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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 the island as smooth as possible, from visa information and required documents, to shipping, banking, insurance coverage, and more:
Student Passport & Visa Information
For a legal extended stay in St. Kitts, you must have your passport stamped with the appropriate student visa from the St. Kitts government. The government of St. Kitts, with Ross Vet’s support to facilitate the internal coordination process, will process the Student Visa in prior to the visa stamp’s expiration date in the student’s passport from when the student first arrives. Immigration in St. Kitts usually allows 30 days when you enter the country for Ross Vet to act. When you arrive in St. Kitts, you will need to present your immigration letter, a round-trip airline ticket (for e-tickets, a printout will suffice), and your passport. You must show proof of a return date ticket of an open ended ticket or no earlier than the end of the first semester. The semester ends on the Thursday of final exam week for first semester students and for Vet Prep students on the Monday of the final exam week.
Ross Vet will liaise with the authorized St. Kitts government authority in the submission of your visa application. For any questions, reach out to Colleen Govia in the RUSVM Housing Office.
Spouses and Partners
- Children aged between 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$75.00 annually. The Preparatory School will submit all required information on your behalf.
- Children under the age of five 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, located in Tegreman Hall 111.
Traveling to St Kitts
Whether you are a new Ross Vet student or a guest of a new or current student, this section contains information on passports and other required and/or helpful documents associated with moving to or visiting St. Kitts.
For questions, email the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Housing Office. It is important to tell the St. Kitts Campus Living Office of your travel plans well in advance so that we can coordinate the activities of the orientation leaders who will greet you upon arrival.
Students are asked to arrive on the dates that are outlined in their Admissions enrollment letter. Arrange for a flight for one of these four dates only as 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 you have to change your travel plans at the last minute, you must let the St. Kitts Campus Living Office know of your new travel plans so that we can arrange to meet you at the airport. Please email [email protected] with flight changes.
The main airlines that service flights to St. Kitts include US Airways, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines. US Airways has a direct flight from Charlotte, NC, every Saturday; Delta Airlines from Atlanta every Saturday (only in the season, so check with the airlines first); and American Airlines has direct flights from Miami and New York. There are also connecting flights from Puerto Rico and St. Maarten through their affiliates, Seaborne airlines and LIAT.
Be vigilant as you leave the customs area. Orientation leaders and professional staff will be available to assist you. The area is often crowded, so take a few minutes to look for the Ross Vet representative wearing a shirt with a Ross Vet logo and holding a Ross Vet placard. 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 take you to your accommodations. We are unable to transport family members who are not staying on the island with you as seating is limited. However, please let us know the number of people traveling with you in advance. If your family member(s) will be renting a car, please let us know in advance as well.
Upon arrival, new students are greeted at the airport by professional staff from the Department of Housing and Orientation Leaders. Students receive a welcome packet, are transported with their luggage to their new island residence to settle in and are taken to grocery stores and other businesses. They are also given an island tour along with many social opportunities at beaches and restaurants to interact with other new students throughout the week.
As a way to continue to build strong relationships between new students and to offer additional opportunities for them 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.
Ross Vet Family Specials
Always identify yourself as a Ross Vet member and ask for a discount at local stores and restaurants.
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
Email: [email protected]
- St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino
- Sugar Bay Club
Email: [email protected]
- Ocean Terrace Inn
800-524-0512800-524-0512 / 869-465-2754
Email: [email protected]
- Royal St. Kitts Hotel
Email: [email protected]
Bed & Breakfast
One mile from RUSVM
Email: [email protected]
Turtle Beach House
Car Rental Offices in St. Kitts
- Avis Rent A Car
- C&C Economy Car Rental
- G&L Car Rentals (rental for persons aged under 25 years)
- Thrifty Car Rental
- Bullseye Car Rental
The currency in St. Kitts is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD)
The exchange rate is pegged (fixed) with the United States dollar, and the exchange rate is US$1.00 = EC$2.70.US dollars are accepted, but local currency is used by those who live here.
Please bring Travelers Checks to use for your initial deposit. Cashier's checks and personal checks are accepted, however they are subject to a 6-week hold before the funds are released. You will also need two valid forms of ID:
- Your passport
- One government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license
- An introductory letter from the RUSVM Housing Office verifying that you are a student
There are several banks in St. Kitts and which one you choose is up to you. Republic Bank has an ATM machine on campus, and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has an ATM machine near campus. Republic Bank and RBC are also the only banks that honor RUSVM financial aid checks immediately. In order to acquire a new bank account, we have arranged for both banks to be available during One Stop in our orientation program during your first week in St. Kitts. We will send you additional information that will assist you in setting up your account prior to your arrival. Bank of America ATM cards may be used on island at the Scotiabank ATM on campus as an alternate to your banking cash needs. ATM/Debit card are accepted at stores in St. Kitts. Other cards with the CIRRUS or 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.
