Before You Arrive – Practical Info

Before You Arrive – Practical Info

Orientation

Incoming students are to participate in a week-long orientation prior to the beginning of classes. The orientation gives students an opportunity to meet the dean and support staff , hear about academic policies, student activities and services offered by University. During this time students also should decide on preferred housing and organize their stay in Dominica. Dominica, called often the “Nature Island of the Caribbean” is an amazing place for hiking and a nature adventure. In your spare time you can experience many unforgettable encounters with nature.

In short, orientation is a good opportunity to begin to acclimate, organize, and have some fun before the start of classes. An additional orientation for spouses, significant others, parents and family members is also offered.

Housing

Saint Nicholas University: School of Veterinary Medicine will deliver to foreign students updated catalogue of recommended housing in greater Roseau, Dominica, We will also organize housing for your first week of arrival, so you have time to look around and select your preferred options in proximity to our campus. We will be happy to assist and advice as needed.

Climate and Dress

The climate in the Eastern Caribbean is semitropical, with temperatures ranging in the mid 80s to mid 90s (24 to 32 C) during the day, and the low 70s at night. Humidity levels average about 70-80 percent. Because of the warm climate, light cotton clothing is recommended. Showers occur quite often during summer and fall; therefore light rain gear is desirable. Casual clothes, such as shorts and sandals, are acceptable on campus. Appropriate, modest attire is expected in town and at some social events.

Travel

All students and other accompanying adults entering Dominica must have a valid passport from their home country. The government of Dominica further requires all adults entering the country for more than three weeks to submit a visa application prior to arrival. Accepted students should contact the Admissions Office for further information on obtaining a visa.

Please also check for current COVID-19 requirements and modified/limited travel schedules.

Air Travel

In order to comply with requirements set forth by the government of Dominica, all students living in Dominica are required to have a return airline ticket to their place of origin. Daily flights on several major carriers are available via Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Maarten, Barbados, and Guadeloupe. American Airlines/ Sea Borne has a direct route from Puerto Rico to Dominica. From other Caribbean islands, travel connections must be made via other carriers such as LIAT. There is also a ferry service from Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, to Dominica.

Local Transport

Public passenger vans (mini-bus) are a popular mode of local travel, picking up and dropping off passengers on request for a small, distance-related variable fee. Official taxi fares are posted at the airport and are listed in Eastern Caribbean (XCD) dollars. Some students decide to purchase an automobile; however, most students live within walking distance of the campus. Proof of a valid license, local temporary license and automobile or motorcycle insurance are required. All driving is on the left, and helmets are required for motorcycle riders.

Currency

Dominica uses Eastern Caribbean (XCD) currency, commonly referred to as EC dollars. The exchange rate officially hovers around 2.70 XCD dollars to 1 US dollar. Most business establishments readily accept US currency, but sometimes the exchange rate is lower than the official rate.

Banking

Students are recommended to open an account at one of the local banks, because local merchants will not accept personal checks drawn on American banks. Several major banks have branches located in Roseau and Portsmouth. Banks are closed on weekends, however several automatic teller machines (ATMs) are available through the center of Roseau. EC currency is distributed from most ATMs. Personal check deposits take three to four weeks before funds are available. Credit Cards are accepted in larger shops, usually with accompanying second ID. Cash remains most popular payment method in shops, services, and transportation. Having smaller notes/change is always appreciated.

Health

We have a medical doctor on campus available to assist. Several specialist doctors and dentists are also available in Roseau, with newly finished hospital offering emergency services. Pharmacies offer wide selection of over the counter and prescription medicines.
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