Student on the shore of St. Kitts Island
Student on the shore of St. Kitts Island

Daily Life in St. Kitts


For new or prospective students, family members, and faculty preparing to visit St. Kitts, here is a glimpse of daily life on the Caribbean island.
ON-CAMPUS DINING

Burger Shack — Burger Shack offers items from the grill, including an assortment of burgers and sandwiches.

Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Rituals Coffee House — Located in the Student Union, Rituals offers a variety of specialty coffees and teas, as well as pastries, hamburgers, wraps, bagel sandwiches, a salad bar, and sushi.
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Paw Paw — Located in the lower part of campus, Paw Paw offers breakfast and such lunch items as salads, sandwiches, and wraps with a variety of vegetarian options.
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Spice Shack — Located directly across from the amphitheatre, Spice Shack offers breakfast and lunch items, including a variety of vegetarian options.
Hours: Monday – Thursday 6 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Yvonne's Catering Service — Yvonne's is located near the faculty offices and offers breakfast and lunch daily, with an outside seating patio. Also provides catering for meetings and parties.
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Contact:  665-6982, yvonej@hotmail.com 

Ross Farmer's Market — Ross Vet hosts a variety of local vendors every Wednesday that sell fresh vegetables, meat, bread, flowers, and gelato.

OFF-CAMPUS DINING IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

St. Kitts and Nevis tourism authorities keep up-to-date directories of local restaurants:
St. Kitts Restaurants
Nevis Restaurants
 
 

GROCERY AND HOUSEHOLD STORES

Grocery stores are stocked with a wide array of packaged foods, fresh produce, poultry, fish, and vegetarian items as well. Fresh red meat is not always readily available and can be expensive. A farmer's market is held every Wednesday on campus. It offers fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, and Grade A Angus beef from local producers. A larger farmer's market is held near the Basseterre port Monday – Saturday  8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Many places in downtown Basseterre sell such household items as fans, Rubbermaid products, cooking items, hangers, shower curtains, linens, and towels. However, larger ticket items are generally cheaper to buy before you get to St. Kitts: ship them or bring them with you. We also suggest bringing a semester's supply of personal hygiene products and toiletries with you, as well as your own personal linens and towels and such school supplies as binders, pens, pencils, sharpeners, and erasers. Other useful things to bring with you may include cutlery, shower curtains, bathmats, alarm clocks, batteries, flashlights, and a desk lamp. While packing, it is important to remember that Army-style and camouflage clothing are restricted items in St. Kitts and Nevis and will be confiscated by customs officials.

GROCERY STORES

Best Buy Supermarket — Camps location open 24 hours (with deli and department store), 466-746. Bird Rock location (with deli), 466-9499

Rams Supermarket — Bird Rock Road location (with deli), 466-6065, pharmacy next door. Cash & Carry Bird Rock Road. Buckley’s location (with deli). Express at The Royal Plaza, Frigate Bay & Sugar Bay location, 465-8027

Valu-Mart - IGA — (with pharmacy and deli) Wellington Road 465-1600

Cash & Carry (C & C) Superfoods — (two locations) Bay Road & George Street 466-5171

Kings Pavilion — Sprott Street 465-9019

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL ITEMS

Courts St. Kitts & Nevis — (household goods) Bay Road (next to KFC) 466-1640

Horsford’s Hardware Store — (behind Valu-Mart IGA) 465-4087

Horsford’s Home Value — West Independence Square 466-4943

TDC Home & Building Depot — Frigate Bay Road 465-2988

Kassab Hardware — (plastics store) Liverpool Row 465-2978

Karibhana Trading — (adult, child, and household) Liverpool Row 465-1745

Best Buy Supermarket — (household goods upstairs) Camps 466-9499

BANKING AND CURRENCY IN ST. KITTS

The currency in St. Kitts is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD or EC$). The exchange rate is pegged (fixed) with the United States dollar, and the exchange rate is US $1.00 = EC $2.70. U.S. dollars are accepted in St. Kitts and Nevis, but local currency is used by residents living on the island.

HOW DO I OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT?

You can open an account with an electronic or wire transfer, cash, a cashier’s check, or with a financial aid check. There is no minimum amount needed to open an account, but customers are asked to keep enough money in their account to pay monthly service charges of about EC $15. Personal checks are subject to a six-week hold before funds are released. Traveler’s checks are not commonly used.

  • All students must obtain a letter from Ross Vet to open a bank account. This can be requested from the Housing Department.  Not all banks in St. Kitts have a monthly charge.  
  • All students will need to provide two forms of ID (usually a passport and another government-issued ID); one of these must show the student’s place of birth
  • All students will need to complete Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) forms which will require a Social Security number (even non-Americans)
  • Students not receiving financial aid will require proof of financial support. For example, if a parent is funding the student’s tuition, the parent must write a letter stating as such and provide proof of income. Students funding their own tuition must also prove their income with a bank statement or other proof of income.
ATMs

There are several banks to choose from on St. Kitts although Republic Bank is the only ATM on campus that honors RUSVM financial aid checks immediately. Bank of America ATM cards work at the Republic Bank ATM, and cards with the CIRRUS or PLUS symbol are accepted at most ATMs. ATM/ debit cards are also acceptable forms of payment at most St. Kitts stores.

