Trinidad & Tobago
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In
AGS Worldwide Movers

Trinidad & Tobago Expat Forum

Working at UWI, St Augustine

Post New Topic
kolerabaNY
2/12/2014 18:31 EST

Hello. I was offered a post at the UWI at St. Augustine. Salary is about I was wondering if anyone has any experience with working there, as well as with accommodation in the area and transportation on the island (i don't drive). Also, the salary is aboutt 18,000 TTD /month. How's that in relation to the cost of living? Any information will be really helpful. Thanks so much.

Post a Reply

0abuse

TechRep
2/12/2014 20:03 EST

There really isn't much as far as a public transportation. There are busses but I believe they mainly run from Port of Spain to the cities in the south. The taxi are collective, they pick up passengers until they are full. The only way to identify a legal taxi is the license plate starts with H. There are illegal takes everywhere.

18000 a month wont get you very far depending on what you are used to. The cost if food is high, clothing is really high. I hope that housing comes with the job because that wouldn't afford you much.

On the good side, Trinidad has an unbelievable amount of public holidays, so as a teacher you would have a lot of time off.

Post a Reply

0abuse

allianz international health insurance

For expats in Trinidad & Tobago, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

kolerabaNY
2/13/2014 04:58 EST

Thank you. So what are the rents for, say, one bedroom apt - furnished- in a safe area? Also, which areas are best for foreigners to live in (and not crazily expensive).
So how do people get around? Everyone has a car?
Thanks.

Post a Reply

0abuse

FlyboyWV
2/13/2014 09:47 EST

I have only lived in TT for a little over a month but I have had no problem getting around via public transportation in the POS metro area, including St. A.
Traffic is like in Manhatten, but cabs are everywhere. Minibusses also bridge longer distances, such as between towns. Gas is cheap, and cars are everywhere.
I have lived in 3 neighborhoods. As a short white guy, I was seen as a curiosity not as an interloper. Indian neighborhoods welcomed me. Hispanic neighborhoods ignored me. Black neighborhoods were perhaps curious or suspicious of me. Maybe they all thought I was lost. (They may have been right.) I never felt I was in danger.
I rented an efficiency apartment in a safe Indian neighborhood near Trincity Mall for $600 USD per month. I am back in the US for a few weeks but I will be going back to TT next month as a permanent move. I will be living near Mt. Hope hospital, renting a one-bedroom for $800 USD per month. I am single so my needs are simple. I will probably be working so much that I will rarely be home anyway.

Post a Reply

0abuse

TechRep
2/13/2014 10:02 EST

You can Google expat housing in Trinidad and there are a couple of sites with housing listed. I pay 2300 US for a furnished 3 bedroom in a fairly safe area, 30 minute drive from Port of Spain. It would cost almost twice that for something close.

Post a Reply

0abuse

kolerabaNY
2/13/2014 10:09 EST

Thanks very much. This is helpful. I am a bit confused though in regard to public transportation - taxis pick up people until they are full, or is it possible to have a cab for yourself? As a white female college prof I might also strike people as someone who is lost there, but that's not really a huge concern for me, I guess. I am just trying to figure out what the safest and also relatively comfortable version of life there would be. All the info you shared is indeed helpful, as said. Thanks.

Post a Reply

0abuse

allianz international health insurance

For expats in Trinidad & Tobago, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

bagpus
2/13/2014 18:52 EST

I wouldn't trust the white taxi's that drive round picking people up and usually have bald tyres! At least until you are street wise. The official taxi's are better but pricey as soon as they spot you are an American. Because of high import duty cars to purchase in TT are very expensive, even old second hand cars.walking about at night on your own is not safe so you will need to factor in transport costs if you want a social life.
I think you will find it difficult on $18000 TT a month to have a comparable standard of living to the US. I have just returned from Miami and found everything so much cheaper than TT. I don't know how old you are but a lot of younger people share apartments so they can live in a better safer area so that is an option for you. Happy to answer any questions if you want to pm me.

Post a Reply

0abuse

TechRep
2/18/2014 19:49 EST

You can rent a private car, expensive. If you find a cab that is empty you can pay him for the other seats, having the cab to yourself. It is not ideal, but it is a fairly effective in the wake of no real public system.

Post a Reply

0abuse

TechRep
2/18/2014 20:02 EST

A few websites for rental houses.

http://www.terracaribbean.com

http://classifieds.guardian.co.tt/

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/

http://www.realtortt.com

http://www.trinidadrealtor.com/

I am sure there are more, but this should get you started. A couple of things that you must ask about, do not assume anything.

Air conditioning - how much of the house is air conditioned. It is typical for just the bedrooms to be cooled.

Hot water - in many of the older homes there isn't any hot water.

Post a Reply

0abuse

kolerabaNY
2/19/2014 03:37 EST

Thanks very much for the info! Very helpful. Best wishes.

Post a Reply

0abuse

ttfuture
2/22/2014 15:02 EST

@ 18, 000. if alone
no more than 2500. food, 3000. rent (up o hill) round off to 7000. bal - clothing, liming, taxis from st john to santa margarita ... or east west corridor ... ? might be doable

Post a Reply

0abuse

ttfuture
2/22/2014 15:06 EST

law student share apt for about 3000. TT, they walk travel together. you can do that w/ roomate. people get by, get familiar and informed. there are taxi and soem are reliable - you can use those all the time for you needs if you decide. i know of one who stoppe dme at Hilo supermarket in st. Aug. He's VERY safe.

