University description (as per official university website)
St. Matthew's University School of Medicine was established in 1997 by Board Certified U.S. physicians. Our goal was to establish a medical school based on solid principles and integrity that would provide a medical education of the highest quality.
The University is based in the Cayman Islands. Our location provides a safe island environment, a commitment to quality health care for its citizens, high speed Internet, and residence housing for our students. We are encouraged by the Cayman government and the hospital facilities on the island and continue to receive their full support today.
St. Matthew's received accreditation by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM) in June, 2002. The standards that were used to accredit St. Matthew's University are endorsed by the United States Department of Education and are similar to the standards of U.S. Medical Schools.
In 2005 St. Matthew's University expanded its high quality medical programming with the opening of the St. Matthew's University Veterinary School of Medicine. The veterinary school has quickly established the same dedication to student success and patient-centered care, with a new surgical teaching facility as well as a clinically-based integrated curriculum.
St. Matthew's University
St. Matthew's Basic Science Faculty consists of a group of highly skilled and dedicated professors who are focused on teaching the art and science of medicine and remaining readily accessible to students. These professors are highly qualified and hold the MD, PhD or both
Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, lies only 480 miles south of Miami and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica. Its two Sister Islands - Cayman Brac and Little Cayman - are approximately 90 miles distant from Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands' remarkable success as a financial center and tourist destination has transformed the nation into a dynamic society that has every modern convenience but still retains the charm and vibrancy of the Caribbean. People from more than 100 countries live and work in this British Overseas Territory, creating a lively and unique blend of cultures.
While the diverse accents and idioms of Caymanians, Jamaicans, Europeans, Hondurans, and Filipinos may take some getting use to, there is no denying the hospitality of the local people, the superb weather, stunning beaches and great restaurants and nightlife that make the transition to this new country easy, as well as exciting.
As an integral part of this exceptional community, St Matthews offers students a quality of life that few universities in any part of the world can match.
"Dive In" to Cayman Life
Some of the most vibrant coral reef systems in the world exist in Cayman waters, which offer wonderful opportunities to scuba dive, snorkel and swim in tropical seas that are warm year round.
Since the main campus and residence halls are just steps away from the famous Seven Mile Beach, students can literally walk out of their class for a quick swim, snorkel, sunset volleyball game, or even to study on the beach.
The calm waters and 200-foot visibility under water make the Cayman Islands an ideal place to build experience and confidence in scuba diving and snorkeling. Divers and snorkelers can swim with the friendly rays at Stingray City, or experience the magic of swimming among a school of Yellowtail fish, or see up close various species of turtles, parrotfish, lobster, eels, sea urchins and squid that populate the famous coral reefs.
As a premier dive destination, Cayman has a wide choice of local dive operators that offer beginner and advance scuba courses, as well as affordable dive trips for certified divers. For those with hectic schedules or divers who want to avoid a crowded dive boat, there are plenty of gorgeous dive sites that are an easy swim from shore.
For a change of pace, a weekend trip to the Sister Islands brings divers and snorkelers to Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman - ranked among of the top ten diving destinations in the world, while Cayman Brac has The Lost City of Atlantis, a huge artificial reef that is creating a real buzz in the diving world.
Get Out, Get Wet, Get Fit!
With its strong seafaring heritage, Grand Cayman is a hub for sailboats of all sizes and deep-sea fishing is a local obsession, but there is also kayaking, jet skiing, boating, submarine rides and the emerging sport of kite surfing.
Though the Cayman Islands are not well known for ocean surfing, there is a small core of island surfers who can show newcomers where to find the out-of-the-way spots to catch a wave. However, the Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park provides a surefire surfing experience, as well as the largest outdoor concrete skateboard park in the world.
Almost guaranteed sunshine and blue skies makes Grand Cayman an ideal place for outdoor sports activities, making it easy to stay in shape.
Runners and bikers of all ages are seen frequently in the mornings and evenings, and there are frequent opportunities to take part in fun runs/walks, duathlons and triathlons.
The many active sports clubs and teams are always on the look-out for new members to play rugby, soccer, cricket, basketball, softball, tennis and beach volleyball.
Several stables offer horseback riding along the beach, the perfect way to explore the mangroves that fringe the shoreline. Bird watchers will want to bring good pair of binoculars as all three islands have excellent drywood forest and wetland habitats for resident and migratory birds, and there are beautiful inland trails for nature lovers and hikers to explore
For golfers, there are several high-end 9-hole or 18-hole courses on Grand Cayman, while for the more adventurous there is limestone rock climbing that is unsurpassed in the Caribbean on the Sister Island of Cayman Brac. (There are no climbing shops in the Cayman Islands, however, and climbs are not for beginners).
In addition, there is a wide variety of indoor activities to choose from, including full-service gyms, squash, martial arts, yoga, Pilates and roller-skating. For those who like a spin around the dance floor, Cayman also offers lessons in Scottish, ballroom and Latin dancing.
A Bite to Eat
In the last five years, Cayman has emerged as a culinary playground for chefs and a paradise for people who appreciate excellent food. From Haute Cuisine, to casual waterfront bars and restaurants, to Jamaican-style "Jerk" chicken and pork at roadside stands across the island, there is something for everyone.
