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Moving to St. Kitts
If you’ve been accepted as a student and will be joining the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine family, you will need to take care of a few logistics before packing up and heading to St. Kitts.
Get details on how to make your transition to living in St. Kitts as smooth as possible, from visa information and required documents to shipping, banking, insurance coverage, and more.
For a legal extended stay in St. Kitts, you must have your passport stamped with the appropriate student visa from the St. Kitts government. With internal coordination provided by Ross Vet, the government of St. Kitts will process the Student Visa. Immigration in St. Kitts usually allows 30 days from when you enter the country for Ross Vet to act.
For any questions, reach out to Ms. Colleen Govia at [email protected].
Please contact the Housing Office to obtain visa information for spouses, partners, and children under 5 years of age who are moving to St. Kitts with you.
- Children between the ages of 5 and 16 years attending the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Preparatory School will need a copy of their Immunization Certificate (required by the Ministry of Health) and a passport-sized photo. The cost for a student visa is EC $75 annually. The Preparatory School will submit all required information on your behalf.
- Children under the age of 5 years will have their passports submitted with the parent attending the University for a Visitor Visa to be stamped in the travel document. There is no fee for this service. This request will be handled and submitted through the Housing Office.
TRAVELING TO ST. KITTS
It is important to tell the St. Kitts Campus Living Office of your travel plans well in advance so that arrangements can be made in preparation for your arrival. For questions, email the Housing Team at:
You are asked to arrive on the dates that are outlined in your Admissions enrollment letter. Arrange for a flight for one of these three dates only, as on-campus housing will not be available beforehand. Please book your flight as soon as possible to assist the housing staff in the flight roster preparation.
If your travel plans change at the last minute, you must notify the St. Kitts Campus Living Office so that we can arrange to meet you at the airport. Please email the Housing Office with flight changes.
Delta Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada, and American Airlines are the primary airlines servicing flights to St. Kitts. Delta Airlines flies from Atlanta, and American Airlines provides direct flights for individuals traveling to St. Kitts from the US - from Miami, New York, and NC. Air Canada flies from Toronto and British Airways flies from London Gatwick. There are also connecting flights from Puerto Rico and St. Maarten through their affiliates, Seaborne Airlines and LIAT.
Be vigilant as you exit the customs area. Orientation leaders and professional staff will be outside of the customs area awaiting your arrival. The area is often crowded, so take a few minutes to look for the Ross Vet representative wearing a logoed shirt and holding a Ross Vet sign. Do not leave the airport without making yourself known to these individuals. Bring something to eat and drink for your first night in St Kitts. Depending on your arrival time, stores may be closed.
Your orientation leaders will transport you to your accommodations no matter your arrival time during the designated student arrival period.
We are unable to transport family members who are not staying on the island with you as seating is limited. In order to properly arrange transportation from the airport, it is critical to inform us ahead of time of your travel plans. It is also helpful to inform us of the names of persons who will be living in St. Kitts with you (spouse/partner/children). Please note that Ross Vet is unable to provide transportation for short-term guests visiting you during orientation. Taxi services and rental vehicles are available for this purpose.
Upon arrival at the airport, professional staff and Orientation Leaders will greet and hand you a welcome packet at the airport. Shuttle service will transport you and your luggage to your new place of residence. Aside from having to attend scheduled on-campus orientation sessions, you will be taken grocery shopping, given an island tour along with social opportunities at beaches and restaurants to interact with other new students during the week. As a way to continue to foster strong relationships between new students and to offer additional opportunities for you to experience the island of St. Kitts, we provide a number of programs for Vet Prep and 1st Semester students throughout their first semester at Ross Vet.
Special rates are offered at the following hotels for Ross Vet family and visitors (must be booked directly, not through a travel agency; rates quoted subject to change).
- Timothy Beach Resorts
- St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino
- Sugar Bay Club
- Royal St. Kitts Hotel
- Bullseye Car Rental
- C&C Economy Car Rental
- Avis Rent A Car
- Thrifty Car Rental
- G&L Car Rentals (rental for persons aged under 25 years)
The currency in St. Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD).
How much does it cost to live in St. Kitts?
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, but local currency is used by residents living on the island.
How do I open a bank account?
An account can be opened with cash, a Bank Cashier’s Check, or with the Financial Aid Check. There is no minimum amount with which to open the account, but customers are asked to keep enough on their account to pay service charges (about EC$15). Personal checks are subject to a 6-week hold before funds are released. Traveler’s checks are not commonly used.
