Aside from your immigration papers, which I mentioned in an earlier post, the following are important things you may need while attending Saint James School of Medicine in Bonaire.
Bringing a laptop is a no brainer. You need a laptop to pretty much do everything such as call home, pay your tuition, study, etc. Don’t bring a desktop computer because you’re asking for trouble. If you have warranty on your laptop make sure it extends till you finish the 16 months of Basic Science. If you bought a new laptop before coming to the island, make sure you get a two year warranty. I bought a new Sony laptop and the screen got distorted a bit because I was careless carrying it around. When I came back to US for the break I got Sony Style store to fix it up for me and they did it for FREE because I had a manufacture warranty with them.
4 GB+ Flash Drive
Bringing a flash drive is mandatory otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting class notes which most of the tests come from.
250 GB External Hard Drive
I made a mistake of not getting an external hard drive before coming here. So I had to buy it from another student who already had one; he sold me his when he got a new one. You need 250 GB because you can get lectures and notes from previous semesters which will help you not only in class but also for USMLE Step 1. And if you think you don’t need that much space, think again; trust me, all those lectures and notes and medical videos will accumulate a lot of space.
Power Surge Protectors
This is very important to bring because you will need to charge your laptops and other expensive electronic devices. Therefore, you need 2 or 3 of surge protectors plugged in around your apartment to protect them from being damaged because the power goes out once or twice a month.
This is not mandatory, because whether you need it or not depends on where you live. Some apartments close to the water has mosquitoes flying around so you may need it at that time. However, in the first semester you may not even have AC on where you stay so bring one just to be safe.
Again, this is a may be, because it all depends on where you stay. In my apartment we didn’t have one so we had to buy one. In Bonaire wireless routers are $80, luckily someone sold their old used one for $30. The internet company will not provide you with one either. So unless you’re comfortable plugging in your laptop all the time for internet access I suggest you bring one. You can get cheap ones from craig’s list. I suggest you bring a D-Link router, if you can’t get that one then get a LinkSys router. Avoid other routers because you need dependable ones.
I put an asterisk next to “books” because you do not need all the books because remember the tests comes from the notes. The books I recommend to bring are all the Gross Anatomy text book the Chicago office told you to buy and also all the BRS books:
1. BRS Gross Anatomy (Board Review Series
2. BRS Cell Biology and Histology (Board Review Series)
3. BRS Embryology (Board Review Series)
4. BRS Physiology (Board Review Series)
Also I recommend you buy Kaplan’s First Aid book, the latest edition; this will help you on focusing the high-yield concepts for the USMLE Step 1 while studying for class tests. You can buy all of them used from Amazon.com, which I gave the link for.
This is only for those who eat rice such as students of Asian and African origin. Get a cheap 4 cups rice cooker from Wal-Mart. Electronics on this island is very expensive so it’s better to bring one from US or Canada.
Voice Memo Recorder
If you can get a little voice memo recorder to record lectures during class. Sometimes the instructor lectures very fast so you may not get everything he or she teaches.
This is necessary if you like to listen to lectures while reading. It’s imperative that you understand the concepts and memorize little facts. And listening while reading opens up more memorization channels in a person.
Reading Desk Lamp
Get a lamp if you like to study all night, which you may have to. Again, in Bonaire all electronics are expensive so you can get one from Wal-Mart for less than $10 and it’s small enough to fit in your luggage.
Quad Band Phone
Get an “unlocked” quad band phone. Trust me you will need a phone when you’re on the island. You can buy a new one here or you can buy a used cheaper one from US/Canada. Quad Band phones include, blackberry pearl, Apple iPhone, G1 Phone.
That’s all I can think of right now. Everything else can be found on the island.
Medical supplies to bring on the island (Updated 04/14/2010).