Transitioning to St. Kitts


Frequently Asked Questions

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST ROSSIES!

We are excited to welcome you as a member of the Rossie community and look forward to supporting your academic journey.

Heading off to St. Kitts to start your DVM program at Ross Vet is an exciting time. As you prepare for your move to campus, we encourage you to review all University emails and communications carefully. We have outlined all the information you will need to make your move as stress-free and successful as possible. 

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL: NEXT STEPS

Book Your Flights

If you haven’t yet, be sure to book your flights. You should plan to arrive in St. Kitts the weekend of December 30-January 1 and be ready to begin new student orientation on January 2, 2023.

Classes begin on Monday, January 9, 2023. 

Return Flight:

You must book a flight reservation to leave at the end of the Spring 2023 semester. We recommend purchasing a flexible/refundable return ticket in case your plans change. Here is a helpful checklist of what you will need:

  • Your name must be visible (printed) on the itinerary.
  • Your reservation must be confirmed (not showing “pending”).
  • Your confirmation/reservation code must be visible.
  • Print your travel itinerary and put it along with your other visa documents

Once your flight is booked, please upload your flight information and a copy of your itinerary in the My Ross Vet portal using the following instructions:

If you are having trouble logging in, you can visit the My Ross Vet Login Support page for assistance.

White Coat Order

Your White Coat Ceremony officially welcomes you to Ross Vet and entrance to the veterinary profession. The ceremony symbolizes the importance of professionalism and ethical values as key elements in becoming a veterinarian.

All students are required to pre-order their white coats before their arrival on the island.  If you have not done so yet, please click the link below to view a size chart (sizes run a bit big) and order form for your white coat. 

WHITE COAT ORDER FORM  (please click)

Incoming First Semester students, please select January as your semester.

Incoming Vet Prep students, please select May as your semester as that is when your White Coat Ceremony will be held should you successfully pass and advance to semester one.

Should you have any trouble with the form, please contact Dereka Thompson, dthompson@rossvet.edu.kn as soon as possible. 

Complete Your Visa Documentation

As part of your transition, you will need to complete your visa requirements as soon as possible.  You will find the student visa application, a sample application, and your health certificate templates in the original email sent to you. You will need to download, print, and complete your student visa application and health certificate. We have linked to a PowerPoint deck that may help you complete your required documents. The presentation walks you through the application step-by-step and should be referred back to as you obtain all required documentation. IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions included in the PowerPoint presentation and NOT on the back of the student visa application form.

Visa Powerpoint deck pdf

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Please be sure that all of the requirements have been completed and ensure that all documents are in English or translated into English.

For your student visa, please obtain the following documents:

  • Passport-must not expire in the next 6 months, photocopy must be notarized
  • Visa Application
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Proof of funding
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Police report or background check-within the past 6 months
  • Birth Certificate - a photocopy must be notarized
  • Marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable)- photocopy must be notarized
  • Health Certificate-showing 2 MMR Vaccine dates, 3 Hep B dates, and Polio
  • VDRL/RPR Test AND TB/ PPD Test-within the past 6 months

You should upload your documents through the My Ross Vet portal at least one month before your arrival on the island for review.  If any documents are missing or incorrect, you will be informed by email. 

Once you have confirmation that your visa requirements are correct, be sure to gather the original documents and photocopies and place them in a folder or envelope. You will need these documents once you get to St. Kitts. We recommend you bring these documents in your carry-on.

Visa Policies for Non-Students

U.S. visitors to St. Kitts and Nevis may receive up to six (6) months upon entry before they are required to obtain a visa. Other countries vary from one month to three months. At the end of the six (6) months, U.S. visitors are required to obtain a visitor’s visa if they wish to continue residing on the island.  

Your spouse/partner/others are expected to leave St. Kitts at the same time as you at the end of your period of study on the island. Your spouse/partner/others are not permitted to work on the island without a work permit.

The following items are to be presented to Administration for the Visa Application process:

  • Application form
  • Passport  
  • Passport-sized photo  
  • Visa Application fee  
  • Travel Itinerary  
  • Marriage certificate OR divorce decree (if applicable)
VISA REQUIREMENTS INFORMATION

Passport

Make a photocopy of your passport’s data page and have it notarized. You must have your passport with you to have the copy notarized. Ensure your passport will not expire in the next six months.

Visa Application

Print the application front and back on ONE sheet. Complete both sides of the application in black or blue ink only. Remember: Do not follow the instructions on the back of the visa application – use the PowerPoint instructions instead.

Passport-Sized Photo

Obtain a passport-size photo (2x2). Retailers like Walmart®, CVS®, or Walgreens® can help. Write your first and last name on the back of the photo.