- ALL students will need to provide two (2) forms of ID (usually a passport and another government-issued ID); one of these must show your place of birth
- ALL students will need to complete FATCA forms which will require a Social Security Number (even non-Americans) once that they are paying income tax in their home country
- 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 the same and provide proof of income for the parent. If the student is funding their own 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.
There are several banks on St. Kitts and which one you choose is up to you. Republic Bank has an ATM located on campus. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has an ATM located near campus. Republic Bank and RBC are the only banks that honor RUSVM financial aid checks immediately.
Bank of America ATM cards may be used on the island at the Republic Bank ATM on campus as an alternative to your banking cash needs. ATM/Debit cards are accepted at stores in St. Kitts. Other cards with the CIRRUS or PLUS symbol are also accepted at ATMs.
Fort Street Branch - 869-465-4141
Bird Rock Branch - 869-466-6161
M - Th 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
ATM available at both branches AND on campus.
Cards with the PLUS symbol are also accepted at the ATM.
Corner of Bay Rd. and Fort St. - 869-465-2259
Wellington Road (in Value Mart Plaza) - 869-465-2389
M - Th 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
ATM available at both locations AND close to campus.
Cards with the PLUS symbol are also accepted at the ATM.
The Circus - 869-465-2159
M -Th 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Central Street - 869-465-2204
You must provide proof of medical insurance coverage while at Ross Vet. If you opt not to be insured under our policy, your choice of insurance company must be able to offer coverage outside the United States (proof of valid insurance coverage other than the Ross Vet policy is required before registration).
Your admissions welcome package will include a Ross Vet Insurance Coverage Package, which provides you with the choice of purchasing coverage in lieu of another medical insurance program. You will be automatically enrolled for insurance coverage if you do not provide proof of coverage from another insurance carrier.
We highly recommend that spouses and children who will also be moving to St. Kitts either purchase the Ross Vet Insurance or purchase another insurance company that offers coverage outside of the United States. It is recommended that significant others/partners are medically covered with private medical insurance before living in St. Kitts.
Proof of your valid insurance other than the Ross Vet policy is required before registration of your spouse or significant other.
Doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are not contracted with insurance companies. This means that all services must be paid for with cash, EC check, or credit card.
A doctor's office visit requires payment at the end of the visit. Laboratory tests, x-rays, and other medical services must be paid for in advance. Elective hospital admissions require a deposit for a five-day stay (usually about EC $1,250). The hospital also requires any additional charges such as labs or tests to be paid upon discharge.
Your Student Insurance policy has a US $500 yearly deductible which means that you should submit all claims for doctors' visits. After you meet your deductible, you will be reimbursed for any additional charges if they are covered under your policy.
Please contact Student Health Services for additional information on medical insurance or medical care in St. Kitts.
It is recommended that you insure your valuables. This may include jewelry, computers, cameras, and whatever else you deem to be valuable. If you have insurance in the U.S. or home country, check to see if the coverage extends outside of the country. We provide insurance rates through SNIC, should you need to purchase your insurance on the island. SNIC the only insurance company that covers personal valuables and will be on campus during your new student orientation.
DRIVING AND VEHICLES
You are required to have a St. Kitts driver's license to drive on the island. A license can be obtained at the Traffic Department in the St. Johnson’s Village, which is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or the Fire Station on Frigate Bay Road, which is open 24 hours/day.
- You must present your current valid driver's license from your home country.
- The charge for a license is: three months = EC $62.50 (US $24); one year = EC $125 (US $48). You must remember to renew the license every year.
If you are caught driving without a St. Kitts license, you may be fined or taken into police custody. Your home country license should always be carried in conjunction with your St. Kitts license.
Traffic and vehicle laws in St. Kitts may differ from your home country. Review the Vehicle and Road Traffic Act of St. Christopher and Nevis (15.06) to understand the laws as you prepare to move to St. Kitts. Also, become familiar with the Summary of Offenses Under the Vehicle and Road Traffic Act.
EC $150 Penalty - driving unlicensed or in an unregistered vehicle, driving without or with an expired license, repairing a vehicle in street.
EC $100 Penalty - driving at night with a missing 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 no parking zone, failure to stop at an intersection, failure to display license sticker on the window.
EC $100 Penalty – parking on a yellow line.
