Want to Move down a...
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Want to Move down and attend UVI

Posts: 12
Active Member
Topic starter

I am in between schools right now. I finished my associates and want to continue my education somewhere other than the north east. I have visited the VI now for 8 years. I spent a month and a half in Tortola last winter. I usually go to Tortola once or twice a year, I absolutely love it. I always skipped over St. Thomas. On my way back to the mainland last winter a friend took me around the island a little bit to kill time. I saw the college and fell in love.

I worked all summer to save money to come down this winter and investigate living on St. Thomas

I am also an avid surfer

I was wondering if anyone from the mainland has attended UVI and what their thoughts were?
I would move down this December and establish residency so the school would be more affordable and start next fall semester.

Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated.

I should be down the first week of December if anyone has any recommendations of cheap places to stay while I am there.

Also where would be the best location on island to live that is close to good surf breaks?

Posted : October 26, 2010 4:10 am
Posts: 1866
Noble Member

There isn't much surfing here, but occasionally there are some folks paddling out on the north side around Hull Bay. I believe you have to live on island for at least one year to be considered a resident for tuition purposes. Whether UVI will meet your needs depends on your intended major, and what you hope to do with your education. You sound motivated, so if UVI is what you want, go for it and make it work.

Posted : October 26, 2010 5:37 am
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

I have a relative who graduated in Marine Biology. Got a great start and in now in graduate school in Big America. The positive comments I heard were: small classes with accessible professors, great beach parties (John Brewers's Beach is on campus), pretty good food in the cafeteria. The biggest negative was seeing fellow students fall into the depths of the drinking and drug culture, dropping out of school and ending up bums. Good cautionary tale for a young person, I suspect.

As dnt says, mostly the surfing is at Hull Bay when there is a north swell, the most common here in the winter. Occasionally, the waves will come from the south or south-east and you'll see people in strange places like Secret Harbour or Morningstar Beach.

Posted : October 26, 2010 9:28 pm
Posts: 12
Active Member
Topic starter

I appreciate the replies!

I looked into it and it does take year to establish residency...which I am a little bummed about. I figure if i get down there by December I will be able to qualify for spring semester at local rate.

I am looking to go for business/hotel and restaurant management I figured St. Thomas would have some great lessons to learn seeing how the economy is mostly based off of tourism.

I am planning to come down with around $3 - $5,000 dollars to get started out and will probably head back to the states for a few months in the summer to earn extra cash in the summer season...do you think that will be enough? I am also probably going to ship my car down. I have a 2008 H3 hummer I figure it will be more logical to ship it that to try to attain something on island for that value.

Is there a fairly large amount of students from the states that come down or other students that would not be living at home where I could find roommates?

I have lived on my own for the past two years in the states and really wouldn't want to move down and live on my own the first year down I would like to find a roommate of the same interest.

I also really would love to work on boats doing day sails/cook prep/cooking or work in a restaurant bartending/serving I have excellent experience in the service industry..

Again every response is greatly appreciated!

Posted : October 26, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 593
Honorable Member

I'd sell the Hummer and buy something much cheaper (either on the mainland or once you get here) to drive around down here. No one cares what you drive in the VI, and it will be a pain to park something so huge. You can use the money from the sale to finance your new life here.

Posted : October 27, 2010 12:42 pm
Posts: 277
Reputable Member

$3-5k in cash will be gone in a few months, you need more than that. I'd say minimum $10k if you don't have a job lined up already. I'd not bring the hummer down. Too big for the roads and expensive on gas. My 2 cents.

Posted : October 27, 2010 1:00 pm
Posts: 2
New Member

The UVI is a beautiful campus. In looking for a place to stay, be careful. Fortuna is a common option...but there are some things to be ready for:
1. Many people over there keep their dogs chained outside 24/7 and do nothing about the noise througout the night.
2. As elsewhere on the island but seems more prevelant in the country of Estate Fortuna, there are a lot of chickens, pigs, and roosters. If you don't mind waking up around 4:15-4:30am each morning to these sounds, then this might be the place for you.
3. There are a lot of locals (West Indies) that are settled here and by nature, can be very loud.

We live on the east side where it is busy, but a little more civilized. Hope this is helpful.

Posted : October 28, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

"More civilized"

Posted : October 28, 2010 6:28 pm
Posts: 79
Trusted Member

@Linda J, yup -- whoa.

Anyway, @H20 - I would not bring your Hummer down. I can't imagine how fast it would be broken into. As was said above, it will be too big for most roads/ parking spaces.

I'm a former college professor and current private school teacher on STT and unless you are going into marine biology or something related I would not recommend making the big move down here to go to UVI. Going to school full-time AND supporting yourself on this expensive island wouldn't be worth it to me.

From what I see most students at UVI live at home.

The undergraduate programs at UVI are nearly "open admission" - like a community college - they take anyone who applies (although freshmen do have to send in their SAT scores). For many of my high school seniors UVI is a back-up plan - a "last resort."