Proof of Funding

You must provide proof of having a minimum of US$10,000 or more to help with living expenses while on the island. There are three options available to provide proof. Providing proof of financial aid is the most common option and you will be provided instructions for emailing your award history to the University for this option. Should you choose the other two options, we have provided a sample letter and additional instructions in the PowerPoint for you to follow.

Travel Itinerary

You must book a flight reservation to leave the island any time after the end of the Spring 2023 semester in April. Here is a helpful checklist of what you will need:

  • You MUST book a flight reservation to leave the island any time after the end of the Spring 2023 semester (April).
  • Your name must be visible (printed) on the itinerary.
  • Your reservation must be confirmed (not showing “pending”).
  • Your confirmation/reservation code must be visible.
  • Print your travel itinerary and put it along with your other visa documents.

Police Report or Background Check

You must obtain a letter from one of the following: your local police department or precinct, state police, county police, or criminal justice department. The letter must be signed by the person who prepared it and must not be older than six months.

Government online background checks are accepted. Your background check must come from an authentic FBI, state, or government website only. Please note, that all states offer this service.

Birth Certificate

Make a photocopy of your birth certificate and have it notarized. You must have your original birth certificate with you to have the copy notarized.

Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree (if applicable)

Make a photocopy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree if your name is different than what is on your birth certificate and/or passport and have it notarized. You must have your original marriage certificate or divorce decree with you to have the copy notarized.

Health Records

You are required to have three (3) vaccinations and two (2) tests for your student visa.

Vaccinations:

  • MMR – 2 vaccination dates
  • Hep B – 3 vaccination dates
  • Polio – 1 or more vaccination dates

Tests (within the past 6 months):

  • TB
  • RPR/VDRL/Syphilis

Your health provider must complete the health certificate. They must sign and stamp the bottom of the certificate.

Visa Application Fee

You will be charged a US$150 visa application fee. This fee will be charged directly to your student account. Do not mail in your fee.

NEXT STEPS

Be sure to gather the original documents and photocopies and place them in a folder or envelope. You will need these documents once you get to St. Kitts. We recommend you bring these documents in your carry-on.

UPON ARRIVAL IN ST. KITTS

Your student visa will be processed by the Ministry of National Security in St. Kitts AFTER you have arrived on the island. Colleen Govia, an RUSVM student experience team member, will manage this process for all new students.  You will be asked to submit your passport and it will be returned to you with an official student visa stamp affixed to it. The visa will be valid for the duration of your studies on the island.

For any questions or concerns about the student visa process, please contact Colleen Govia at cgovia@rossvet.edu.kn.

Secure Your Housing
STUDENT HOUSING:

Incoming students are encouraged to live on campus for their first term only as space permits. Students with a family, children, a pet over 35lbs, or with multiple pets must live off-campus. Students with a special request could also live off-campus.

On-Campus Housing: For students who apply to live on campus, your application will be handled on a first come first served basis and as space permits. Applications are due by October 7, 2022. Once we have reached our capacity on campus, the remaining students will be notified via email that they must find housing off-campus. You may contact Dereka Thompson at dthompson@rossvet.edu.kn for any of your application questions.

Access your Housing Application

Off-Campus Housing: For our incoming students, off-campus housing is also an option. Many students live off-campus for their first term. 

When looking for an apartment off-campus:

  1. Determine your budget
  2. Decide whether you want to live alone or with a roommate
  3. Determine the location where you want to live (i.e. near the campus or further away). RUSVM maintains a list of properties located further away from campus and for these properties, you will need to consider transportation -  Rossie Shuttle Service or alternate transportation options. 

Begin your search for housing by doing the following:

  • Go to the Off-Campus Housing 101 (OCH101 - https://rusvm.och101.com/ ) website. The website lists only apartments that have been inspected by our Housing and Security team. Apartments not found on our website do not guarantee our housing and security standards.
  • Click on MyRoss (click here) at the very top left corner of the page
  • Log in to MyRoss with your student ID# and password.

Andrea Liburd is available to assist you with your off-campus housing search.

Bringing your Pet

Our Campus Living Pet-Friendly Program allows a limited number of new incoming students to live on campus with ONLY ONE authorized pet (under 35lbs). Students with a pet who qualify will be housed on a first come first serve basis and as space permits. You will receive an email from our office letting you know if your pet qualifies to live on campus. Once your pet has been confirmed to live on campus, please follow the instructions in the link below and please correspond with the CVO’s Office on all pet-related matters/questions/follow-ups.

