What To Expect:
So I wanted to give all of you a good idea of what to expect throughout the process of matriculating at Ross University. Unfortunately, my original post was lost as a result of not saving in my web browser, so I have to re-write the entire thing (trust me… I’ll save in word from now on)! I’ll give provide a brief synopsis until I can reconstruct the original text:
August – During this time you should prepare yourself for life on the island by securing the appropriate documentation, which is required for entry into the country. This includes the following: Passport, Immigration letter (sent to your house) and Acceptance letter (let your new student coordinator know if you do not have it).
What should I bring? I am a very minimalist packer and only believe in carrying what is absolutely necessary plus a few extra things in order to keep comfortable while away from home. Here is my version of the necessary articles I believe you will need on the island:
Outlet converter – You won’t need this unless you travel a lot. They sell a $6 EC converter here to help with EU to UK plug conversion, and because it is the same voltage, you don’t have to worry about internal transformers. However, if you are trying to use a US plug (120 volts) in a UK/EU plug (220 volts) make sure it has a transformer or you’ll have one destroyed piece of electronic equipment.
Space bags – Absolutely necessary. These are incredibly useful for packing dense items such as clothing and bedding.
Linens – Again, absolutely necessary. These are not provided.
Flashlight – For this item I think you need two things: 1. An LED light (they provide one here on your keychain but it’s nice to have another.) 2. A windable flashlight (just incase a power outage occurs and no extra batteries are available) I obtained a Brookstone one that works fairly well, but you are free to choose whichever one works for you.
Batteries – Definitely a necessity, as I’ve heard power goes out often (I’ll confirm this after a few weeks of living here)
Power strip – Absolutely necessary. A US one is more than adequate and will provide a great service to fellow students when you feel like sharing power in common areas.
Food – Bring your favorite conveniences from home. While they do sell some American products on the island, it can be incredibly expensive. I know for a fact I miss my favorite granola bars the most out of any other food I could have brought onto the island, so I’ll be bringing plenty back.
Headphones – Don’t disturb anyone, get a decent pair and they’ll serve you well for years to come.
Brita pitcher – You should definitely purchase one before you come because they are incredibly expensive on the island (around $60 USD). However, if you live on university-affiliated housing you will not need one as the water you’ll most likely be drinking is filtered. I honestly think if you really want to be smart about it, get a gallon jug and fill it on campus. DO NOT DRINK THE TAP WATER.
US Currency – Make sure to bring a few hundred dollars with you to cover your basic expenses when you first arrive on the island. Many of the markets accept the dollar and will give you a fair exchange. Keep in mind 1 USD = 2.6 EC (or so)
If nothing else (and you’re flying AA) make sure to keep the combined weight of two checked bags UNDER 70 lbs. I’ve heard of people getting away with 100 lbs, but have heard both at the ticket counter and on the phone that a strict limit of 70 lbs is imposed on travel into Dominica (and presumably other islands as well). Pack lightly and do not get burned!
That’s all I can think of for now, but I’ll be sure to add to the list to give you the absolute minimum amount you need in order to be safe and comfortable during your stay in Dominica.