Post a Reply

0abuse

jtriniangel
4/21/2014 01:36 EST

Rent for one bedroom can run from 2500 to 9000 TT depending where you wanna live. Housing in St. Augustine is in high demand- school area- but the towns in that area are really close to each other like walking distance. Near to st. augustine is Curepe on one side and Tunapuna on the other. I would advise Tunapuna only b/c there is a lot of shopping there. Try to get a rental near the Eastern Main Rd or the Priority Bus ROute as maxi-taxi and buses run freq uently there. Otherwise you have to walk to it or depend on the illegal and legal taxis that pick up people in the are and drop them at the Eastern Main Road. Try searching the online classifieds for rentals. the trinidad express classifieds is very popular

Post a Reply

0abuse

kolerabaNY
4/21/2014 06:56 EST

Thank you very much for this useful information. Best wishes.

Post a Reply

0abuse

gingerbaby
4/21/2014 13:16 EST

I guess by now you are getting ready for your trip. I hope you get a reasonable apartment. You can book private taxis from taxi services just like you would in North America. They charge depending on how far you are going and they will charge in $TT. I don’t think they have meters. Just make sure you learn the rates. Local people do call for a taxi as you would in N.A. I am surprised that this was not mentioned. You can get the name of those taxi services when you get to Trinidad. They are used by everyone who needs them. Public taxis have routes like a bus would have a route in N.A. The minibuses pick you up and drop you off along the route, but you share with about 8-12 people. People come on and get off, all along the route. You must find out from the locals how much you need to pay so that you don't get ripped off. You just have to learn the connections because sometimes you will have to take two sets of transportation to get to where you are going. Route taxis (“H”) also run along the same routes and will take you into your home sometimes for double the fare. This is especially handy at night. You also have to share with 4 other people in the route taxis, sometimes, which is rare, you may not. Do not on any condition take the taxis (“P”)(real private cars that ply along the route for fares), only take the “H” cars. These “P” taxis/cars do pick up passengers (sometimes they flash their lights) but you will not be sure who is really driving that car and it could be dangerous and it is illegal. Re private taxis, I believe that you will be quoted in US if you are going to and from the airport, especially to and from hotels, or on a tour. I would take one of the big busses if I was going out to the South, e.g., Port-of-Spain to San Fernando because I find that the minibuses fly and do not drive along the highways(just my expression), you feel sometimes that you may end up in your grave. The big buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. I feel safer using these buses when travelling along the highways in the country areas if I am not being driven by a friend. The big buses that I am referring to may be privately-owned by a big company or owned by the government, I am not sure who really owns them. They go all over Trinidad. You can check the web. You will not take them in P.O.S. or its surrounding areas. There is no need to. Tons of other types of transportation are available. Rentals for cars are expensive, but if you are there for a long period, I guess you can lease a car. I don't know the costs. Have a good time in Trinidad. Just be cautious as you would be in any other part of the world and learn the culture and you will be fine. Don't be too friendly with everyone who comes up to you until you learn the culture and its people. Just use your head until you learn the place. Although you are a professor and may operate at a higher standard, I wrote this for everyone. I am a frugal traveler, so I really learn the nitty-gritty of life in a place when travelling.

Post a Reply

0abuse

gingerbaby
4/21/2014 13:19 EST

I guess by now you are getting ready for your trip. I hope you get a reasonable apartment. You can book private taxis from taxi services just like you would in North America. They charge depending on how far you are going and they will charge in $TT. I don’t think they have meters. Just make sure you learn the rates. Local people do call for a taxi as you would in N.A. I am surprised that this was not mentioned. You can get the name of those taxi services when you get to Trinidad. They are used by everyone who needs them. Public taxis have routes like a bus would have a route in N.A. The minibuses pick you up and drop you off along the route, but you share with about 8-12 people. People come on and get off, all along the route. You must find out from the locals how much you need to pay so that you don't get ripped off. You just have to learn the connections because sometimes you will have to take two sets of transportation to get to where you are going. Route taxis (“H”) also run along the same routes and will take you into your home sometimes for double the fare. This is especially handy at night. You also have to share with 4 other people in the route taxis, sometimes, which is rare, you may not. Do not on any condition take the taxis (“P”)(real private cars that ply along the route for fares), only take the “H” cars. These “P” taxis/cars do pick up passengers (sometimes they flash their lights) but you will not be sure who is really driving that car and it could be dangerous and it is illegal. Re private taxis, I believe that you will be quoted in US if you are going to and from the airport, especially to and from hotels, or on a tour. I would take one of the big buses if I was going out to the South, e.g., Port-of-Spain to San Fernando because I find that the minibuses fly and do not drive along the highways(just my expression), you feel sometimes that you may end up in your grave. The big buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. I feel safer using these buses when travelling along the highways in the country areas if I am not being driven by a friend. The big buses that I am referring to may be privately-owned by a big company or owned by the government, I am not sure who really owns them. They go all over Trinidad. You can check the web. You will not take them in P.O.S. or its surrounding areas. There is no need to. Tons of other types of transportation are available. Rentals for cars are expensive, but if you are there for a long period, I guess you can lease a car. I don't know the costs. Have a good time in Trinidad. Just be cautious as you would be in any other part of the world and learn the culture and you will be fine. Don't be too friendly with everyone who comes up to you until you learn the culture and its people. Just use your head until you learn the place. Although you are a professor and may operate at a higher standard, I wrote this for everyone. I am a frugal traveler, so I really learn the nitty-gritty of life in a place when travelling.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Themariner
5/27/2014 18:15 EST

Hello,

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.

Post a Reply

0abuse

TechRep
5/30/2014 14:03 EST

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.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Mareng
4/17/2016 04:48 EST

Sorry to disturb I am dealing with the same position id you negotiate the salary???

Post a Reply

0abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Trinidad & Tobago.

International Moving Quotes

Moving to Trinidad & Tobago? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Trinidad & Tobago

Mail Forwarding to Trinidad & Tobago.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Trinidad & Tobago Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal