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AUA Student FAQ

Thread: AUA Student FAQ

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  1. NicSTX said:

    Lightbulb AUA Student FAQ

    Ok, so I find it really annoying when people ask the SAME QUESTIONS OVER AND OVER . So I figured I'd start this thread. I will try to keep this top post updated and add questions people ask to THIS INITIAL THREAD.

    -also, I don't add people I don't know on facebook, myspace, or whatever other thing you add people on. I understand that I am open about who I am on here... but those sites are reserved for friends not people I don't know off a random forum online. (mentioned because someone sent me an angry PM because I didn't add them on one of the above mentioned sites asking if i was "too good for them")

    on with the show!

    1. I want to practice in California or Texas, should I go to AUA?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by anatomy_guy View Post
    Listen and read! You need to understand that The California Medical Board will NOT let you practice in California unless you attend one of their approved schools. Entering the AUA KMC Twinning Program is NOT acceptable either unless you are qualified to practice in the country where the medical school awards your degree. In most cases, you must NOT only be qualified to practice but have practiced in the country that awarded your degree. There are some exemptions stated in the list of approved medical schools. So, make a decision to go to a Caribbean medical school approved by California such as AUC, SGU, Ross, or Saba or the University of the West Indies, or approved schools in the Dominican Republic, Haiti or Cuba, become a DO or return to university in the US and Canada and work your *** off, get top notch grades, and a high score on the MCAT. The choice is yours!!
    Good luck, A_G
    2. Is the island dangerous?
    It's a caribbean island, and it's not home.

    I definitely had a culture shock when I got here, even freaked out a little when I saw my first donkey tied to the side of the road. The buses here look like vans, most cars are pretty beat up, and you WILL run into cows, sheep, goats and chicken running around like it's THEIR island.

    But there are paved roads (hellooooooo potholes), a supermarket, a downtown market with really cool fruits that I've never tasted before (markets include = fish, meat, veggies, crafts, etc) and stores that we find back home (body shop, radio shack, sunglass hut).

    I have heard of many students that have been robbed, which sucks. They're usually after your laptop, wallet, backpack, stuff you have with you at all times. I fortunately have had nothing happen to me. I kind of regard this in the same manner I would living in a big city. I also have many friends that live in NYC that have been robbed, mugged, or jumped. Big whoop. You don't see people not going to NYC because of this.

    I DID have a run in with someone in town, and by I, I mean my boyfriend. We were headed back from dinner at 10 pm and a man approached him asking him for money and kinda had a knife by his side. He started yammering to him in German and walked away. Nothing happened - *insert reference here of NYC muggings*.

    This is an island where most of the inhabitants make about 400 EC a month. That's roughly less than 200US to survive. It's sad but they're also trying to make a quick buck. You need to understand this and be patient. They already see us as outsiders.

    3. How's the housing at AUA/where should I live?
    Y'know, I guess I'll have to update this one every semester, cause it seems like the housing is always changing.

    My experience:
    First 3 semesters = Jolly, links to my places can be found on my signature which show videos of all sort of things on the island. Jolly was nice, on the beach, near a supermarket/casino/restaurants etc.
    Sem 4 = crosbies. MUCH more convenient. Living far from school really sucks - you WILL need a car, and driving here aggravates you. They have their own rules here - and dealing with it every morning/on the way home, is no bueno.

    My advice - find a place near campus, and yes you should rent a car even though school transportation is dependable. The only housing that is ROUGHLY walking distance is cortsland. Nothing else is within walking distance. AT. ALL.
    Cortsland = hotel room, but really close to campus
    Sandpiper = hotel room, on the beach, the bigger rooms are nice
    Mandalay = really nice, but really expensive, they have washer and dryer in their appts, but that drives up your electricity bill (which runs high here)
    Amore = also really nice, couple of break in's there before they got the security guard
    Trafalgar (or however you spell it) = TOO FAR AWAY, seems like the new jolly... ugh, don't live that far away.
    Marlboro suites = independent housing, apparently really nice, not too expensive for a 1 bedroom
    Crosbies/Blue waters =
    Utopia = i dunno someone mentioned it's new housing, sounds nice
    PDF map format
    AMORE IS NOT BARRYMORE... a couple people have asked me that. I'm assuming amore has been filled up for next semester and they're not offering it you guys but you should ask AUA anyway. It should be around the 3 or 11 button on that map.

    4. Does AUA qualify for FAFSA?
    No. But you should write your congressman asking for it because it deals with a new law our govt. just passed. Annoying? Yes? Fixable? Maybe.

    I might just write another thread up with a demo letter people can send... hmm

    5. What kind of computer jank should I bring?
    GOOD QUESTION!!! I wish I knew this before I came here, here's a good list
    - laptop (taking notes in class)
    - 1GB USB, used for quick transfer of class ppts, or notes
    - 300GB external, (why 300? Because Kaplan will take up about 115GB, and you WANT THOSE - I also archive my old semester stuff so it doesn't take up computer space... annnnnnd you can download movies and save them onto your external along with your music.)

    Advice from an IT guy from one of the threads seemed good enough to copy paste:

    Quote Originally Posted by tabu View Post
    Alrighty guys, here's my two cents. I've been fixing or noting many of the problems here on the island.

    Majority of the notebooks here are Sony, Toshiba, Apple, HP/Compaq in that rough order. There are even a few people here with tablets PC.

    Common problems fixing here:

    1. Power adapters - People trip over them and the bend the wall plug end or mostly where it plugs into the computer.
    2. Dropped electronics mostly from #1
    3. Software crashes (#1 Vista takes the cake and then XP)
    4. Stolen notebooks

    Before I make my opinion here, let me say that I've done IT for way too long and for medical school, I switched to an Apple Macbook pro to keep all the problems of PC out of it. So far, I am able to better focus on my studies than on my own notebook. Unfortunately, I'm fixing all of my friend's problems... Vista has problems with some old medical programs we use here for some odd reason or it changes settings by itself.

    Now, first off, get a LARGE external HDD at least 120 gig for the portable or better yet get the large external ones 300gigs+. You'll fill up 100 gigs the first week here unless you're antisocial. Also, don't go cheap because every "cheap" external HDD has died here. Stick with Western Digital, Lacie, or Seagate.

    Second get what you are most comfortable with and what fits your budget because you are here for one thing, medical school. (For gamers, we already know what we want/need/gotta have.) If you already have a 1-2 year old system that has NO PROBLEMS then keep it because you are only here for a year and a half. Get a new one later. If you do buy one, don't skimp too much on the cost because if something craps out, you will have to send it to the states to get repaired and good ole Antigua will charge you a VAT tax when it comes back in.(it is stupid but they know you really need it and if you really argue it, it goes home with them or they ship it back out so you'll pay for shipping again.)

    You WILL use your computer for mostly powerpoints, pdfs and word. So make sure you buy office for whatever computer you purchase. Also get Antivirus software (stick with norton symantec or Mcafee) I personally wouldn't get an IBM because you are paying too much for fewer features. I love Fujitsu for their screens and Apple.

    I would presonally recommend getting a Mac. Fewer problems, no one wants to touch your Mac to steal or use and it just works. If you really need to run PC stuff, use Parrallel or dualboot and it will run Windows on your system. The school is tightening up their academic polices so get something that keeps your mind on your books. I hope this helps some of you.

    6. What books should I bring for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th semester? (be advised that this is all I used to pass, but others have different methods. If you have anything to add stick it on the board and I'll update this with your quotes)
    1st:
    - Anatomy flash cards by netter
    - Radiology book
    - Anatomy atlas by netter
    - Anatomy BRS (yes I know I'm listing a lot of anatomy books)
    - Embryo BRS
    - Baby moore (I never read moore, but some people did and swore by it)
    - Histo --- (I just did my class notes [look in my signature for the notes link] but the class has changed since I took it and people use roadmap. Any current histo students that want to elaborate on this be my guest)

    2nd:
    - Lippincott, biochem
    - genetics (all you need are her ppts, the book might be useful, i dunno)
    - physio (i just used his notes)
    - neuro (i just used MY notes [see notes section in my signature])

    3rd:
    - Micro made ridiculously simple
    - Some people liked lange, you can always check it out from the lib
    - First aide for their micro mnemonics
    - Immuno = his notes
    - Robbins
    - Baby robbins
    - Behavioral BRS

    4th:
    - Goljan for pathology (the 600 page one)
    - Path flashcards OR path BRS (the have the same exact information)
    - Pharm = his notes
    - ICM = their ppts, but this is subject to change next semseter, you will probably need to buy Cecil

    7. Will I need to buy or rent a car?
    First of all I would highly recommend you have a car for transportation, if not one for yourself - share with a roommate, or people in the same vicinity (this is less practical and stupid little fights may occur when more than one party want the car though). You will want to go to study groups, reviews, late night cram sessions, errands, to buy food, ETC. Cabs take way to effing long when you're in a hurry.

    before I go on, I'd like to mention that I think school transportation is very reliable, in fact you probably shouldn't rent till your second semester considering your schedule will run right on time with the bus schedule.

    Moving on, should you buy or rent?
    Some people think that buying a cheap crackpot car is the way to go. I however DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT unless you have extensive knowledge about cars and can fix them if things break down. I know too many people that bought cars for around 2,000US only to have them break down, have to wait for parts, and end up losing money in the end

    I rent. Why do I rent? Because if MY hunk of junk decides to make funny little noises, I can have the guy I rent from fix it while I'm in class learning. It's no longer my problem and much more convenient. They give you replacements when you need a car and deal with the car's issues themselves.

    Who should you rent from? Figure that out when you get here. Vmd doesn't let us give out names or numbers online. But don't rent from C***n, he's apparently a crook and over 20 students are currently on file with the antiguan police department charging him for keeping their 1000US security deposits.

    No bueno.

    8. What is an EC?
    EC = eastern carribbean currency, and all you need to know about it is that 1 dollar = 2.67 EC
    converting in your head becomes natural after awhile

    9. What does AUA look like?
    Here are professional shots:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sree Cheruku View Post
    here are amateur pictures that I took (it was on a saturday so there are not many students present, also the pictures are an year old and the school has significantly since then - maybe someone can post more updated pictures)

    The New AUA

    Professional pictures taken by the school photographer are interspersed in the following pages:

    Medical School Caribbean: Overview - American University of Antigua College of Medicine
    Medical School Caribbean: Antigua - American University of Antigua College of Medicine
    Medical School Caribbean: Basic Sciences - American University of Antigua College of Medicine
    AUA History

    A labelled satellite picture of the school is here:

    http://www.sree.us/auasat.jpg
    And here are some random shots:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord.Antigua View Post
    Public Home | AUA in 2005 | Fotki.com

    Total of 177 photos of AUA med in 2005.
    none were taken by me, and they should be pretty non-biased. I think both sets are also over a year old... so the school should be updating their professional pictures soon.

    10. Should I do my pre-med at AUA?

    So I think I would help Nic out and answer this one for her. There is a few aspects to this so I'll try to address them all. First of all, if you're coming out of HS with absolutely no college experience, I would recommend not doing your pre-med at AUA. Here's a few reasons:

    1. You are missing out on the whole college experience. Yes, college is for learning but it is also for growing as an individual. I studied a lot in my undergrad but I also had a good deal of friends and had some great memories. I got involved in many different activities and such that I will never forget. My roomate I lived with my freshman year, Korean and from the city (me being a kid from a small college town) I became best friends with. All of this I wouldn't have experienced if I decided to go straight into one of these programs.

    2. You are really limiting your future. Yes, going to pre-med at an off-shore school, you may actually (if you do finish the pre-med) start med school earlier. One thing you're limiting yourself to is th possibility of going to med school in the US. You're going to have to work pretty hard to get to med school anyway, why not try to get into a US program first?

    3. There is the reality that these courses you are taking may not be accepted in the US. Many states have certain undergraduate credit requirements for licensure. Some states require 60, some require 90 credits, some less. The fact is, how are these classes taken at AUA going to fit into this - nobody really knows yet. They may or may not be accepted or even be enough, but you really won't know until someone tries. I wouldn't be that person to take the chance, you shouldn't either.

    4. What happens when you go through pre-med and decide that you no longer want to go to AUA or you do not like Antigua? You're pretty much stuck since these credits probably won't transfer to other schools, especially the US. You're going to have to suck it up and continue your schooling at AUA or completely start over. This is not a good mindset to have.

    Ok so when is pre-med a good idea? I'd say the most acceptable reason to do pre-med at AUA (or any off-shore school for that matter) is if you already have a degree. Whether in that degree, you have taken none or some of the required pre-med courses, this is a good way to finish up what is required and then start med school. If you already have the mindset of going start into med school and do not want to waste anymore time going back to school, then this is a good way to do it. I know some students doing this now, transferring into some of the last semesters of pre-med and possibly taking some med1 classes at the same time.

