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Working in Grenada: What Island Transplants Need to Know

6 min read / Caribbean Life

Moving to a new location is always a big decision for families, especially when you’re relocating overseas to complete your education. There are just so many things to consider. You wonder what the food will be like, whether you’ll have trouble adjusting to a new country, and if there will be employment opportunities for your significant other.

Now that you’re seriously considering attending St. George’s University (SGU), you’re especially curious about how relocating your family will impact your significant other’s life. You know you’ll be spending much of your time in class and studying, but is working in Grenada a possibility for your partner?

To make sure you have the most reliable information at your fingertips, we reached out to a family who made the leap you’re considering. Keep reading to learn about the opportunities that exist for significant others accompanying SGU students.

What you should know about working in Grenada

One of the important things to note is that employment on the island is limited to Grenadian nationals. Exceptions are made when employers are not able to find individuals with the requisite skill set. When this happens, the employer must first be able to provide documentation of their efforts to fill the role locally. They also need to acquire a work permit through the Ministry of Labour for the person they wish to hire, which involves a background check and documentation to support their skills.

“It’s a fairly long process,” says Stephanie Greenlee, former President of the SGU Significant Others Organization (SOO). Greenlee, who moved to Grenada with her daughter and medical student husband, knows both a hair stylist and a sommelier who secured employment through this method.

“Everyone makes it sound like it’s impossible to work on the island, which is completely not true.”

That might sound discouraging, but traditional employment barely scratches the surface of what’s available for Grenada transplants. “Everyone makes it sound like it’s impossible to work on the island, which is completely not true,” Greenlee adds.

Some options for working in Grenada

There are two employment options available to all significant others that don’t require permits. Let’s take a closer look at each.

On-campus employment

In recent years, the Department of Educational Services (DES) has filled part-time faculty positions with qualified significant others. These SOs typically hold a master’s degree and assist with a range of student support programs—from organizing hundreds of peer-facilitated study sessions to consulting students on how to compose a CV. Some even gain employment teaching CPR at the on-campus simulation lab. “They generally hire nurses or those who have an [emergency medical technician] EMT background,” Greenlee notes.

“They generally hire nurses or those who have an [emergency medical technician] EMT background.”

You can start searching for any open positions on campus by checking out SGU’s employment page. That said, significant others would be wise to take advantage of the SOO community. Though Greenlee says jobs will occasionally be listed on the organization’s Facebook page, most get snagged before they even make it that far.

Remote opportunities

Remember that location doesn’t necessarily have to be a limit. Remote work is becoming more common, and significant others at SGU have pursued numerous opportunities. Greenlee says she knows people who’ve done many types of remote work: photography, writing, online teaching, and even engineering.

Depending on what your significant other does for a living, it may be worth discussing the possibility of transitioning their current job to a remote position while your family relocates to Grenada. Even if the company isn’t able to offer the exact same role or benefits, they may be open to a contract position.

Other opportunities you should consider

Most Grenada transplants who relocate with a partner who’s attending SGU do not typically find part-time work. Many of them embrace this additional free time by pursuing other meaningful endeavors.

The Significant Others Organization

Some of the opportunities below are facilitated through the SOO, so that’s one reason to single it out. It’s also worth mentioning many students’ partners love that the organization allows them to form friendships and socialize with one another.

“I think the organization itself is amazing.”

“I think the organization itself is amazing,” Greenlee says. “You get to make friends, and it provides weekly activities that get you out of the house.”


Volunteering is extremely popular among SOO members. They do all sorts of work to contribute to the community. Significant others like to visit children at a nearby orphanage, care for animals at a local shelter, and engage in different crafts and activities with disabled individuals.

There’s even an annual opportunity to help Ocean Spirits’ efforts to protect the leatherback sea turtle population. “It’s amazing,” Greenlee says.

Fitness groups

Whether you are a competitive athlete looking to participate in team sports or want to take a more laid-back approach to exercise, there’s something for you. Group workout options coordinated by the SOO are especially nice for those who don’t enjoy the solitary gym experience.

Religious communities

No matter your family’s beliefs, chances are good that you’ll find a likeminded community in Grenada. “There are a couple of faith-based groups,” Greenlee says. You can find numerous churches as well as groups that host bible studies and book clubs.

Make your move

While most traditional jobs are reserved for Grenadian nationals, you can see there are plenty of ways to make positive contributions while living in Grenada. You might be surprised how much your family could gain.

“Not only did we get to live in a beautiful country, but we’ve been able to make friends and really grow,” Greenlee says. “I would do it all over again.”

If a school that supports loved ones as much as its students is important to you, SGU could be the perfect fit. Learn more about how St. George’s University can help shape your family’s future by requesting information today.


December 21, 2018