters
  9. batteries, favorite seasoning (i.e. montreal steak spice, greek, italian), strong reusable grocery bags
  10. bug spray sunscreen, long lighters (for stove and oven) cheap beach raft.

    ***Try packing your toiletries, extra clothes, and food/water in your carry on just in case your luggage doesn't make it to Grenada with you on time.  Also, restaurants in Grenada close very early so if your flights get's in late, you won't have anywhere to eat.  In the event that you're left with no food at all, check out my Food Directory for places that might still be open (and if you're lucky, one that also delivers).  The gas station at Texaco closes late 7 days a week. They often have bread, eggs, and all of the basics.  Take a taxi there if you're alone and don't want to deal with riding the school. bus.

    Here's a 24/7 taxi that I ride with often:
    Morain: 473-536-2220 (mobile)
                 473-443-5310 (home)
Best Pizza Deals
Glover's (2)
Prickly Bay ½ Off Monday Nights (3)
Rick's Cafe

Best Tasting Pizza
Glover's
Rick's (3)
Prickly Bay (6)
La Boulangerie (2)

Best Local Food
Food Truck on campus lunchtime
for a more $$ night out, Boot's Cuisine
Roti at Sugar Shack on Campus
Hashes
Creole Shack in town (2)

Where to buy household needs upon arrival.
Purcells- downtown (2)
Sunshine Store downtown
Immediate needs- ACE (3) or Creative Do It Best. (3) Anything else that can wait, downtown.
Hubbards Grand Anse Shopping Centre- best for kitchen (2)
IGA (3)

Gifts for Children
Sunshine Store- downtown (3)
Grenada Craft Center
Spiceland Mall- they have a fair selection (2)

Best Dessert
Umbrellas (2)
Nick's Doughnut World
Beach House Restaurant (2)

Hotel Recommendations For visitors
Grenada Grand has an awesome “fantasy pool” (3)
True Blue Bay
Kalinago
Grand View Inn


Favorite Beach
La Sagesse
Grand Anse (5)
Flamingo Bay
Magazine (3)


Favorite local fruit
Fresh Pineapple
Secret Fig or Rock Fig (2)
Mangoes (3)
Water Lemons (3)


Baby Supplies
downtown across bootleg dvd wall
food fair for basics (diapers, toiletries)
downtown


Art Supplies
Bryden and Minors downtown and Spiceland Mall (7)
find natural supplies (like driftwood and seaglass) around the island


Craft Supplies
Little Craft Store downtown above dentist
L.A. Purcells


Kitchenware
Purcells
Sunshine Store
Ace Hardware (2)
Creative Do it Your Best
Hubbards
Best Ice Cream
Rick's (home of Sugar and Spice Ice Cream) (6)
Belmont Estate


Favorite Restaurant
Umbrella's (5) (casual)
Ali Baba's
The Beach House Restaurant (3) (fancy dinner)
Choo Liet (Cheap Chinese)
Calabash


Hidden Gems in Grenada
Hidden Beach
Hashing
Carriacou
Botanical Garden
Hot Springs
Quarantine Point
La Sagesse Beach


Fish Friday
Try it at least once for the experience and by boat for a more scenic ride.


Best Nachoes
Mr. Chipotle at options (2)
Umbrella's (2)


Favorite Local Dish
Roti (2)
Salt Fish Sauce
Stewed Chicken
Macaroni Pie 
Breadfruit Salad
Guava Cheese Candy
Calalloo Soup

Best Chinese Food
Choo Lite


Best Indian Food
Campus at Gazeboo (5)


Best Burger
Umbrella's (6)
University Club (2)
Le Chateau at the entrance of Port Louis Marina


Most Overrated Burger
Charcoals (3)
Mc Donalds (LOL)


Best Fries
Umbrella's (4)
Charcoals


Best Sandwiches
Umbrella's
University Club

Frozen Yogurt 
Yum Yum Cafe located in Spice Island Mall

Best Thing You Like About Grenada
The laid back way of life.
The kids.
The incredible scenery.
The sense of community.
Hashing, nature, and it's something different.
Beaches
Diving and Snorkelling
There's Mango Trees in my backyard.