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.
The Circus - Downtown 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
Pelican Mall - Downtown - 869-465-2204
Medical insurance coverage is a requirement while at Ross Vet. If you opt not to be insured under the RUSVM 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 prior to registration).
The welcome package that you will receive from the Admissions Office has enclosed a Ross Vet Insurance Coverage Package, which provides you with the choice of purchasing subscription in lieu of another medical insurance program from the United States. Please refer to the Student-Insurance for further information on Insurance Coverage at Ross Vet. To ensure all students meet insurance coverage requirements, you will be automatically enrolled for coverage if you have not selected from the two options.
We highly recommend that spouses and children who will be accompanying you either subscribe to the Ross Vet Insurance policy (if you the student have opted to use our policy) or subscribe to or use an insurance company that offers coverage outside of the mainland of the United States. It is recommended that significant others and fiancés are medically covered with private medical insurance while on the island.
Proof of your valid insurance other than the Ross Vet policy is required prior to registration of your spouse/significant other/finance.
- There are no doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies that are contracted with any insurance company. This means that all services must be paid for with cash, check, or credit card.
- A doctor's office visit requires payment at the end of the visit. Laboratory tests, x-rays, etc. must be paid for in advance, whether done in the hospital or at the laboratory located in town. Elective hospital admissions require a deposit for a five day stay (usually about EC$1,250). The hospital also requires at additional charges to be paid upon discharge. As in North America, special tests, x-rays, etc are charged separately.
- Your policy has a US$500 yearly deductible which means that you should submit all claims for doctors' visits. After your deductible has been met you will be reimbursed for any additional charges as long as they are covered under your policy.
Please contact Student Health Services for additional information on medical insurance or medical care in St. Kitts: [email protected]
Please make sure you insure your personal valuables. This might include your computers, cameras, and whatever else you deem to be valuable. If you have insurance at home, check to see if the coverage extends to your residence outside of the country. In the case where you need to purchase this insurance locally, we will have enclosed the rates for such insurance in the orientation package you receive upon arrival here in St. Kitts. SNIC the only insurance company that covers personal valuables will be on Campus for our One Stop orientation for new students.
Driving and Vehicles
You must obtain a St. Kitts driver's license to drive in St. Kitts. 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 driver's license from your home country.
- The charge for a license is: three months = EC$62.50 (US$24); one year = EC$125.00 (US$48). You must remember to renew the license every year.
You may not drive without a license in St. Kitts. If you are caught driving without a 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.
The 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 and how they affect you. Please also be familiar with the Summary of Offenses Under the Vehicle and Road Traffic Act.
EC $150 Penalty - driving unlicensed or unregistered vehicle, driving without or expired license, repairing a vehicle in street
EC $100 Penalty - driving at night with missing headlamp or rear lighting, failure to comply with traffic sign direction, failing to comply with lawful direction of member of Police, overcrowding a vehicle, failure to pull-over for emergency vehicle, parking in no parking zone, failure to stop at intersection, failure to display license sticker on 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 also 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. The realistic cost for a used car in St. Kitts is in the US $4,500 - US$7,000 range. At the end of each semester, there are many student cars for sale on campus during Orientation Week. Your orientation leader will also have recommendations about where to purchase affordable secondhand cars and mechanics to use.
If purchasing a car from a private individual, the following steps should be taken:
When the seller is on island:
The Declaration of Transfer form (obtained at the Housing Office) must be completed by both the seller and the buyer. The seller must accompany the buyer to the Traffic Department with the Declaration of Transfer form. The Traffic Department is located: 1st left past the hospital, 2nd right, building on left towards end of the road.
The buyer must present the authorized stamped Declaration of Transfer form when purchasing vehicular insurance. SNIC NAGICO and ICWI are popular insurance companies among students. Within 7 days of visiting the Traffic Department the vehicle ownership must be transferred into the new owner’s name at the Inland Revenue Department.
When the seller is off island:
- The Declaration of Transfer form (obtained at the Housing Office) must be completed by both the seller and the buyer.
