Have your dreams of becoming a doctor been cut short by the overwhelming prospect of student loans? Have you struggled to get flawless marks your entire life, only to discover that you’ve been shortlisted by your dream school? Do you simply need a break from “regular life” and think that the tropical life is beckoning?
With less restricting admissions, more affordable courses, and stunning surroundings, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider studying medicine at an accredited university in Aruba, a Caribbean island located just off the coast of Venezuela.
Keep reading to learn more about all of the excellent opportunities to consider before starting medical school in Aruba!
1) Incredible Weather Boosts Serotonin
Okay, so maybe this isn’t why you’re studying to be a doctor, but Aruba’s unbelievable climate certainly does have its benefits. With more sunny days than any other island – and fairly consistent temperatures that land between 74-90ºF (24-33ºC) – this is a tropical wonderland.
Exposure to sunlight is known to improve mood, sleep patterns, and focus, so you can expect a better quality of life – and grade point average! Just try not to get distracted by all of the year-round activities like cave exploration, snorkeling, and scuba diving!
2) Study Abroad – but Not Too Far!
The first time studying in a new country can be challenging at times. That’s why it’s good to remember that there are regular (and affordable) direct flights from almost all major US cities including Miami, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. This allows you to live as a foreign student who’s able to spend their holidays with family back home.
3) Small Classes Mean Better Learning
No more lecture halls packed with hundreds of students and overworked TAs: Most medical universities in Aruba provide smaller class sizes that help you get through your work faster. If you’re the kind of student who always has questions at the end of class, you’ll have more than enough 1-on-1 time with professors to get all of them answered.
4) The Same Great Education as Other Accredited Programs
Even the best Caribbean medical schools have been scoffed at by their American counterparts for decades, because US schools erroneously believe Caribbean university students “couldn’t hack it” back home. But even the best applicants can be rejected. Some might have perfect grades but get waitlisted solely because they’re poor test takers. Other applicants aren’t provided the federal loans they need, making medical school nothing more than a pipe dream.
It’s worth noting, however, that each university provides a different quality of medical degree education services. For students who take their United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), 94% of American medical students pass their first round, while 72% of international med school grads do. The highest pass rate for any Caribbean medical school is around 85%. The lowest? Just under 20%. Therefore, it’s crucial to do ample research before applying to any school.
Consider reaching out to alumni via sites like LinkedIn to ask them about their academic experiences. If you already happen to be on the island, contact a admissions representative to book a personal tour or answer any lingering questions. This will allow you to see whether the school is a great fit or not.
5) Much More Affordable Than American Universities
While many international medical schools are inflating their prices to reflect those in the United States, med school tuition fees are still far lower in the Caribbean. This will allow you to graduate with much less debt than the average American medical school student (a whopping $200,000!).
American students should check to see if they will be eligible for a Direct Loan Program, especially for graduate curriculums. Going this route can help them finance their education easily, and all without breaking the bank.
6) Easier Admission Requirements
Just like in the US, there are different admissions processes for each school. Most are beginning to follow the American curriculum requirement of pre-med courses and/or a four-year degree. It’s also not unheard of for MCAT scores to be included in this list. Be sure to check the school website – or ask a school representative – for a list of requirements.
7) A Great Job Waiting for You
When it comes to finding a job after graduation, there certainly is a stigma. It was reported that just over 50% of US citizens who passed their foreign med school programs found work via the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Those who graduated from US schools had better luck with a more than 90% success rate.
That’s not the whole story though: Students who have been initially rejected from med school and put themselves through another one are hard workers. With the right persistence, it’s believed that 90% of US-born graduates who pass their residency placement tests will find the right residency position.
Top-tier graduates from Aruba medical schools are able to compete for residencies in the United States healthcare system, which is especially true for those with a specialized focus like cardiology or dermatology. Most Aruba med school graduates, however, possess general degrees in fields like internal medicine. Keep this in mind when choosing an educational path.
Contact the American University School of Medicine Aruba
Whether you’re a recent high school graduate who needs to tackle basic science courses or a college grad who’s already completed their pre-med studies, there’s never been a better time to discover everything the top Caribbean medical school can offer! With affordable tuition rates, dedicated staff, and a beautiful campus, you’ll get the education you’ve always dreamed of at AUSOMA.
To kickstart your education in basic sciences, clinical sciences, and pre-med, apply to AUSOMA courses today!