interested in reloc...
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interested in relocating to STT--please help.

Posts: 1
New Member
Topic starter

Hello everyone,

I currently live in New York but am interested in moving to STT. Yes, I've read GASP's postings and am still not deterred, though her recounting of the job situation is a bit daunting. I hav a Masters Degree in Sociology and Education from COlumbia University and have been a college instructor for the past seven years. Of course my major concern is whether I will be able to find similar work--I've been checking out the various public and private schools, and the education department for job listings but to no avail. (Also, I think I may have difficulty getting a teaching job since I don't have certification.)

I would really like to spend some time in STT and feel I can get along well there. I am mature (38) so am not looking for a bar scene and nightlife, of Caribbean descent so the culture--admittedly maddening at times--is something I can put up with. (Though 4hrs for a cell phone is outrageous by ANY island standard!). No children or much to ship.

My greatest concern is finding work and would like to appeal to readers who may be able to offer assistance. THank you in advance.


Posted : April 22, 2005 10:08 pm
Posts: 136
Estimable Member

hi natalie!

you'll be happy to hear from me b/c i'm in the process of moving to STT -- next friday will be the day!

i'll answer your questions one by one. i'm glad you're not bugged out by GASP's response, as you will love it here! it's good that you're of caribbean descent, as you'll probably find the adjustment easier. sometimes it was hard for me on my visits to the island b/c the people were so friendly and considerate -- something i'm not used to up here in philly!

as for employment, i and others have found jobs waiting tables. this is the best way to make a good buck if you're new to the island. i can't tell you a whole lot about teaching in the islands. i think you need your certification, but you'd have to inquire at the board of education about this. i think their web page is, but i'm not sure. you can probably get this info by contacting schools directly.

also, you should come down for a pre-move visit and stay as long as you can to make sure this is what you want. another tip on looking for work: you need to be on island to do that, as most employers will not take you seriously if you job hunt from afar. this is b/c, as i've been told, some employers have gotten burned by hiring from afar when the new hires never showed up for the jobs b/c they had changed their minds about moving to the VI. so you need to be on island.

finding work shouldn't take you too long, especially if you're willing to settle for waiting tables or working retail. if you do this, you can try to land a teaching position in the meantime.

though high season (nov-may) is the best time to find work, don't be discouraged at the employment prospects during the other times of the year. it's been said that regardless of when you come, if you are neat, polite, presentable, and willing to work, you can always find work here.

hope this helps.


Posted : April 22, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 0
New Member


You seem to have the stuff that will make you "at home" here.

Your education and training will be a bit overwhelming to some of the people you will meet during your first job seeking contacts.

However , if you are willing to put up with some of the (ok some "bs")...
you will be able to get a professional position..Probably at the College here, either St Thomas or St Croix.

You need to understand that the professional mentality is nothing like you have encountered before. The fact that you have a "caribbean connection" will help. But the truth is, if you come from an east coast professional situation it will require a Major change in your expectations.

I hope you can come and be satisfied. New viewpoints and ideas are important to the growth of students on these islands.

Posted : April 23, 2005 3:34 am
Posts: 9
Active Member

THanks, Celeste.

COngratualations on your move--I wish you well. THank you for the advice--I am willing to wait tables and work retail (jobs I have had a secret desire to try anyway).

Posted : April 25, 2005 6:04 pm
Posts: 9
Active Member


THank you for the words of encouragement-- I realize that it may be difficult to land work in my ideal area at first, but the long-term prospects are important to me for overall satisfaction. Yes, I supsect that an ivy league education might pose a problem, but I hope that employers will see some good in that--I can learn how to bus a table and fold clothing with the best of 'em darnit! :))

Am I to surmise from your screenname that you are also in academia there? College adjunct teaching or administration would be excellent--are you familiar with those areas? I have tried the college and dept of ed human resources web pages but as you can imagine there are not many (or recent) postings so it's difficult to job search from this end. While an undergrad I spent some time at the University and was impressed with the academic culture.

Actually it is the "east coast" mainland mentality that is the primary cause of my desire to relocate. Though I've grown up here, I've never fully fit into the work culture of the U.S. (it may be a genetic propensity). I prefer a less hectic lifestyle within which I have a meaningful career. California is an option, but frankly I feel more rejuvenated by the warm Caribbean breeze. In all my travels I have and various residences I have never felt more at ease than when in the islands (STT in particular).

Posted : April 25, 2005 6:26 pm
Posts: 86
Trusted Member

I also think that substitute teaching could be an easy way for you to get your foot in the door, at least meeting other teachers that are on-island, making connections, meeting people. If you register at all the schools to sub (Antilles, Montessori, public schools), I'm sure someone will call you.

I registered at Antilles to sub when I first moved here since there was a desperate need for subs, but never heard from any teachers until this Feb (6 months later) despite having a great interview. So again, connections might help -- teachers would probably select a sub if they knew the person before selecting a stranger's name -- but i didn't register at all the schools on-island. Had I done that, I'm sure I would have gotten more calls. In fact, my fiance works with a guy who's wife is teacher at Antilles and she said to me the other day, "I didn't know you were on the sub list! i would have called you in a sec, had i known!" (I'm pretty sure i had told her, but she might have forgotten).

If you come down with enough in savings, you'll be fine subbing occasionally while badgering the University about new openings 🙂 best of luck!! I think you'll do just fine.

Posted : April 25, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 9
Active Member

I just learned of the substitute teaching option from the Ed Dept website, but it's good to know that being on the list requires reading between the lines. Yes, I was thinking that it's a good idea to come with enough savings for say three months while I search, but it seems I should plan for a longer dry spell.

I've been trying to find out the teacher salaries there--any idea of the range?

Posted : April 25, 2005 8:17 pm
Posts: 86
Trusted Member

I know a couple people who teach at Antilles, and although I don't know what some of the older teachers who've worked there for years make, this woman was in her mid-20s and teaches 2nd or 3rd grade and makes $29K. I have no idea if that's the standard, or what the pay raises are, etc. I wonder what the professors at the University make?

Posted : April 25, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 9
Active Member

I was able to find a salary listing on the Dept of Ed webpage, but thanks for the info--that makes it more real.

Gasp, I'm so glad that you've taken the time to answer my post as you've been busy with the message board. :)) I have read almost all (not stalking, I promise) of your posts and the ensuing discussions and must tell you that it's like you're in all our heads. You've gone through the reasons why people go and why they return.

I do have one question: Are you concerned about gettinng back into a professional life or will grad school buffer that? I ask because it seems to me that one thing that someone planning to move (and may possibly return) should think about is how their time on the island is viewed by potential employers. Sure, for the twenty-something recent college grad this is nothing, but for someone in their 30's or 40's to move to the islands may be the unforgivable equivalent of "dropping out" of society and may not bode well for continuing a career. WHat are your thoughts on this?

Posted : April 26, 2005 6:14 pm
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