Diners can choose from traditional Caymanian, Mediterranean, American, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Tex Mex restaurants, or even familiar franchises like Burger King, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Dominos Pizza. Choices range from 5-star Sushi to pasta Alfresco served by serenading Italian waiters.
How about Tea at the Ritz? The Ritz Carlton, Cayman serves an elegant tea with all the trimmings in the Silver Palm Lounge every afternoon (pre-booking highly recommended).
Craving for local food, such as turtle stew, fish rundown and stewed conch, can be satisfied at Caymanian hot-spots like Welly's Cool Spot, Champion House and Corita's Copper Kettle.
For true aficionados of fine dining, this wealth of delectable fare culminates in the annual culinary festivals "Cayman Classic Wine and Food Festival" and "Taste of Cayman."
Coffee culture is also alive and well on Grand Cayman, with a number of specialty coffee shops and bakeries offering cafe latte, chai or fresh pastries springing up around George Town. Many shops and bakeries import coffee beans, shipped in from organic farms in Jamaica and Central America, that satisfy even the most discriminating coffee lover.
Out on the Town
A multi-ethnic population has created a range of options for an evening out in Grand Cayman.
Some local bartenders have attained local celebrity status for their creativity in redefining Frozen Daiquiri or inventing a new Martini, while an annual contest between bartenders to create the most satisfying Cayman Islands Mudslide has fostered friendly competition between bartenders across the country.
Nightclubs along Seven Mile Beach provide a wide choice of dancing, including hip-hop, reggae, disco, rave, country and western, and Latin.
The bold and the beautiful of the island are flocking to lounges flavored in art decor and nouveau eastern, where they are entertained with contemporary music and served an array of specialty drinks. Hotels and restaurants, such as the Wharf, Marriott and the Ritz Carlton, are sparking off new trends with themed nights on a monthly or weekly basis, such as disco or smooth Latin beat by the pool.
For a more casual experience, numerous bars and pubs dotting the island offer a cold beer while watching the sun set over the ocean or their favorite sport on TV, or joining in a noisy game of Dominoes - a popular Caribbean pastime.
Arts and Culture Scene
New residents on the islands find the choices of quality art, theatre and culture a surprise for such a small population. That Cayman has emerged as a haven for artists and playwrights is extraordinary, given the emphasis on the financial and tourist sector.
Many of Cayman's talented artists display their work at the National Art Gallery. Art lovers can also view local and international artists' work at Pure Art Gallery, Morgan Gallery and Kenney Gallery. Many fine hotels, such as The Ritz-Carlton, Westin and the Marriott along Seven Mile Beach, invite the public to view their galleries and special showings.
The public is also invited to the annual Art at the Governor's House, which is the largest single art event in the country and is famous for making art accessible to the public.
It features a variety of art and crafts from the National Gallery, the National Trust, and work by childrenand local artists, including ceramics, leatherwork, thatch work, quilting, photography and painting.
"Cayfest" is the Cayman Islands Festival of the Arts. It showcases contemporary and traditional Caymanian culture, and features drama, dance, music, song, storytelling, poetry readings and a visual arts exhibition with displays of local art and photography. Sponsored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF), Cayfest is held every April and allows newcomers to experience what makes Cayman unique and so culturally rich.
The Cayman Drama Society offers a wide range of comedies, musicals and drama in the fall and summer seasons, some of which are written by local playwrights. These are generally held at the Harquail Theatre and the Prospect Playhouse, which were fully refurbished following Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
A uniquely Cayman aspect to local theatre is the annual CNCF production of "Rundown", a light-hearted look at the personalities and nationalities that makes up the fabric of this county.
"Gimistory" is an annual international storytelling festival and features artists, predominantly from the Caribbean, who tell their stories using rhymes, calypso, drums and personal charisma, and focus on traditional folk tales, funny stories, and duppy (ghost) stories.
It's Carnival Time!
Every November, thousands take to the streets for Cayman's Pirates' Week, a huge costume party to celebrate one aspect of Caribbean history and fully indulge in the romantic drama of the Age of the Buccaneers.
The main event is a pirate invasion, in which two old-time sailing vessels loaded with pirates make a "surprise" landing at the George Town Harbour. The festivities continue with parades, street dances, music, sporting events, and fireworks.
Batabano is Cayman's special take on Carnival, and brings together a parade of exotic and alluring costumes, Caribbean music, dance and culture. Celebrations take place over a long weekend in the Spring and draw thousands every year.
Cayman Jazz Fest is becoming well known on the music circuit. This annual Fall event, held primarily under the stars, features a mixture of smooth jazz, flavored with a mix of Rhythm and Blues and Caribbean.
Historically, religion has played a significant role in Caymanian society. The majority of native Caymanians are regular worshippers, and places of worship serve as the basis for a variety of voluntary associations and activities.
The United Church of Jamaica and Grand Cayman has the largest membership, with a number of other denominations, such as Church of God, Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist, having a large presence.
Residents also follow the Baha'i, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim faiths.
Service clubs, such as Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Business and Professional Women's Club, as well as the Cayman Islands Red Cross, are very active on the islands. These volunteers work diligently year-round to help the Cayman community and the wider world and welcome new members.