Island Living - Connections

Island Living - Connections - Computers

Computers

The easiest option is a laptop computer, although some students have gone through the hassle of bringing desktop models. Keep in mind that while laptops generally can adapt to the 220 volt, 50 cycle electrical supply, desktop computers don’t and will need an adapter unless they have a switchable power, ie, 100-220V, 50/60 cycles. Desktop computers have the added disadvantage of not being allowed as carry-on luggage, increasing the chance of damage in transit.

Printer – If you bring one, bring a ream of paper and enough ink cartridges for the entire term. Printing services are available at Founders Library. Each student has a quota of free prints per semester and additional prints can be purchased.

Power surges are not uncommon in Grenada and all electrical appliances should be surge protected. We recommend a line stabilizer conditioner, such as a Tripplite LC 500. These can be purchased locally through the Student Government Association and at local hardware stores.

** Personal computers are subject to a 5% Customs Service Charge; the rates that are actually charged are variable. Bring the receipt showing the computer’s value with you, but be sure that you are not charged more than 5% of its actual value.

**Retain your customs service charge receipt and carry it with you every time you carry the computer off of the island. If you cannot present your receipt you will most likely be charged again.

** Any duty charge incurred must be paid in cash.

Electric

The electrical supply on the island is of the type used in England, namely 220 volt, 50 Hertz. As most appliances sold in the United States are manufactured for operation on standard US current, 110 volt, 60 Hertz, some conversion will be required to permit the operation of appliances.

Most items that operate only on the US 60 Hertz system will fail prematurely and thus should not be used in Grenada. The type of plug that will fit into the sockets in Grenada varies. In some buildings, a three-prong plug typical of those found in England is used; in others, something equivalent to what is used in the US exists but is still a 220 volt supply; therefore, adapters may be needed even if you already have a power converter. Adapters are available in Grenada.

This is not a concern on the True Blue campus as all buildings have several outlets providing for 110 and 220 usage. However, never plug anything in without first checking the power supply. To further protect against strong currents and power surges, the transformer should be plugged into the outlet and into a surge protector. Appliances can then be plugged into the surge protector.

There are two commonly available types of converters:

  1. Transformer-type devices, which are available in several sizes.
    1. Power-handling capacity is proportional to their size and weight.
    2. Used for radios, television sets, cassette recorders, calculators, computers, high-intensity desk lamps, etc.
    3. Transformer-type converters larger than about 50 watts are not readily available in the United States. They are available in Grenada, and at reasonable prices. For example, a 300 watt unit, which would satisfy most electronic and lighting needs, costs about $50 US A 1500 watt unit, which would power almost anything, including toasters and hair dryers, costs about $150 US
  2. Solid-state travel converter types, which are generally rated at very high power capacity.
    1. These devices are small and light for their rating, usually about 1600 watts for a unit that can fit in the palm of your hand.
    2. They are designed for use with high-wattage heating devices, such as coffee pots, and hot plates.
    3. NOT good for electronic equipment such as stereos or computers, motorized devices and fluorescent lights. These appliances might work well for a short time, but will eventually be irreparably damaged if used with this type of a converter. Such high-wattage devices require the transformer-type converters.

It is probably best to bring a traveler’s converter suitable for devices up to 1600 watts, and to plan on purchasing a transformer for other items when you get to Grenada.

1000-1500 watt transformers are available in hardware stores in Grenada. There are a number of such stores located nearby in the Grand Anse area or in the capital, St. George’s.

If there is any question about whether to run an item on a transformer or on a travel converter, opt for the transformer, since the converter may cause the equipment to burn out.

Since the 50 Hertz supply in Grenada will cause about a 10% decrease in efficiency of motors rated at 60 Hertz, expect motors to run slower and hotter, shortening the life of such devices. Tape recorders/players and stereos which are designed for use on standard AC power may run at the wrong speed on the Grenadian 50 Hertz power.

AC-powered alarm clocks run more slowly when used on the 50 Hertz power. Bring a wind-up or battery-powered alarm clock. If you have a desk lamp that used standard incandescent bulbs, you can buy 220 volt bulbs and a plug in adapter in Grenada and plug it directly into the local power supply.

Telephone and Mobile Services
All telephone numbers in Grenada can be called from the United States or any other country by using Grenada ’s Area Code 473 followed by the 7-digit telephone number.

International calls can be made from your fixed telephone line, mobile phone or payphone by dialing the international code plus the country code and telephone number.