Students with multiple pets and/or who have pets over 35lbs are required to live off-campus. Please follow the instructions in the link below and please correspond with the CVO’s Office on all pet-related matters/questions/follow-ups.

Be sure to reference https://veterinary.rossu.edu/life-in-st-kitts/traveling-to-st-kitts for information on moving with your pet.

What to Bring and How to Ship It

Every day and household items can be found in shops and stores around St. Kitts. Household items such as fans, cooking items, hangers, shower curtains, linens, and towels are readily available. However, if you have favorite hygiene products or toiletries (including things like contact lenses), you may wish to bring those with you.  Once you’re on the island, you will also find that many of your upper-semester colleagues will be selling many of the things you need as they prepare to leave the island. 

And while you don’t need to purchase books for your classes, before you depart for St. Kitt, double-check you have your semester supplies list to make sure you have the basics. 

https://veterinary.rossu.edu/media/13726/rusvm-supplies-vet-prep.pdf 

https://veterinary.rossu.edu/media/13706/rusvm-supplies-semester-1.pdf 

How to Ship

You can ship your items to the island using the following companies: 

  • Tropical Shipping in Miami, 1-305-805-7400, (your packages will arrive at the port by ship)
  • AmeriJet which flies to St. Kitts, 800-927-6059, (your packages will arrive at the airport)

You can use the following brokers to clear your items:

  • Royal Logistics - 869 465 5055
  • Hobson Enterprises - 869 465 8753

Give the shipping vendor your shipment destination and your arrival date. They will provide you with an estimated shipping date for your items.  

Indicate that your contents are “Used Clothing/Items.”

Yep, Amazon delivers to St. Kitts

FedEx, DHL, UPS, and even Amazon all ship to St. Kitts. Though in most instances, packages arrive quickly, there may be times where packages may be delayed due to customs. Tip:  Save yourself some money, there is no overnight shipping to St. Kitts. 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.

Need more information on moving to the island? Check out our Traveling & Moving to St. Kitts webpage.

Payment Considerations: Credit Cards and Bank Accounts

On St. Kitts, most places will provide pricing in both US and EC dollars. If you pay in US dollars you may get change back in EC dollars. The rate of exchange is about 2.7 EC dollars to 1 US dollar. The rate of exchange does not fluctuate much.

Bank Accounts:

Why open a bank account on the island?

  • Students who do not set up Direct Deposit must open a bank account on the island. Direct Deposit applies only to students with a U.S. bank account
  •  A local bank account is another option to pay your landlord the rent check monthly or semesterly
  •  A local bank account may help you reduce/avoid ATM and bank fees

If you decide to not open a bank account, you may still use a credit card or debit card. We encourage you to investigate your bank’s policies for charging ATM and international fees. If your bank doesn’t charge international fees, you may consider pulling a cash or wire transfer for rent and utilities. 

Typically, Republic Bank requires that students wishing to open a bank account already have their student visa stamp in their passport. However, to expedite this process, the Housing Office is required to provide the bank with a list of the names of students who have submitted all of their student visa paperwork. Once our office has submitted your name to the bank, we will let you know via email.

Credit Cards:

Mastercard and Visa are the most widely accepted credit cards on the island. American Express and Discover cards are less commonly used and you may have challenges finding a business that will accept them. 

TRAVELING TO ST. KITTS

St. Kitts Entry Requirements

Effective August 15, 2022, travelers entering St. Kitts are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test, show proof of vaccination, or quarantine upon arrival. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Travelers will no longer submit a Travel Entry Form and will not receive an approval letter from the government. 

REQUIRED IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS FORM 

Travelers are required to submit an online customs and immigration form before arrival in St. Kitts. Before your trip later this month, please complete the Immigration and Customs Form

MONITOR YOUR FLIGHTS  

While there are eased re-entry requirements, global air travel has continued to be impacted by delays and cancellations. Keep an eye on your flights and know your backup options to ensure you arrive in time to settle in for the first time!   

We encourage you to monitor the St. Kitts Tourism webpage for information and updates.

YOUR ARRIVAL AND WHAT TO EXPECT

General Arrival at the Airport

Rossies that have submitted their travel information and are arriving the weekend of December 30-January 1 will be greeted by Ross Vet staff and Orientation Leaders at the airport. Transportation will be provided for students only to campus or to your off-campus apartment.

Helpful Hints At Airport:

  • Take the Visitors line to get to Immigration.
  • Keep passport to show Immigration Officer.
  • From the Immigration desk, go downstairs to Baggage Claim.
  • If traveling with a pet, pet should be crated. CVO will meet pet owners in the Baggage Hall to inspect pet. Please wait for CVO to arrive.
  • Take luggage across to Customs check point in the Baggage Claim Hall.
  • Baggage porters available just behind Customs desks.
  • Pay Porters if you need their service - US$2 per bag
Transportation from the Airport to Campus

Transportation will be provided from the airport for students arriving on the island between December 30, 2022, and January 1, 2023.  