- Do not date the document.The seller must contact the Housing Department (via email) to indicate: 1). the name of the person who will be purchasing the vehicle and 2). to indicate that the vehicle has been paid in full.The buyer must bring the completed Declaration of Transfer form to the Housing Department. A letter will be prepared and given to the buyer.
- The buyer must go to the Traffic Department with both the Declaration of Transfer form and the letter from the Housing Department.
- The buyer must present the authorized stamped Declaration of Transfer form when purchasing vehicular insurance. SNIC NAGICO and ICWI are popular insurance companies among students.
- Within 7 days of visiting the Traffic Department vehicle ownership must be transferred to the new owner’s name at the Inland Revenue Department.
When purchasing a vehicle, if the wheel tax has expired visit anyone of the following for inspection:
Hanley’s Automotive Engineering Co. Ltd. – Bird Rock – 869-465-0545
Huggins Auto Service & Rental – Bay Road – 869-465-8080
Automotive Art – Frigate Bay Road – 869 465-7105
A listing of car dealerships (with new and used cars) is listed below. Car rental agencies (E.g. Avis, Thrifty, G&L, Hertz, Delisle Walwyn and Huggins Auto Service & Rental) where cars may be available for sale. 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 of 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. Renting long-term should be verified by the Housing Department for authenticity.
You will need to insure your car at one of the many insurance companies in St. Kitts. Please note that premiums are based on: chassis and engine number, engine size, and driver's age. It will be beneficial if you brought along a letter of fitness from your previous car insurance agency, stating current percent of no claim discount for the local company to assign a reduced rate to your new policy.
SNIC - St. Kitts-Nevis Insurance Co.
Central St. – 869 465-2845
ICWI – The Insurance Company of the West Indies
1c Bird Rock – 869 466-2490
National Caribbean Insurance Co.
Church St. – 869 465-5345
S. L.Horsford and Co., Ltd.
West Independence Square – 869 465-2616
Delisle Walwyn & Co., Ltd.
Liverpool Row – 869 465-2631
Automobile Parts, Repair Centers & Automobile Dealerships
Listed below are automobile parts/repair centers, automobile dealerships, and rental car agencies in St. Kitts. There are also many local independent mechanics. Always get a committed estimate before getting any work done and insist on a phone call to advise you if the work is going to exceed the agreed amount.
Myron Liburd Auto Repairs
Ponds Industrial Site (Bay Road)
General auto repairs, body work
Huggins Auto Service & Rental
Vehicle Inspection, General auto repairs, Wrecker Services
Sylvester Thomas Auto Repairs
General auto repairs
Gordon Manufacturing Enterprises
Ponds Industrial Site
Radiator & muffler specialists
Island Auto Parts
Shipping & Mailing
As a service to Ross Vet students, regular postage stamps may be purchased and letters may be mailed in Student Services in the new Student Union building. Student mail can also be picked up from Student Services in the Student Union 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 ensure it is sent c/o the student.
Post Office Box 334
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Basseterre, ST Kitts
sent via parcel post, courier, or shipping company
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 students will be made through their “rossvet.edu.kn” email. You will need to pick up the notification in Student Services in the Student Union prior to 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 US via airmail is $.90 EC
- Postcards to US via airmail is $.80 EC
- Parcel & Post Office Pick-up hours are:Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Federal Express, CAP Industrial Site, 465-4155, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- DHL, Bay Road, 466-0553, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- UPS, CAP Industrial Site, 465-8753, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Your initial entry to St. Kitts we recommend the following methods of shipping your personal items:
If you 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 back track and let you know when you should have your personal items ready for shipping. It is much easier if this is done so that your shipment arrives within a few days of your arrival and not weeks before or after. Do not write on containers or indicate your contents to contain "personal belongings/items." Since 09/11 shippers are not allowed to ship anything under this title especially by air.
Woodsrite Enterprises- Bird Rock, St. Kitts, West Indies - Mr. C. Woods
e-mail: [email protected]
KDP Enterprises Inc - R.L.B. Int'l Airport, Basseterre, St. Kitts - Mr. Earl Hodge
e-mail: [email protected]
You may clear your own goods through customs at the sea port or airport terminal and arrange your own transportation to your home around your class schedule. It is a very busy time and you will spend at least several hours completing paperwork. We recommend that you look at the option of engaging a broker here on island. Advise the broker you are an incoming RUSVM student, and a discount here on island will be afforded you. If you contact the broker beforehand the arrangements could be made to have the shipment collected and delivered to your home upon your arrival.
Your shipment should be addressed:
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
c/o BROKER'S Name
These companies all ship to St. Kitts, the packages arrive very quickly, and they offer tracking numbers. But, 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 and inexpensive way for family and friends to send your favorite food/items while you are here in St. Kitts.
The initial entry of students, faculty & staff who will be residing on St. Kitts may import the following articles with the applicable duty & tax identified in each category. These articles should have been in your domestic possession for a period of not less than one (1) year.
Used Personal and Household Effects (including electronic items and cameras)
Exempt from import duty, VAT & custom service charge. (Referred to in the rest of this document as duty & tax). These articles are brought with you to facilitate the movement of persons setting up for living purposes.
Articles Of Transport – Used and New
Approximately 53% duty & tax on depreciated value of bicycles & motorized cycles.
Approximately 75% duty & tax on the value of the vehicle. Proof of purchase & ownership required.
Between approximately US$370 (new) to a maximum of US$1850 (4 years and more) environmental tax on all vehicles.
Articles Used in Educational Studies as approved by the competent Authority on Form (C101)
Text books – 6% custom service charge.
All other educational articles - 48% duty & tax
Groceries – Food stuff
66 lbs (30 kg) Exempt from duty & tax.
Over 66 lbs (30 kg) – Approximately 53% duty & tax
Traveling with computer no charge
Importing computer 23% VAT and customs service charge
Reasonable usage – Exempt from duty & tax
Excessive amounts– Approximately 53% duty & tax
Live Animals in as Cargo
23% charge based on the CIF cost to ship pet down
Air Cargo & forms charge, usually no more than EC$30.
What you import as personal effects should be deemed as necessary to making your stay on St. Kitts pleasurable. It is always a good rule to be polite to the Custom Officers.
What to Bring and What Not to Bring to St. Kitts
You can find many basic living items 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.
Although the Campus Living Residences are supplied with many daily necessities, you may want to consider bringing/shipping or purchasing upon arrival some additional items for your first semester or subsequent semesters living off-campus. If you decide to ship items, you are strongly encouraged to hire a broker since the Housing Office will not be able to assist you in transporting shipped items from port to campus. Remember, nearly everything is available for purchase in St. Kitts. Make good decisions and keep your shipping expenses as low as possible.
Bedding for full-size mattress (sheets, comforters, blankets, mattress pad, foam top etc.)
Towels and washcloths
UL-approved multiple outlets “power strip” with 6 ft or longer cord (one or two)
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.)
For the Kitchen
Dish towels and rags
Other kitchen utensils not provided
To Personalize Your Living Space
Re-mountable squares or hooks available from 3M for posters and pictures
Games and cards
Small rug or carpet remnant (apartment units are not carpeted)
Flashlight and radio with batteries for use in the event of a hurricane.
Where to buy household & personal items
There are many places in downtown Basseterre that stock a variety of household items. Fans, Rubbermaid products, cooking items, hangers, shower curtains, linens, towels, etc., may be found in these stores. These stores include:
- 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 (household goods up
- 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.
Buying large ticket items before you arrive in St. Kitts and shipping or bringing them with you may be more cost effective. We suggest packing a semester's supply of personal hygiene products/toiletries, your own personal linens, towels, and school supplies including binders, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, etc. We also recommend bringing your own cutlery, shower curtains, bath mats, alarm clocks with a back up battery, flashlights, and desk lamp. While packing, please leave behind any Army-style clothing such as camouflage pants, hats, jackets, etc. These are restricted items and will be confiscated by customs.
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
Jehovahs 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. Kitts with your Pets
The process of bringing your pet with you when you first move to St. Kitts may seem complicated; however, by reading through the information provided below and reviewing the required forms, you should soon have a good handle on the process.
- Please email the Chief Veterinary Office at [email protected] if you have any questions.
- For information or assistance regarding other types of animals, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services by emailing [email protected].
AA and Delta will transport a limited number of cabin pets and a limited number of checked pets (maximum checked kennel size–LARGE-and the combined kennel and checked pet weight cannot exceed 99lbs). The carriers operate on a first come first service basis. Amerijet, transports live animals, small and over 99lbs, out of Miami International. Pet Limousine facilitates boarding and deliveries to Amerijet if required.
For returning Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine students who plan to leave St. Kitts with their pet(s), please read the information included in the link 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.