Island Council Member Monique Wilson and Pamela Meijvogel organised a “Students First” informational conference on Wednesday at Eugenius Johnson Centre in Windwardside, writes The Daily Herald.
The event was sponsored and hosted by Saba Labour Party (SLP), although it did not have any political motive. Goal of the event was to inform young Sabans, who plan to study abroad, on the positives and negatives of such an undertaking.
Although there were not many teenagers present amongst the audience, a group of around 25 attendants listened to presentations by five guest speakers. Before this, Wilson provided basic information and tips on studying abroad. She emphasised the importance of parents guiding their children when they are abroad. She also showed where to find useful information on study financing on the website of Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN.
Guest speaker Dimetri Whitfield spoke about his experiences while studying in Barbados, where he obtained his Bachelor’s in Sociology. Some of the positives when studying in the Caribbean are that it is very affordable, less of a culture shock and easier to travel, according to Whitfield. He also mentioned that most schools in the Caribbean are accredited, which is a very important factor when choosing a school.
Justin Simmons gave a presentation about studying in Holland and the United States. He spoke about career goals, choosing the right college and how to get the most out of your college experience.
Stacey Simmons attended two universities in Florida, USA. She informed on what to expect when studying in the USA and also gave many tips on what not to do. Her most important advice was to ask many questions and properly revise immigration paperwork. She ended her presentation with facts about universities and what fun things there are to do in Miami.
Sharuska Oleana recently came back to Saba after studying in Holland for five years. When she first arrived in Holland it was February, and she remembered it was “extremely” cold. She had an overall good experience studying in Holland, although she did feel it to be somewhat of a “culture shock.” She also had to get used to people being very direct.
Angie Ignacio is also studying in Holland and is currently on Saba for a six-week internship programme. Her advice was to budget money wisely, to try to mingle with as many people as possible and try to make many friends.
Afterwards the audience was able to ask questions. One attendant opted for a blog to be set up on Internet by ex-students, where future students can post questions about studying abroad.
“Nothing like this event was ever organised before. It was very helpful,” an attendant said.