On Campus Students

  • Designated Ross Vet vans and luggage trucks will transport students living on campus
  • Guests of on campus students should travel to their hotel using local taxis and connect with students later in the day

Off Campus Students

  • Students living off campus can be taken to your apartment by an Orientation Leader. They will, additionally, help you get settled and answer questions
  • If arriving with family/guests, off campus students can travel with family to their apartment using local taxis
  • Please start by connecting with RUSVM staff at the airport
Tips for Transition to St. Kitts/Parents and Spouses

Learn more about transitioning to St. Kitts. Listen to a presentation from the Director of Student Experience David Satterlee.

Parent’s/Spouses-20220420 2300-1

YOUR FIRST WEEK

Orientation schedule

Daily activities within the orientation schedule are subject to change. An email will be sent to you closer to your arrival confirming your orientation schedule.

Friday, December 30-January: Flight arrivals and move-in

Monday, January 2

  • Breakfast
  • Welcome to St. Kitts presentation
  • Safety and Security presentation
  • Island Tips
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon free to celebrate Carnival!

Tuesday, January 3

  • Free Day to enjoy Island Celebrations

Wednesday, January 4

  • Breakfast
  • Housing Presentations: Off-campus & On-campus
  • Parents and Family Meeting
  • Student ID photos

Thursday, January 5

  • Island Orientation & Tour

Friday, January 6

  • Breakfast
  • 1st semester iPad training
  • Vet Prep Meeting
  • Expectations session with Dr. Karnick and Mr. Satterlee
  • SAVMA (student government) Welcome
  • Lunch
  • Registration & Check-in

Saturday, January 7

  • Orientation Reggae Beach Day!

Sunday, January 8

  • Time on your own/Rest day

Monday, January 9

  • First Day of Classes!

For ID Photos:

  1. Sleeveless tops are not allowed
  2. White tops class in the background
  3. A valid photo ID must be present
Academic Technology

RUSVM uses the following academic technology software platforms:

  • Canvas ‐ learning management system
  • VitalSource and Bookshelf ‐ eBooks application     
  • Poll Everywhere ‐ student engagement application

You will gain access to Canvas no later than Wednesday, January 4, 2023. At this time, you will receive notice that your Canvas Account has been set up. 

SIGN IN TO CANVAS DIRECTLY FROM THE WEB

Enter the following URL in the address bar of an internet browser: https://rossvet.instructure.com/. This will take you to the Adtalem Sign-In Page.

Sign in to the Adtalem Page using the following instructions:

  1. Enter your username: firstnamelastname (No spaces)
  2. Enter your RUSVM Password
  3. Click Sign In
  4. You will land on the Canvas Dashboard. Click the Accept button to accept enrollment in the Technology Orientation course

We are pleased to introduce our new Orientation Course on Canvas. The course is a collection of how-to guides, videos, and information on student services, all geared towards orienting you to our technology platforms, and student life at Ross Vet.

The course is self-paced, and on completion, you will be able to set up your iPad® and create accounts for Vital Source, Panopto, and Poll Everywhere. You will also learn how to connect to online lectures using our online Webex lecture tool. Starting at the Welcome module, please complete each module before moving on to the next. You are urged to complete the course before the start of the semester.

Poll Everywhere

You will receive an email from Poll Everywhere inviting you to set up a Poll Everywhere account. Please be sure that your Ross Vet email address is your default email on Canvas. You will experience conflicts with your Poll Everywhere account if these addresses are different. 

You will receive an invitation to create your Poll Everywhere student account by Monday, January 9, 2023.

Our Academic Technology team is ready to resolve student issues and answer any questions or concerns. Should you have questions or experience difficulties accessing your Canvas account, email rusvmatech@rossvet.edu.kn.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR LIFE ON ST. KITTS

Instructions for Opening a Bank Account
  • You are advised to contact the bank of your choice to schedule an appointment to open your account. Be sure to leave plenty of time for this appointment.
  • Republic Bank: 465-4141 (Fort Street Branch) or 466-6161 (Bird Rock Branch – next to RAMs Supermarket)

If you wish to open a bank account, please note the following requirements:

An introductory letter from the Housing Office is required by the bank for each student wishing to open an account. We can email it to you ahead of your visit to the bank. When requesting a letter, please be sure to provide the following information: 

  • Your full name
  • Your current semester and date of arrival on the island
  • Your full address on island and the length of said lease (when does it expire) if you are living off-campus
  • Date you are expecting to leave the island (for Clinicals)
  • Whether you receive student financial aid or private funding. 

