I am the type of person that hates answering the same questions over and over and over again. This is why I try to send out large amounts of information in mass emails or announcements. Thus, the following post. Enjoy.
Where are you going?
We are moving to the island of St. Kitts, part of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is a little island, about 50 square miles, south of Puerto Rico. It is toward the top of the chain of tiny islands that snakes from Puerto Rico to the top of South America.
When are you leaving?
We fly out this Saturday morning, April 27, from the Nashville airport. (Yes, that’s THIS coming Saturday morning.)
How long is the flight?
The flight from Charlotte, NC, to Basseterre, St. Kitts, takes about four hours.
How long will you be there?
A total of two years and three months, which is seven Ross semesters. We will be coming home for Christmas breaks, the first of which starts December 14. We will be get three weeks of vacation then.
Why are you going there?
The Mister is going to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. We chose that school because they have different admissions standards than state-side schools, the Mister’s application was more competitive there, giving him a better chance of being accepted. (A related question: Why didn’t you just go to Knoxville? Answer: Think about this logically. Don’t you think, if we had gotten into the school at Knoxville, that we would be going to Knoxville? I’m just sayin’.)
Can people come and visit you?
I always want to say, “No, it’s a closed country and they don’t allow visitors,” but the more polite, less sarcastic answer is “yes.”
What will you be doing while you’re there?
I won’t be able to have a “real” brick and mortar job because of the employment laws in St. Kitts. Outside of the tourist areas, it is still largely considered to be a third-world country, which means they only give jobs to natives, unless you have some specialized skill that the natives cannot provide. It is highly unusual for any student spouses to find local jobs, although some are able to work for American countries over the internet. This is what I will be doing, working on some technical writing for my dad, who is redesigning his publishing company. It’s not much, but it will at least be a little income and something to keep me busy. One of my biggest pet peeves with this move is all the people who start apologizing that I’m not going to have work. What a way to not only make me feel bad about the next three years of my life, but also make my husband feel bad about taking me with him. Thanks.
Do you have a job waiting for you?
My mom insists that there are no stupid questions. I disagree. Ok, maybe let’s not call this a “stupid question,” but at least one that the asker did not take time to think about before asking. I have never been to this country. I had never heard of this country until a few months ago. I don’t know anyone from this country. No, I do not have a job waiting for me.
Is it expensive?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: No, it’s just like moving across the street. We’re going to a foreign country. An island. That involves a plane ticket and the importation of most goods. So let’s think about this for a minute…
Will you have internet or phones?
Yes, both. We will be able to communicate with friends and family through facebook, skype, Apple facetime, phone calls and text messages, as well as written letters. This is not World War I.
Will you have a cell phone?
The Mister will, at least. The school provides each student with a phone to make local calls and pay-as-you-go international calls, although we will use our Vonage-type phone system more often.
Where will you be living?
Students live on campus in dorm-style apartments for the first semester (three months). After that, we will have to find off-campus housing, but they give you a list of options from school-approved landlords so it’s not like they just throw you out into the cold to find something completely on your own. Which I am grateful for.
What do they use for money?
American dollars and Eastern Caribbean dollars. One American dollar is equal to approximately 2.6 Eastern Caribbean dollars.
What is the dominant language?
English, although many natives also speak something called Antillian Creole, which I’ve read is a mixture of Creole, Spanish and French with Jamaican influences.
If you have any questions NOT listed here, or would like further explanation on a listed question (not easily found on Wikipedia), feel free to ask! 🙂