About Antigua and Barbuda
- Geography and Climate-The countries of Antigua and Barbuda lie to the east of the Leeward islands. They are a part of the famous Caribbean islands. These countries consist of the islands under Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. The soil of these countries mainly comprises limestone. Antigua contains a lot of mountains which give rise to volcanic eruptions. If you wish to study in either of these places (Antigua or Barbuda), then you should come during May to August. You should avoid coming in between September and November. This is because at this time of the year, all the islands experience a lot of rainfall. You will also experience at least one hurricane and one earthquake every year.
- History-Although the civilization of Antigua was first established by the Archaic People, the first people to bring various kinds of agriculture to these islands were the Arawaks. The first successful colony of the Europeans was built in Antigua in the year 1632. From then on, the farming of sugarcane crops started. This inculcated the concept of slavery. Slaves from the Barbados were hired and brought in this country to work on the sugarcane crops. The cursed tradition of slavery ended by 1834 and after that gradually the Antiguan Trades and Labour Union started. Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence in the year 1981 from the British rule.
- Economy-The countries depend on tourism for its economic growth. The other service sectors like academics, contribute very little to the economic growth of these countries. The GDP growth is around 1% during the past 4-5 years. One of the big reasons of the slag in growth is the inflation. Another reason is the decrease in the attraction of the tourists.
- The currency of Antigua and Barbuda is known as Easter Caribbean Dollar.
- The primary language of both the countries is English.
- The area of the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda is only 10 square kilometers.
- Since these are mainly a conglomeration of islands, there are no permanent rivers in either of the countries. The geographical scenario and the soil conditions also change with the volcanic eruptions.
- The main export of these countries constitute of food, livestock, machine equipment and petroleum products.
- Although the area of Antigua and Barbuda is not huge, the country of Antigua hosted the cricket world cup in the year 2007. Other than cricket football is also widely played among the people of Antigua.
- Did you know that the former name of the highest peak of Antigua was Mount Obama? The name was changed after Barrack Obama became the president of America.
Admission Process in Antigua and Barbuda
- You need to show your academic documents to the university you are applying. Some universities require colored scanned copies of the original mark sheets to be submitted online. Some others require the academic documents in a specific format known as the academic transcript. This is to be done by the school or college that you studied in India. The school or college authority will prepare your academic transcript and send it to the university you are applying.
- You must submit the fully filled admission form. You must also pay the admission fee through online banking transaction.
- Along with the application you will have to attach 2-3 passport size photographs. Generally the photographs should be of standard passport size. If the university has a specification of some other size, it would be mentioned in the application.
- In addition to all these, you will have to submit the proof or photocopy of your passport. The validity of the passport should be of more than six months.
- You would require two recommendation letters from the professors of your high school or college as applicable.
- Last but not the least, you would have to prove your financial stability to the higher authorities of the college in Antigua and Barbuda. For that just like the visa application process, you must submit the financial statements of the last six months. These statements should show that you have the money to cover up for the tuition fee and food while staying in Antigua and Barbuda. You should also enclose the identification page of your bank passbook.
Student Visa Application Process
International students are allowed to study in schools and colleges of these two countries. If you want to join a school, then you would require a special student permit that is valid till 1 year only. If you want to continue the schooling there, then you will have to renew the permit, before its validity ends. Before you are applying for the student visa for studying in Antigua and Barbuda, you will have to apply to the college where you wish to study. If you don’t apply, then your visa application will be rejected right away. Not only do you have to apply, but you must be selected for the respective course. If you have applied for the student visa before you have received the acceptance letter from the university, then you will require the proof of your accommodation and other things to get the visa approval. In my opinion, no matter how much time it takes, it is better to wait for the visa approval and then apply for the visa. This is because, when you will be applying for the accommodation in either of the countries, then also you will require submitting the proof of your admission. If you think of doing an internship before you come back to India, then that is also possible in Antigua and Barbuda. There are two options; either you can do an unpaid or a paid internship. For the former, the student visa will suffice. But in the latter case, the students will require a work permit along with the student visa. Without the work permit, you will not be able to join a paid internship in either of the countries.
Being a student for more than a year in Antigua and Barbuda, you would experience of a lot of climatic variations. You will experience mild earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. So, while planning your education in Antigua, you will have to search those cities, where the effect of hurricanes and earthquakes are the most. It is better to take accommodations in those cities, where the impact of hurricanes and earthquakes are lesser. In my opinion, try to avoid the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda for the accommodation purpose. If you come to these countries in the months of July or August, you will experience the joy of the carnivals. You can also take part in the carnivals. There are music and dancing concerts held in various cities. You can enjoy your weekends in those concerts. There are lots of cooking schools in Antigua. You can think of joining either the afternoon sessions in the weekdays or the morning sessions in the weekends. As you will have to stay for more than 2 years in these countries, it is better to learn cooking here, if you are not already familiar with the culinary skills. You can eat in the restaurants in the beginning for one or two months. But gradually, you must learn the skills of cooking healthy, yet tasty food. This will save a lot of cost and make you efficient.
