About Cayman Islands
Located in the western part of the Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory comprised of three islands--the Little Cayman, the Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman Island. Considered part of the geographic Greater Antilles and the Western Caribbean Zone, the Cayman Islands is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world and a major global offshore financial center.
Interestingly, the Cayman Islands are home to more businesses than people, with approximately 60,000 residents versus over 100,000 registered businesses. Most Caymanians live on the Grand Cayman Island but businesses are scattered throughout the three islands.
George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands, can be found on Grand Cayman's southwest coast. Nearly 90 percent of George Town and other city residents speak English, followed by Spanish, Filipino and other, unspecified languages.
Cayman Island Currency
The Cayman Islands dollar is directly tied to the U.S. dollar; therefore, exchange rates do not fluctuate. The exchange rate is $1.20 USD = $1 KYD. Although US money is accepted everywhere, students won't receive US money back as change.
Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles
Living "green" is a way of life for Caymanians. In fact, the islands leads the Caribbean region in sales of electric cars. Students can visit Governors Square near West Bay Road and see solar-powered charging stations for devices and cars running on solar energy. Since the Cayman Islands experience over 300 days of partial to full sunshine every year, solar energy equipment is rapidly being incorporated into most current construction projects.
A tropical marine climate makes for rainy, warm summers (May-October) and dry, hot winters (November-April). Between June and November, the Atlantic hurricane season swings into action, occasionally producing tropical cyclones or damaging hurricanes.
Medical insurance must be purchased through a private health insurance agency or obtained through an employer. The Cayman Islands government does not offer free health insurance based on economic needs. In 2003, the Islands became the first country to mandate all residents purchase and maintain health insurance. When purchasing health insurance, students will need to bring documents containing information about their medical history and any current medications or health conditions.
Study in Cayman Islands
Tertiary education programs provided by Cayman Island universities and colleges provide students with a choice of various fields of study, including finance, medical, engineering, education, tourism, veterinary, computer sciences and law.
Public and private university/college protocol in the Caymans follows the British educational system of "first cycle programs" (four-year bachelor degrees, bachelor degrees with honors, Foundation degrees and Diplomas of Higher Education) followed by Master's degrees (Master of Science or Master of Arts). Earning a Master's degree in the Caymans takes another year or two of study once a B.A. is obtained. Doctoral or doctorate degrees typically require students complete another three years of research and production of an original thesis or dissertation.
Scholarships and financial assistance from private companies are available for qualifying students. Although the Cayman Islands government does not offer tuition aid in the form of Pell Grants or other student loans, students may be able to apply for and receive assistance from their native countries to attend school in the Caymans.
Tuition fees for international/overseas students range from $200 to $300 KYD (Cayman Island Dollar) per credit hour (about $11,000 USD or 10,000 EUR), with additional application, books and technology fees. Tuition for medical and veterinary degrees, as well as master's and Ph.Ds are several thousand dollars higher per semester.
Students with degrees in business, finance, hospitality/tourism and healthcare will be pleasantly surprised at the number of open employment positions available in these industries. Degrees earned at Cayman Island higher education institutions are recognized globally and students wishing to work outside the Islands can expect employers to acknowledge the degree's merit. Although the recent recession hit the Cayman Islands especially hard from 2011 to 2013, the unemployment rate continues to plummet, going from nearly seven percent in 2014 to four percent in 2015.
You will need a student visa if you plan to attend school in the Cayman Islands if you are:
- not Caymanian
- not married to a Caymanian
- not a Permanent Residence or Employment Rights Certificate holder
- over 18 years old
- intending to leave the Cayman Islands after completion of your studies
For more information about visa requirements, visit the U.S. Passports and International Travel website.