The Worst Thing About Grenada
*I'm not there
*Their view of most Americans based on the rudenesss of students expecting US living
*The heat (2)
*Mosquitoes (2)
*Cost of living
*How customer service is slow and disorganized (4)
*distance from loved ones

Out of The Ordinary Experiences
*While driving down the main road in LAE I had a bull charge my car. Luckily I have witnesses ;)
*Everyone here is from somewhere else. Where else could you go and have that in common? Take the time to see other cultures, traditions, personalities, and learn about acceptance of people who are different. Take the time to breath in the fresh air (when you aren't nearby vehicles with bad exhaust) and remember that this is a new experience...for you, for everyone. Be kind if it's easy for you, and don't be afraid if it's not.

Anything I left Out?
*The Question of … How awesome if Jessie Leath?
*Value MD Packing Lists
*Smoothies at NY Bagel are delicious and are a good value.

Entertainment
*Kids :), Beach, Pool
*Volunteering, beaching, blogging, SO events, new friends
*Volunteer, read, see the sights, learn a new skill (or refine an old one), go out of your way to make new friends
*Home Learning, Blogging, Projects, touring around the island, photography.
*Bring a hobby or craft supplies with you. Getting a job here is not impossible--don't expect it, but don't think that you can't get one. Torrenting or free TV sites. Start exploring cooking--nows the time! Sea glass hunting!
*Turtle Watching, Volunteering, Snorkeling, and Diving
*Crab racing at the Owl

9 comments:

  1. Hello Katherine,

    I have a quick question. I will be attending the August 2013 class and it says on the sgu calendar that August 11 TERM 1 registration begins and that on August 14 is the orientation. I will be actually flying down from Spain to USA on the 9th of august. Do you know if we need to be there on Aug 11 for the registration, or if we can come on the 14th directly for orientation?

    Additionally, I read that for Term 1 students sgu does have a bus/van facility which takes u from the airport to campus? Any insight on this

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Anonymous,

    You can definitely arrive on August 14 and still be able to register without any trouble.

    For SGU transportation services, you will have to first contact your admissions counselor (the person that is currently handling your application) and give them your date and time of arrival and they will arrange everything from there. Good Luck!

    Should you have any further questions, Check out my "Important Phone Numbers" category and you'll be able to find lots of phone numbers to specific departments. If you're unable to find answers there, you can always ask me again and I will do my best to help you out!

    Best,
    Katherine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the reply.. lol sorry for these questions but I have another one lol

    In the event, my luggage doesnt make it on time, which is highly probable, I noticed the airlines website (carribean airlines) said that they can have it shipped to our home. I am guessing this would be our dorm address? or the campus mail room address?

    However, more importantly, I am planning to bring a lot of frozen foods (basically microvable dinners) which I would have in my check baggage. Do you know if customs will not allow this?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again,

      Both friends that have experienced a delayed luggage have both returned to the airport after a few days to pick their luggage up.

      The friends that have brought frozen food with them, were never charged. It's a hit or miss with customs... Sometimes they're thorough in checking what you have, sometimes, they're not. In the case that they're are, food supposedly is taxed at ~45%.

      Delete
  4. Great blog, Katherine! Just got here to Grenada and this is very helpful. We have a sailing school in St. Vincent and we are starting one in Grenada. Maybe the medical students would like to learn how to sail while they are here? www.ltdsailing.com

    fyi: the Victory Bar Happy Hour is only 5p - 6p right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Chris, Thanks much. I will be sure to include the link to your school under the tab "services" just in case the students are interested. Thank you for the information.

      Delete
  5. Hey Kat, I am an SO here at SGU. Do you mind if I provide a link to your blog on one of my posts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kristen, Of course I don't mind. Please feel free to use any information on my blog to help any other SOs and students. Spread the love hahah. Wish we were able to meet. Have fun in Grenada.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete