replied to the thread Working at UWI, St Augustine
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The work attitude doesn't change when the students leave school. I guess the few that are ambitious and seek to better themselves leave Trinidad.
I will give you my experience, it is similar to yours, I was offered a job at The University of Trinidad and Tobago UTT at Chaguaramas Campus ( West of the Island )in 2012, and leave in 2014.
I was employed as senior maritime instructor for lecturing marine engineering based on my professional experience in the merchant navy, in my opinion, this job will be the perfect job for someone who spend almost all his life travelling and sailing, finally I will settle down and spend the rest of my life in the Caribbean.
I was expecting so much from working in education, especially I was educated in UK. Unfortunately the work was a playground for politicians and we were suffering, since establishing the university in 2006 more than 26 lecturers left before completing their contracts, I was one of them ! Even I had advantages more than them to live and enjoy the life, I was Syrian and the Syrian really strong in Trinidad and very rich, but I never tried to use my connections.
The Island is very beautiful and I really miss it but I did not miss my work which was just a waste of time with no one who respect my qualification or appreciate my work, my contract was for 3 years, but I terminate it after 18 months and return back to work in the Middle East.
I do not want to be offensive, I enjoyed the company of Trinidadians outside work so much more than work colleagues, locals at work used to look at us why we are earning more than them?! But you cannot consider it like that, for someone who was used to earn 7000 USD per month tax free will not come to work with less especially if he can find a job with the same package or even more.
For me money was not everything ( I was earning 41000 TT after TAX ), but was not happy, If my job was with UWI I may stayed longer, UWI is much better than UTT, some friends telling me that UWI is similar to UTT, anyway, You will face a lot of challenges, the students do not want to study, they do not want to make any effort to improve themselves, I really feel sorry for them, we did not get the chances for education similar to what they have now, beside work attitude at university is miserable, no matter if you work or no, who cares? The most important thing for them is to be at work, for some lecturer that was the best job, just come waste time and go home and at the end of the month you get your salary at the bank.
Life is very expensive, I visited Europe many times, I always say Scandinavia is very expensive, but comparing to the service you get there, Trinidad is very expensive, I do not want to talk about crime issues, it is there, but I never experience it or noticed it, only what I read in newspapers , maybe because I was living in the West and its very safe there, but you must be careful, and I cannot imagine that crime rate for a very friendly people, honesty I enjoyed the company of Africans and Indians, but not the company of White people ( I am not racial ).
For life expense, if I was earning that package I wont accept it, but maybe in St. Augustine you will survive. You will be subject for TAX of 25 %, that’s mean you will be ending with 13500 TT per month, rental is about 4000 TT close to UWI campus, beside you must pay about 500 TT for electricity and cable, you need also 4000 TT for grocery, entertainment, transportation, etc.. you will end with 5000 TT. Are you getting any flight tickets? I did not consider renting a car, you wont spend the weekends at home, you need to go out and enjoy life, assuming you will return home late night ! There is not any reliable transportation after sunset.
Medical service is very expensive, I am not sure where are you from? But for me coming from Middle East, its free there, and even in private hospitals is very cheap. As an example: a normal visit to dentist in Trinidad will cost you around 1000 TT, in my country it will cost only 50 TT.
I tried to give you a brief explanation about my experience and share the common things we faced while working in Trinidad, I wish you all the best and try making the best of it, YOU WILL MISS TRINIDAD when you leave it.