BANKS

Republic Bank
Fort Street Branch - 869-465-4141
Bird Rock Branch - 869-466-6161
M – Th 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
ATM available at both branches andon campus.
Cards with the PLUS symbol are accepted at the ATM.

The Bank of Nevis Limited
Corner of Bay Rd. and Fort St. - 869-465-2259
Wellington Road (in Value Mart Plaza) - 869-465-2389
M – Th 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
ATM available at both locations and close to campus.
Cards with the PLUS symbol are accepted at the ATM.

First Royal Caribbean International Bank
The Circus - 869-465-2159
M – Th 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
ATM available

National Bank
Central Street - 869-465-2204
Pelican Mall
ATM available

DRIVING AND TRANSPORTATION

DRIVER’S LICENSE

A St. Kitts driver's license is required to drive on the island. A license can be obtained at the Traffic Department in St. Johnson’s Village, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., or at the Fire Station on Frigate Bay Road, which is open 24 hours every day.

  • You must present your current valid driver's license from your home country.
  • A three-month driver’s license costs EC $62.50 (US $24); a license valid for one year costs EC $125 (US $48). 

You must remember to renew the license every three months or every year. Driving without a St. Kitts license may result in afine or even arrest. The home country driver’s license should always be carried along with the St. Kitts license.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Local public transportation is available in St. Kitts via a privately-run minibus system. There are two main routes: West Side and East Side. The West Side route starts in Basseterre, passes by the Ross Vet campus, and ends at Dieppe Bay.  Buses cost around EC $2.50. Taxis are also available.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS FERRY

A ferry carries passengers from St. Kitts  to Nevis—a distance of only about 2 miles coast to coast. The ride from the Ferry Terminal in Basseterre to the Charlestown Ferry Terminal in Nevis takes about 45 minutes. A 30-minute Sea Bridge car ferry runs from the Southeast Peninsula to Cades Bay in Nevis. View the St. Kitts and Nevis Ferry schedule for times.

TRAFFIC LAWS

Traffic and vehicle laws in St. Kitts may differ from your home country. Review the Vehicle and Road Traffic Act of St. Christopher (another name for St. Kitts) and Nevis (15.06) to understand the laws before you drive on St. Kitts. Be sure to understand the various offenses (spelled offences in the document) listed within the traffic act.
 

COMMON TRAFFIC OFFENSES
  • EC $150 Penalty – driving unlicensed or in an unregistered vehicle, driving without a license or with an expired license, repairing a vehicle in street, cellular phone use while driving, driving without a seat belt.
  • EC $100 Penalty – driving at night without a headlamp or rear lighting, failure to comply with traffic sign direction, failure to comply with lawful direction of a member of the police, overcrowding a vehicle, failure to pull-over for an emergency vehicle, parking in a no parking zone or on a yellow line, failure to stop at an intersection, failure to display license sticker on the window.
DRIVING TIPS
  • Driving is on the LEFT-hand side of the road.
  • The maximum speed limit is 40 miles per hour (MPH); 20 MPH in towns.
  • When passing another vehicle, it is customary to beep your horn. If driving in areas with curvy roads, you may want to honk as you go into a turn to warn other drivers.
  • Be aware that motorists may use hand signals instead of turn signals. Buses with license plates "H" or "HA" rarely signal, so be careful when you travel behind them.
  • Make sure your vehicle has working headlights and taillights and that your license plates are made up of a black background with white letters and numbers on the front and back of the vehicle. Also, make sure the plates are not broken and that all letters and numbers may be clearly seen. The police conduct random checks and fine for any infractions.
  • The police check for expired registration, license, and insurance. Keep these up-to-date and in your car or on your person at all times. A sticker on the car windshield shows the month and year the car registration/ license/ road tax expires.
  • An annual driver's license expires one year after the original purchase and on the anniversary thereafter. Your car insurance also expires one year after the original insurance date. You may not get reminders. The police conduct random checks and fines for any infractions. If your driver's license is expired or you do not have insurance, this could result in an immediate arrestable offense. 
PURCHASING VEHICLES

St. Kitts is a small island, but having transportation is still important. No one ships the car they own in St. Kitts back home, nor does anyone ship cars from the United States; it would cost an 85 percent duty on the deemed value of the car plus an EC $5,000 environmental tax. As you prepare to move to St. Kitts, it is important to budget for transportation. The realistic cost to purchase a used car in St. Kitts is between U.S. $4,500 – U.S. $7,000. Your orientation leader may recommend where to find affordable cars and good mechanics.

Before moving to St. Kitts, it is important to understand how to purchase vehicles on the island.