Prepaid phone cards can be used to make international calls from both fixed telephone lines and payphone. These cards can be purchased from LIME Grenada offices or any of their authorized agents including “D Campus Corner” and the University Mailroom on True Blue campus.

  1. Telecommunications Products - LIME offers a wide-range of telecommunications products which include:
    • Telephone Lines
    • Mobile – Prepaid and Postpaid GSM and TDMA Service
    • Internet – Dial-up, High Speed (ADSL), Prepaid Internet
    • Line Features e.g. VoiceMail, Caller ID, Call Waiting
    • Prepaid Cards for making international Calls from telephone lines
  2. Telephone Lines - LIME will normally be on Campus on Orientation Day to accept applications for services and will install your telephone service within nine working days where network capacity is available. Application for telephone service in your dorm room can also be made at LIME Office either on the Carenage or at the Spiceland Mall, Grand Anse.

    You must present your passport, Service Agreement Contract (obtained from the Vice Chancellor’s Office) and all fees when applying for service. Without the Service Agreement the refundable deposit will be more than EC$500.00. It is advisable that you bring a telephone instrument as LIME will only be responsible for providing the dial tone in your dorm room. The dorms on Campus are wired for telephone service, however you will need to ensure that internal wiring is provided by your landlord if you will be living off Campus.

    You can apply for telephone line features e.g. VoiceMail, Call Waiting, and Caller-ID together with your line application. There is a small installation fee and monthly fee for these services. You can also sign up for the bundled SmartChoice Plan which combines the above features with your Telephone Line rental for one monthly fee.

  3. Installation Charges - There is an installation charge of EC$241.50 for the provision of telephone service and you will be required to pay a refundable deposit of EC$500.00. Four percent interest is paid on deposits annually and deposits are refunded three months after the service is closed.
  4. Monthly and Local Charges - There is a monthly charge of EC$26.40 plus local calls for telephone service. The local call charges are EC$0.09, EC$0.08 and EC$0.06 per minute for during the day, evenings and weekends respectively. Calls to local mobile phones are EC$0.81, EC$0.80 and EC$0.78 per minute for during the day, evenings and weekends respectively.
  5. International Direct Dialing Rates - LIME offers the same international rates whether you will be calling from a fixed telephone line or a mobile phone. The rates below are per minute; however calls are billed by the second. There is an additional EC $.50 per minute on all international calls made to a mobile phone in the Caribbean. Rates are subject to change.
Mail

Here is your new mailing address:

Your Name; First Term
St. George’s University (Your School)
St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies

**You will be assigned a mailbox number upon arrival.

First-class mail between the US, UK and Grenada will take at least two weeks in either direction. Mail sent to Grenada should be marked “Air Mail” or it could take longer to arrive.

The General Post Office in St. George’s is open from Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, with a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. The Post Office is closed Saturdays and Sundays. Postal stamps may be purchased at the Bookstore, the SGU mailroom on True Blue campus, the General Post Office in St. George’s, Bryden & Minors Stationery Store and the Spiceland Mall.

Mail can be placed in the slot at the True Blue Mail Room or mailed at the Post Office downtown. The regular mail service requires only Grenadian Postage stamps: $1 EC for a postcard and $1 EC per 1⁄2 ounce for a standard letter (Airmail) to the US, Canada, or England. Inquiries must be made at the Post Office for other countries. All mail and packages take five to 14 days to reach destinations in the US, Canada, or England.

Make sure that the destination country is part of the address for all mail sent out of Grenada. For example, if mail is going to the US, put “ USA ” as part of the address. Be sure to label it “Air Mail”.

Federal Express also services Grenada. Federal Express items can be sent from the True Blue campus; they also have an office on the Carenage in St. George’s. Be aware that even FedEx cannot deliver items in one day in most cases, and the cost of delivery is very high; generally, this option is more expensive than it is worth.

Fax services are available on the first floor of the West wing of the Founder’s Library for a fee.

It is not recommended to send packages as an alternative to bringing items with you on the plane; shipping is expensive and slow. Additionally, all packages mailed to Grenada are opened by customs and duties are charged (e.g. 55% on food). As much as possible, bring anything you will want for the term down with you. If shipping is necessary, you may wish to consider airline shipping services.

Check your mailbox daily. Important messages will be placed there (i.e. midterms, etc.) by most departments. You must also check your emails daily.