Have you ever gone on vacation in the Caribbean? If you have, chances are you enjoyed the beautiful beaches, the pristine water and the mild temperatures. You may even have ventured into the cities and towns and met some of the lovely people. And then you got on a boat or a plane and left, to go back to the real world. The funny thing is, all of those lovely people that you met, are still there. That is their “real world”. Islands in the Caribbean, like Aruba, have thousands of full time residents. They have hospitals and dentists. There are police officers and fire fighters. There are post offices and even schools in Aruba.
It may be hard to imagine, but the people that live on beautiful islands, like Aruba do all of the same kinds of things as you do. Except maybe shovel snow. They get up, go to work, get married, have kids and send their kids off to school. Those kids will go through 12 or more years of schooling and then start thinking about going to college. Many of them will go on to study at one of the colleges in Aruba. If they are university bound they may turn to the University of Aruba or the IPA or Teacher Training School as it is known. They may even decide to go to one of the two medical schools in Aruba.
It seems funny to think of people actually attending college or university or any other kind of school in paradise, but the fact is that there are some fine schools in Aruba. The University of Aruba offers a wide range of advanced degree programs. Although small and a fairly young school, it has a lot to offer both Aruban students and students traveling from other islands and countries to come and study. With comprehensive degree programs ranging from law studies to MBA programs, there is something for virtually anyone.
Though total enrollment is not very high at any of the schools in Aruba, the students don’t see that as a problem. The smaller class sizes that this allows them to have makes for great opportunities to have open discussions and ample opportunity to really get to know their professors. Both of the medical schools in Oranjestad, the island nation’s capital, offer medical programs that are equivalent to a US medical degree and must pass the United States Medical Licensure Examinations in order to get their degree. This means that upon completion of the program they will be able to practice medicine in the United States. Or in paradise, it’s up to them.