Finally, being a young person myself who had the good fortune to go to college in a culture-rich, intellectually stimulating environment, I would say keep looking in the Northeast. As a 20-something it's so easy to drink too much here - it's such a small island and the party culture is strong (not to mention the drug culture). You say you want to go into hospitality --- have you looked in New York? Florida? Cali?

The beaches are wonderful here, as is the weather - but at the end of the day there are bills to pay and lines to wait in (ahem, much longer ones) just like in the states. And things are much less convenient, oh and did I mention expen$ive?

We're barely hanging on, and we have a two full-time income household. I can't imagine living here alone as a student.

Posted : October 28, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 12
Active Member
Topic starter


I really appreciate the insight. I want to get out of this area...can't stand the cold anymore. Want to get pretty far from home and really want to be on an island somewhere. Thought about Hawaii but It would be equally expensive and a little to far from home.

Cali would also be extremely expensive from what I have seen.
I honestly love the Virgin Islands from the time that I have spent down there

Last winter I was down there and doing "the grind" so to speak working, shopping, cooking, not living like i was on vacation. I know about the long lines in the food stores, problems with getting utilities to run proper and such.

I have supported myself through my fist two years of school. I worked paid rent and went to school full time earning good grades.
I'm used to the 7 day a week grind to keep my head above water.

What other schools to the kids look into down there for other options that are in the Caribbean?

And I am taking everyones advice on the Truck...I'm handing it in this month.
I do am a young person and i do like to drink and party and I have been immersed in it my whole life...but i am also responsible and keep myself in check. I know too many people who have moved to the islands and/or have partied themselves out of colleges from NY-FL...I think its WHO you are not WHERE you are when it comes to that scenario.


I have spent months in PR and the VI and have almost an affection for "island noises"

I really appreciate everyones incite, each post opens my eyes

Thank You

Posted : October 29, 2010 7:43 pm
Posts: 83
Trusted Member

My son did exactly what you want to do, didn't work out as he planned. He was Hospitiality Management major at U. of Northern Colorado. He had about 90 units and wanted to finish his last year at UVI, tauting their H.M. program on the interent. The family went on a BVI charter in July and he had a one way ticket, and orientation was early August. He found a great house in Hull Bay $1500 a month for 2 guys. He went to orientation and was informed by a counselor, they dropped the Hospitality Management program, but they could put him in the business dept, but only accept 65 of his credits. "Welcome to the Caribbean love"(Jack Sparrow). Jobs actually were quite easy for him to get, also a waiter, bartender, diver, sailor, got a job on a charter boat making very good money, stayed one year. Is now back in Colorado finishing his senior year. Nutmeg is proud of him, aren't you. UVI was horrible in their communication, even answering the phone at all, returning calls or emails and not informing him of the program being dropped. He applied in March. True story.

Posted : October 30, 2010 10:15 pm
Posts: 224
Estimable Member

I did a semester at UVI St Croix. Ugh. Major party school,and the place was crawling with religious fanatics--at one point I was physically forced to stay in the auditorium for a religious service, even though I repeatedly asked to leave (shoved me into a chair and blocked the exit so I couldn't get out). And the food on campus was almost totally inedible; I lost 3 clothing sizes from the time I moved onto campus to the time I moved off, because the meat was seriously sketchy and the vegetarian options tasted like cardboard.

The thing that bothered me most, though, was the extreme dumbing down of the classes. I had a third-year English course that used the same text as a class I had for my junior year of high school, and the high school class wasn't even AP. The Spanish class I took (supposed to be intermediate level) was taught by a professor who spoke less Spanish than I do. (I ended up teaching him how to swear in Spanish. *grin*)

Posted : October 31, 2010 11:38 pm
Posts: 12
Active Member
Topic starter

I started this thread a bout two years ago and I'm ready for an update and am seeking more advice..

One thing I majorly regret is not shipping my truck down here. I handed in my perfect H3 moved down here and bought a Jeep that has been nothing but problems. I have put enough money into that my H3 would be close to paid off right now. And the jeep is far worse on gas than my truck was 🙁

But all that aside..I have been living here for about two years now and I love it here. I am attending UVI and it is going very well I should be finished in May but unfortunately not with the original degree I intended on.

My next question is now that I have finally had it with this jeep what is the advice on purchasing another vehicle on island? or off?

What do you think the best car for down here is in the $15,000 price range whether its getting it on or off island?

Posted : October 4, 2012 4:05 am
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member

Buy a Toyota!
Whether car, SUV or pick-up.
Personally, I love my Tacoma.

You can find some good deals on island and get a very nice vehicle for $15K here, rather that hassling with shipping something here and all that will entail, whether it be cost or time - wise. If you do ship something be aware that you will have to pay Customs Duty (among many other other fees) if your car is foreign made or has any parts that are foreign made as the USVI has no trade agreement such as the US does. Check with Customs about those fees.

You should always take whatever vehicle you plan on purchasing to a mechanic (trustworthy) to have the vehicle checked out prior to purchase.

Glad you have survived and thrived.
Continued Good Luck(tu)

Posted : October 4, 2012 11:37 am
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