The bank may also require a signed copy of your lease (if staying off-campus), so please take it to the bank with you. 

ALL students will need to provide two (2) forms of ID (usually a passport and another government-issued ID). One form of identification must show your place of birth.

ALL students will need to complete FATCA forms which will require a Social Security Number (even non-Americans) showing that they are paying income tax in their home country. These forms will be given to you at the bank when you go to open the account.

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 such, and proof of income for the parent will be required. If the student is funding tuition, the student must also provide proof of income, savings, etc. (a copy of a bank statement could also be used for proof of income). Please note that the bank reserves the right to request additional information (as it deems necessary) to open the account.  

Purchasing a Vehicle

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

Visit https://veterinary.rossu.edu/life-in-st-kitts/exploring-st-kitts for more information on purchasing a car.

Car Insurance Requirements

If you will be purchasing a car on the island, you are required to purchase motor vehicle insurance from one of the local insurance companies.  The insurance companies may require an introductory letter from the Housing Office. Your off-campus lease may also be used in some instances if you have one available. 

If you wish to purchase motor vehicle insurance, please reach out to Dereka Thompson at dthompson@rossvet.edu.kn with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your full address on the island (as shown on your lease). If you have a signed copy of your lease, it would be good to take it with you as well. 
  • The insurance company you have selected (if you have already made a decision).
  • Date of lease expiration
  • Expected departure date from St. Kitts

Some local insurance companies to consider: 

  • TDC Insurance Company – 465-2845 (located on Central Street)
  • ICWI (Insurance Company of the West Indies) – 466-2490 (BirdRock)National Caribbean Insurance (NCI) – 4665-5345 (Church Street)
  • Delisle Walwyn & Company Ltd. – 465-2631 (Liverpool Row)
  • NAGICO Insurances – 466-2262 (Bladen Commercial Development)
  • 6Guardian General Insurance (Horsfords) – 465-9355 (Wellington Road)
Cell Phone Considerations

Students are welcome to bring along and use their smartphones on the island. However, there is no guarantee that your phone service will be compatible with the cellular service on the island.  

Here is some feedback from current students who use their smartphones on the island:

  1. I have a T-mobile phone account that has international capabilities.
  2. I access Facebook, Whatsapp, WiFi calling, texting messenger only through WiFi on campus or anywhere else with WiFi.
  3. I keep the phone on airplane mode at all times except for when away from WiFi and need to make a call…then pay the service fee later.
  4. I use the local SIM card which can be obtained (free of charge) at the Housing Office on campus for local, international, emergency calls if away from WiFi. (see below for one month Quick Pick Bundle Plan). After the plan has expired, the student is responsible to “pay as you go.”

Consider asking your cellphone service provider about an international phone plan option. You may also wish to obtain a local SIM card to use with your smartphone.

If Using a Local SIM Card with your Smart Phone

RUSVM will provide a free SIM card (value EC$50). You may request a local SIM card through your Orientation Leader or the Housing Office

  1. The smartphone must be unlocked. What is an unlocked cellular phone?  It is a phone which is not tied to a specific carrier. You can simply slide in a SIM card from any wireless carrier use it to make calls and send messages.
  2. The unlocked cellular phone must be a tri-band or a quad-band phone and it must use a SIM card.
  3. Unlocked phone must be able to operate on the following frequencies:

900Mhz ..........GSM

                             1900Mhz .......WCDMA

  1. It is better if the handset is from ATT or T-Mobile network.

It is best if your mobile device can hold and use two different SIM cards at once. This way you can keep your own SIM card in one slot and insert the local SIM card (from Digicel) in the other slot. If your phone can hold only one SIM card, it means that you will have to remove your SIM card to insert the local SIM card each time.

  • Cellular phones with data capability can be purchased at a Digicel store in Basseterre starting from US$99+
  • 10% off any handset purchased storewide with the presentation of Student ID.

If you do not have a local SIM card

  • This means that the phone is usually “locked” to a particular phone carrier. The phone can only be used on a specific carrier's network, so you will not be able to switch to another carrier without first “unlocking” it. Check with your phone service provider to determine what it entails to unlock your phone so that you can use it locally as well.
  • Local (St. Kitts) businesses like The Cable Co., internet providers, taxis, etc. will not return your call if you are using your U.S. cell number. They will only return your call if you are using a St. Kitts local number/SIM card.
  • You are not able to receive the campus Siren alerts which are sent via a student’s local number. Siren alerts are also sent via email, but you may be overlooked.