    Although what I've posted is mostly my opinion, it should be taken into consideration before applying for pre-med at AUA or any off-shore school.

    *Updated by DOCp*

    11. Where should I buy cheap tickets to antigua?

    There are many sites that one can use to purchase tickets to Antigua (ANU) such as Cheaptickets.com and Expedia but the best site I've come across is Kayak.com. This site seems to search everything, from carriers like Continental and booking sites like Expedia. Those students coming from the Northeast, you can get direct flights out of Newark to Antigua. The flight time is about 4-5 hours.

    Personally, when I book flights, I book them through a carrier such as Continental. Often when you book flights through booking agents, they sometimes change carriers (often giving you smaller planes as well). This can be troublesome when it comes to baggage. From a personal experience, I once used Expedia to fly out to Seattle. I flew from Buffalo to Vegas in a Boeing 747 and then from Vegas to Seattle in this junk little plane. Not only was that plane delayed over an hour but when I finally got to Seattle, my bags weren't there. That was the last time I used a booking agent as well as flyin US Air.

    So things to look for when booking your flights, change of planes (the types) as well as layover times. There are certain days that carriers service to Antigua so be aware of that when booking.

    - DOCp

    Quote Originally Posted by BrazilianDoc View Post
    As far as trip, you can always check fares for students , or also fly with jetblue/ AA ( you can get their charge account and pay nothing/no interest for 6 months) , etc.. to SJU and from there take other flight to ANU ( note AA flights directly to Antigua (ANU) are usually with a big aircraft ) , if flying jetblue to SJU, flights with caribbean star now LIAT ( smaller plane ) , or AA , will connect you all the way - i haven't had any trouble. Be aware that you might will need to change terminals and they do not have carts @ SJU, but they do have the baggage man for 5 bucks or so...( in case u can't manage to drag all your luggage)

    12. Baltimore vs. Miami
    I can only answer for baltimore (since I'm there) and will update this as the semester continues:

    Curriculum goes as follows:
    - outpatient experience
    - hospital rounds with residents
    - 3 ER 12 hour shifts
    - Exam master exams (almost daily)
    - Princeton review material
    - Lectures provided by AUA instructors as well as visiting professors (almost daily, visiting = to entire hospital staff, not just AUA students)

    They mostly review ICM stuff with us, and try to keep our studying on track for the USMLE. AND Baltimore is pretty freakin cool - my house is across the street from camden yards and 5 blocks from the inner harbor.

    anyone from miami is more than welcome to add their experiences.

    This is taking too long... I'll update more later
    other questions:

    - Should I go here vs. some other caribbean school?
    - Should I go here vs. a US school?
    - What loan company should I go through?

    i can't think of anymore...



    Back to studying!
    Last edited by NicSTX; 05-20-2007 at 07:13 PM.
    AUA 2010
    IM - Geisinger Health System, class of 2013
    Heme/Onc - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, class of 2016
     
  2. DOC.p's Avatar

    DOC.p said:
    good idea...any new uses, feel free to ask in here, but don't ask the same question already posted, that's nonsense
    M.D.
     
  3. MDXRS22's Avatar

    MDXRS22 said:
    Believe me, some folks will still ask the same questions over and over.
    They will just ignore the thread.
    I need to think about something...maybe you know what...
     
  4. NicSTX said:
    Well that's optimistic... :/

    just link them here when they pull that kind of shenanigans
    AUA 2010
    IM - Geisinger Health System, class of 2013
    Heme/Onc - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, class of 2016
     
  5. DOC.p's Avatar

    DOC.p said:
    ha Nic, judging by your johnny, i see you've gotten a lot of PM's

    BTW, this thread is now a sticky...let's try to keep to the topic and not junk this up...thanks
    Last edited by DOC.p; 04-07-2007 at 01:13 AM.
    M.D.
     
  6. octvela said:
    what about 1st semester books?
     
  7. logik15 said:
    Quote Originally Posted by octvela View Post
    what about 1st semester books?
    DOC posted a AUA book thread as another sticky... read that one i think its really helpful
     
  8. DOC.p's Avatar

    DOC.p said:
    Quote Originally Posted by octvela View Post
    what about 1st semester books?
    AUA Book Thread
    M.D.
     
  9. octvela said:
    ahhh, sorry about that. Cool
     
  10. logik15 said:
    great thread, and great job nic =D another question i would answer is regarding financial aid and which loan companies are best to use since we don't have federal aid.
     
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