BUYING A VEHICLE FROM A DEALERSHIP

A listing of car dealerships selling new and used cars is listed below. Car rental agencies (e.g. Avis, Thrifty, G&L, Hertz, Delisle Walwyn, and Huggins Auto Service & Rental) may also have cars available for purchase. If purchasing a car from a dealership, the company will help with the registration and inspection process.

New/Used Car Dealerships:

  • Caines Auto Services, Honda Dealership
    Pond Industrial Site
    869-465-2366
  • TDC Automotive, Suzuki Dealership
    Ponds Industrial Site (Bay Road),
    869-465-2505
  • SL Horsford Automotive Division, Nissan Dealership
    Wellington Road
    869-465-4971
LEASING A VEHICLE

Leasing vehicles is not a standard business practice in St. Kitts. Transactions of this nature should be closely investigated and entered into only with a reputable automobile dealership. To be on the safe side, do not lease.

 

SHIPPING AND MAILING

As a service to Ross Vet students, regular postage stamps for purchase are available at Student Services in the Student Union building. Incoming and outgoing student mail can also be picked up from Student Services  Monday – Friday 9:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. If the mail or package(s) is destined for your spouse/partner, please be sure it is sent care of (c/o) your name.

STUDENT MAIL

Student Mailing Address for Letters
[Your name]
Post Office Box 334
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Basseterre, St Kitts
West Indies
Zip Code: 00265
 
Student Mailing Address for Packages
Sent via parcel post, courier, or shipping company to:
[Your name]
c/o Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine,
Island Main Road,
West Farm, St Kitts
West Indies.
Zip Code: 00265
Telephone number 869-465-4161

Notification of parcels received for you will be made through your “rossvet.edu.kn” email. You will need to pick up the notification at Student Services in the Student Union before going to the Parcel Post Office, shipping, or courier company to retrieve the parcels.
 

THE POST OFFICE

The Post Office (467-1348) and package office is located on Bay Road.

  • Letter to the US via airmail is $.90 EC
  • Postcards to the US via airmail is $.80 EC
  • Parcel & Post Office Pick-up hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Any U.S. Post Office will ship to St. Kitts (although many offices list it as“St. Christopher”); however, they do not offer tracking numbers and estimated dates of arrival for packages can be unreliable. U.S. Post Offices do not take responsibility for your package once it has left the United States. Your packages will arrive at the St. Kitts Post Office in downtown Basseterre. You may pick them up yourself at the post office without a broker. This is an inexpensive way for family and friends to send favorite foods and other items to their Ross Vet student in St. Kitts.

COURIER SERVICES
  • Federal Express, CAP Industrial Site, 465-4155, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • DHL, Bay Road, 466-0553, Monday –  Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • UPS, CAP Industrial Site, 465-8753, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Before moving to St. Kitts, we recommend the following methods for shipping your items. You may contact either Tropical Shipping in Miami, 1-305-805-7400, (your packages will arrive at the port by ship); or AmeriJet which flies to St. Kitts, 800-927-6059, (your packages will arrive at the airport). Give the shipping vendor your shipment destination and your arrival date. They can provide you with an estimated shipping date for your items.  Do not write on containers or indicate your contents to contain “personal belongings/ items.”  Shippers are no longer allowed to ship anything under this title.

BROKERS IN ST. KITTS

Although you may clear your goods through customs at the seaport or airport terminal and arrange transportation home, we recommend that you engage a broker on the island. A broker can be hired to clear your goods and deliver them to your home on or off-campus.

FEDEX, DHL, AND UPS

These companies all ship to St. Kitts.  Though in most instances packages arrive quickly, there may be times where packages may be delayed due to customs. These companies conveniently offer tracking numbers for your peace of mind. However, they can be very expensive. If you ship using any of these companies, your packages will arrive at the airport. A broker can be used, but you can also pick them up yourself.

DUTY & TAX ON IMPORTED GOODS INTO ST. KITTS

It is important to note that when moving to St. Kitts, imported goods are subject to duty and tax for applicable items. St. Kitts and Nevis Customs provide additional information and a comprehensive list here.

What you import as personal effects should be deemed as necessary to make your stay on St. Kitts pleasurable. It is always a good rule to be polite to Customs officers.
 

PLACES OF WORSHIP IN ST. KITTS

ANGLICAN

St. Georges Anglican Church, Basseterre 465-6691

BAPTIST

Valley Baptist Church, Basseterre 466-9128

CATHOLIC

Catholic Church (East Independence Square) 465-2541

CHURCH OF GOD

Basseterre Church of God 465-6380
Church of Christ 465-1372
New Testament Church of God 466-1904
 

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Jehovah’s Witness, Basseterre 466-9518

METHODIST

Zion Moravian Church, Basseterre 465-2402

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 465-7767

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST

Seventh-Day Adventist, Basseterre 466-6417

Student helps a sea turtle in the ocean
EARN YOUR DVM DEGREE FROM ROSS VET

Your opportunity of a lifetime awaits by applying today.