Talking about cooking skills, let’s go through the special dishes and preparations of Antigua and Barbuda. The national dish of fungie
. Don’t be afraid as it is not a dish made of fungus or bacteria. In this dish, you will get cornmeal, rice, lobster etc. If you are fond of rice and not allergic to lobsters, then you can have the national dish every day during your lunch. This is a wholesome dish and curbs your hunger for long. Those who are allergic to lobsters can use prawns instead, that is only if you are cooking this at home. If you take rice during breakfast, then you can think of having egg rice every day during breakfast. Other than rice, you can get pasta and macaronis in the restaurants. You will not get chapattis though. Therefore, those who love chapattis, have to shift to either rice or bread. If you are not allergic to seafood, then you can have fritters of conch or conch curries along with rice. Conch fritters can curb your hunger in long hours of classes. If you are not diabetic, then you can try one more special dish of Antigua and Barbuda, called Ducana. This dish is made out of sweet potato and coconut. These are sweet dumplings that will go with bread or can be consumed separately.
You can visit the Half Moon Bay
of Antigua. This place is one of the topmost tourist attractions of Antigua. The name comes from the crescent shape of the beach. You can see the coral reefs and go for snorkeling along the beaches. This is a very good sea activity. It would cost you a bit high than the other activities. But it would give you a lifetime experience. You should try this with your college friends. If you are planning a weekend trip with your friends, then you can think of going to the 17 mile beach. This beach is 17 mile long with very little trace of human beings. In fact, the traces are so little, that you might not find a good outlet for food. So, it is advisable that you bring your own lunch, snacks, and water supply with you. Otherwise, you may not find one and have to keep walking for long. You should visit the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, even if you are not staying there for academic purpose. This city contains the port, forts and museums of Antigua. This trip will take around 4-5 days. So, plan this trip only during the long holidays.
Cost of Living for StudentsAccommodation
-You should book a hostel for staying in Antigua and Barbuda. The cost of the hostels is generally charged on per night basis. You can book a hostel online from the official website for hostel booking.
You will get free internet facilities. Very rarely a hostel has the facility of free breakfast. If you book an apartment or a flat, then the cost would be as high as 3000 EC dollars per month. This would include a lot of facilities, including bed and other basic furniture, internet and other things. If you prefer this, then you need to book it for and few of your friends. This way you can split the rent. Food & Transportation
-During the initial days of your stay in Antigua, you will have to eat out in the restaurants. You don’t have to worry as there are lots of restaurants in Antigua and Barbuda. But the cost of the meals is a bit high. You will get a wholesome meal in lunch or dinner in between 25-50 East Caribbean Dollars (EC dollars). So, it is better to shift to cooking at home after spending one or two months in Antigua and Barbuda. You will also find the famous food giants like KFC or Subway in Antigua. If you are an addict of fast food, then also you will not face any problem in Antigua and Barbuda. Among the grocery items fresh fruits have a moderate cost. The cost of rice, eggs, onions are on the higher side. Here a dozen eggs will cost you around Rs.300. If your accommodation provides you with a moderate refrigerator, then you can stock some food. If you buy in bulk for a week, then you will get a cheaper rate. But if your room doesn’t contain a refrigerator, you will have to buy groceries every two days. For transportation you have buses, taxis and rental cars. The former two vehicles should be availed as a regular transport that is to the college or hospital or a hall. The taxis have a fixed base fare. After the base fare is covered, you will have to pay for the extra kilometers that you have traveled. Rental cars are very costly. If you plan a trip on the weekends or during a long holiday, then you should opt for rental cars. Don’t go to a trip alone. That would cost you a fortune. It is better to plan a trip with 5-6 friends of yours and share the cost of the rental cars.
Documents for University Admissions in Antigua and Barbuda
- Firstly, you must apply to the respective university or college. After your candidature is accepted by the college, they will send you an acceptance letter. You need to produce the acceptance letter during your visa interview.
- You have to show the proof of your passport. The passport must be valid for at least six more months. In my suggestion, please apply with a passport of remaining validity of 1.5 years. This time will cover the delay in visa approval and other unprecedented circumstances. Along with this, you must have a valid transit permit for this country.
- You would have to submit a proof of your birth certificate.
- You need one recent passport size photograph. The photograph should be colored and taken on a white background. The photograph should be such that the face and neck should be clearly seen. No headgear or hair should cover your face unnecessarily.
- After you receive, the acceptance letter, you will have to apply for the accommodation. You need to produce the proof of the acceptance of your accommodation in Antigua and Barbuda. You will also have to show the proof of your stay in this country.
- You need to produce the proof of your journey. This means that you have to show the air tickets for your journey.You will have to show the proof of your recent bank statements (generally bank statements for the last six months suffice) to show the visa office that you have sufficient financial stability to continue your education in Antigua and Barbuda. Your financial stability should be enough to provide for your accommodation and food.
- A police verification certificate to be also provided with these documents. This should ensure that you didn’t have any past criminal record or incidence of conviction.
- Lastly, if you have a residency permit for Antigua and Barbuda, you need to show that too.