EC $150 Penalty – cellular phone use while driving.
EC $150 Penalty – driving without a seat belt.
- Driving is on the LEFT-hand side of the road.
- The maximum legal speed limit is 40 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 they are not broken, and all the letters and numbers may be seen. The police conduct random checks and will fine for any infractions.
- The police check for expired registration, license, and insurance. Keep these up-to-date and in your car, or on you at all times. Car registration/license/road tax (the sticker on your windshield) shows the month and year your car registration/license/road tax expires.
- Your 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 will fine for any infractions.
Although St. Kitts is a small island, having transportation is still important. No one ships the car they own in St. Kitts back home, nor does anyone ship cars from the US; it would cost you 85 percent duty on the deemed value of the car plus EC$5,000 environmental tax. As you prepare to move to St. Kitts, it is important you budget for transportation. The realistic cost to purchase a used car in St. Kitts is between U.S. $4,500 – U.S. $7,000. There are many student cars for sale on campus during Orientation Week. Your orientation leader will also have recommendations about where to purchase affordable cars and mechanics to use.
Before moving to St. Kitts, it is important to understand how to purchase vehicles on the island.
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 be able to help you with the registration and inspection process.
New/Used Car Dealerships:
- Caines Auto Services, Honda Dealership
Pond Industrial Site
- TDC Automotive, Suzuki Dealership
Ponds Industrial Site (Bay Road),
- S. L. Horsford Automotive Division, Nissan Dealership
Leasing vehicles is not a standard business practice in St. Kitts; transactions of this nature should be closely investigated and entered into only if from one of the reputable automobile dealerships. To be on the safe side, do not lease.
SHIPPING & 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 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday–Friday. If the mail or package(s) is destined for your spouse/partner, please be sure it is sent c/o your name.
STUDENT MAILING ADDRESS FOR LETTERS
Post Office Box 334
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Basseterre, St Kitts
STUDENT MAILING ADDRESS FOR PACKAGES
Sent via parcel post, courier, or shipping company to:
c/o Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine,
Island Main Road,
West Farm, St Kitts,
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 (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 through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Federal Express, CAP Industrial Site, 465-4155, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- DHL, Bay Road, 466-0553, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- UPS, CAP Industrial Site, 465-8753, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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.
Although you may clear your goods through customs at the seaport or airport terminal and arrange your transportation to your home, we recommend that you look at engaging a broker on the island. A broker can be hired to clear your goods and deliver them to your home on or off-campus.
- Woodsrite Enterprises- Bird Rock, St. Kitts, West Indies - Mr. C. Woods
- KDP Enterprises Inc - R.L.B. Int'l Airport, Basseterre, St. Kitts - Mr. Earl Hodge
- Hobson Enterprises - Bird Rock, St. Kitts, West Indies - Mr. D. Hobson
869-465-8753, option 4
[email protected] or [email protected]
Your shipment should be addressed:
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
c/o BROKER'S Name
These companies all ship to St. Kitts. Packages arrive quickly, and they offer tracking numbers. However, they can be very expensive options. 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.
Any US Post Office will ship to St. Kitts (although many of them have it listed under its official name: St. Christopher); however, they do not offer tracking numbers and can sometimes be unreliable in estimating a date of arrival for your packages. They 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 your favorite food/items while you are here in 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 provides 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 the Customs Officers.
What to bring to St. Kitt's
Your Move To St. Kitts
When trying to determine how much does it cost to live in St. Kitts, it is helpful to know what you can purchase on the island. Although some items may be more expensive than where you are from, you can find most of your basic living items for purchase on St. Kitts. If there are personal items you know you will need while on the island, it may be more cost-effective to purchase and ship them to St. Kitts. We suggest packing a semester's supply of personal hygiene products/toiletries, linens, towels, and school supplies (binders, pencils, pens, markers, etc.). We also recommend bringing your bathroom supplies (mats and shower curtains), alarm clock with a back- up battery, flashlights, and desk lamp.
The Basics to Get You Started
- Bedding (sheets, comforters, blankets, mattress pad, foam top, etc.)
- Two pillows
- Bath mats
- Towels and washcloths
- Shower caddy
- UL-approved multiple outlets “power strip” with 6 ft or longer cord (one or two)
- Alarm clock
- Toilet paper (initial roll)
- Small all-in-one screwdriver kit
- Flashlight w/ extra batteries
- Mini sewing kit and safety pins
- Computer Ethernet cord
- Padlock for locker
- Cleaning supplies (brooms, mops, dustpans, etc.)
- Wine opener
- Dish towels and rags
- Re-mountable squares or hooks available from 3M for posters and pictures
- Games and cards
- Sports equipment
- Small rug or carpet remnant (apartment units are not carpeted)
- radio with batteries for use in the event of a hurricane
- Extension cords (bring UL-approved power safety strips instead).
- Octopus outlets/plugs (can cause fires when overloaded).
- Halogen lamps (can overheat and cause apartment fires).
- Shelves to mount on walls or ceilings (affixing furniture to the walls and ceilings in apartments is not allowed).
- Nails, masking/duct tape, double self-adhesive tape, and similar products for hanging pictures/posters on the walls and doors are not allowed. Use re-mountable squares or hooks available from 3M instead.
- While packing, please leave behind any Army-style clothing such as camouflage pants, hats, shirts, bags, jackets, etc. These are restricted items and will be confiscated by customs.
Where to buy household and personal items
There are places in downtown Basseterre that stock a variety of household items. Many of the items listed above including fans, Rubbermaid products, cooking items, hangers, shower curtains, linens, towels, etc., may be found in the following stores:
- Horsford’s Hardware Store
(behind Valu-Mart IGA)
- Horsford’s Home Valu
West Independence Square
- TDC Home & Building Depot
Frigate Bay Road
- Kassab’s Hardware (plastics store)
- Karibhana (adult, child, and household)
- Best Buy Supermarket Camps
MOVING TO ST. KITTS WITH YOUR PETS
You are welcome to bring your beloved pet to the island with you. The process may seem complicated and we recommend you read through all the information before you move. Pet rodents and rabbits pose a biosafety risk to the resident rodent species on campus. Students and colleagues working with these rodents are prohibited from housing and caring for pet rodents (e.g. mice/rats/hamsters/guinea pigs) and rabbits.
- Please email the Chief Veterinary Office at [email protected] for all pet importation questions.
- For information or assistance regarding service or emotional support animals, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services.
AA and Delta will transport crated pets, with a combined weight of up to 99 lbs. Amerijet transports live animals over 99 lbs. out of Miami International. Pet Limousine facilitates boarding and deliveries to Amerijet, if required.
For returning Ross Vet students who plan to leave St. Kitts with their pet(s), please read the information included in the links below regarding re-entry import protocols for pets.
Please note that the 7th-semester students moving out of St. Kitts have priority in booking flights for their pets. This is a professional courtesy that should be extended to them by other students.
Places of Worship
St. Georges Anglican Church, Basseterre 465-6691
Valley Baptist Church, Basseterre 466-9128
Catholic Church (East Independence Square) 465-2541
Basseterre Church of God 465-6380
Church of Christ 465-1372
New Testament Church of God 466-1904
Jehovah’s Witness, Basseterre 466-9518
Zion Moravian Church, Basseterre 465-2402
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 465-7767
Seventh-day Adventist, Basseterre 466-6417
Moving to St. Kitt's FAQs
When considering moving to St. Kitts, the island is relatively safe when compared to many other destinations.
The security team at Ross Vet goes above and beyond to monitor all areas where students live on the beautiful island of St. Kitts and are available by phone should there be any cause for distress. You are still encouraged to practice safety procedures and common sense like what you would do at home, giving utmost due diligence and care.
You will need a Visa when moving to St. Kitts if your stay is longer than 90 days.
Students will work with our Ross Vet school team to obtain a student visa. The list of required documents is provided after acceptance into the program. Family members living in St. Kitts with students will obtain a VIP visa with the help of our administrative staff as well.
You are moving abroad and living in St. Kitts. You will need to consider visa information and other required documents, shipping your belongings, banking, insurance coverage, and more.
Ross Vet’s team is here to help get you started.
For foreigners living in St. Kitts, expectations will depend on where you are coming from.
Living in St. Kitts is your opportunity to study and explore on a culturally distinct island rich with exotic wildlife.
The cost of living in St. Kitts will depend based on where you currently call home, but the exchange rate to compare is US dollar to East Caribbean dollar.
Nearly everything is available for purchase in St. Kitts. If there are personal items you know you will need while on the island, plan to bring them with you. Here is a full list of what to bring or skip.
Yes. When traveling to St. Kitts from the US, USD, and EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars are the currencies used in St. Kitts.