How does St. George’s University support students who come to the island with significant others and families? What housing options are available for students with families? What is the schooling like for my kids in Grenada? Is my spouse able to work in Grenada while I’m in school?
These are some of the most common questions asked by students who make the move to Grenada with their significant others and family members.
SGU’s Student Family Network (SFN) (formerly known as the Significant Others Organization) can help. The student organization was established in 1994 as a support system for families of SGU students living in Grenada. Today, SFN prides itself on being a network of spouses, housemates, friends, family, partners, and pets—and offers resources to help them adjust to living on island.
SFN ambassador and School of Medicine student Brooke Hildebrand shared more details about the organization and how students (and faculty) with families can make the most of their time in Grenada.
SGU: What support can the SGU Student Family Network offer to students and their families?
BH: Moving to a new place is challenging. Moving to a whole new country is oftentimes emotionally terrifying! The SFN aims to ease some of the concerns and apprehension of acclimating to a new way of life by providing support, advice, and connections to anyone affiliated with SGU!
From knowing if there are eggs at the store, to finding buddies to go to the beach with, the communication and the community of SFN has proved a lifesaver for me and my family, so I can only hope it can help another in some way shape or form.
SGU: What are some examples of resources that SFN offers to students?
BH: We offer various forms of communication options allowing ample questions and intercommunication among participants. Since we are a resource and not a traditional organization, there are no membership fees/dues or requirements for participation!
There are infinite “where to go” and “how to do” types of answers offered to the community through SGU Family Network communication avenues. Among our various social media presences and communication options we have sub-groups aimed toward uniting similar interest-minded individuals. Examples of a few of our group communications include: remote workers, playdates for children, SFN dudes group, book club, t-shirt design, non-kid events, and the monthly event planning groups.
SGU: What other ways do you help students and their families?
BH: Our diverse community has extensive knowledge in all aspects of life on the island, both on and off campus. We can assist with medical professional and dental referrals, lactation options on campus, any pet-related information, car and housing rental information, free time exploring options, and visa and passport renewal.
Importantly, the community bands together when things may seem amiss and jumps to help one another to ensure everyone is safe and well taken care of at all times.
SGU: Does the SFN organize activities? If so, how often?
BH: Yes! Our goal is to host a minimum of one official sanctioned event per month. We had a September kickball game; on Halloween, we trick-or-treated to the various departments on campus and other organizations hosted activity tables for kiddos, and a Thanksgiving end-of-term potluck meal!
In addition to the official activities, we do book club gatherings every
month, and a few participants have hosted gatherings off campus in various locations—some of which included hiking to the waterfalls and an evening beach party!
SGU: Best piece of advice for students coming to the island with their families?
BH: I would recommend joining any of the SFN communication groups to understand the interworking’s of the island from an SGU point of view. For example, if you are living off campus, how far is a ‘5 minute’ walk going to take in rainy season and what is the terrain of that walk?
The SFN Exchange group may assist those trying to prioritize what to pack and condense their luggage into two bags. Take the time to follow and read what other people are posting or asking about in the groups to enhance your understanding of how to best prepare for the transition.
Connect with the Student Family Network
SGU Student Family Network
SGU Family Network (SFN)
— Laurie Chartorynsky
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