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Entries from June 2019

  • The Job Search

    As in most other countries, working in the Dominican Republic requires some determination. Search local newspapers like the Listín Diario for job ads. They are usually listed under "Empleos" but may also be scattered all over the paper. Be sure to skim through the entire newspaper to avoid missing an interesting post. If you come across ads which do not specifically state what the job is about, you should be suspicious. More often than not, these ads are for rather dubious jobs. Your embassy or consulate, as well as your country's chamber of commerce, might also have a list of businesses and companies looking for employees from your home country.

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  • Dominican Republic's Economy

    It hasn't just been the tourism and travel sector but also the establishment of free trade zones that have given the economy a significant boost. The latter have attracted foreign investors, who have contributed to economic growth and created new jobs for locals and foreigners working in the Dominican Republic. These zones mostly focus on production in the fields of textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco products.

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  • Education for Expat Children

    If you are planning on living in the Dominican Republic with your family, you'll be happy to learn that there are plenty of educational opportunities for expat children. The many different multinational schools offer instruction in a variety of languages other than Spanish. Schools in the Dominican Republic are based on a Spanish educational model. Both English and French are taught as secondary languages on private and public schools. Haitian Creole is spoken by the population of Haitian origin. However, even at these schools, the majority of the student body might be Dominican, which usually means the language spoken during breaks is Spanish.

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  • Education in Dominican Republic

    The education system in the country is consisting of 3 main levels: primary, secondary, and higher. Education is free and mandatory from ages 5 to 14. Preschool is not mandatory and were presented in some areas. The different categories of secondary school are sixyear liceo (bachillerato certificate will be given after completion), polytechnics, teacher training and vocational schools. The Secretariat of State for Education and Culture oversees the entire primary and secondary schools. There are most likely 5,684 primary and 1,664 secondary schools.

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  • Travelling by Bus

    If you don't mind the longer travel times or have a closer destination in mind, buses are an alternative to flying or driving. There are a variety of long-distance bus companies offering connections to various locations around the island on a daily basis. Capital Coach Line, Caribe Tours, and Terra Bus are but a few. A trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for example, costs about USD 40 and takes between six and nine hours on a comfortable, air-conditioned coach.

    Aside from those mentioned, Expreso Santo Domingo Bávaro and Metro also offer domestic connections at reasonable prices. If you are on a backpacker’s budget, don’t mind a lack of luxury, or simply want a really authentic Dominican experience, you may want to give the Guaguas a try. 

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  • Travelling by Air

    Santo Domingo's Aeropuerto Internacional Las Américas is not only the biggest but also the most modern airport in the entire country. Aeropuerto Internacional Punta Cana, however, handles many more passengers, around five million per year. All in all, with Puerta Plata's Aeropuerto Internacional Gregorio Luperón and Santiago's Aeropuerto Internacional Cibao, there are four big airports that handle international flights and are serviced by big airlines. The flag carrier of the country is PAWA Dominicana; however, it does not operate domestic flights, but only handles flights to other Caribbean countries.

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  • Exploring the Dominican Republic by Car

    Do you plan on seeing a lot of your new home? Exploring the country by car is probably the best choice for most expats, as it offers the highest degree of flexibility. If you prefer not to buy a car, you can always rent one. Be sure to inquire about the insurance policy: which damages it covers exactly and how high the deductible (i.e. the sum you pay out of your own pocket) is. These questions are important because the road conditions are, in fact, not always great. A flat tire is one of the most common types of car trouble. Should this happen to you, try to get your vehicle to a gomera, a tire repair and retail shop.

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  • Safety in the Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic is friendly and welcoming and the vast majority of visits to the country are trouble-free. However, there is a high crime rate, ranging from opportunistic crime like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing to violent crime. But when you think of the Dominican Republic, you may associate it with relatively unsafe countries in the region, like Jamaica, Venezuela, or Colombia. Even though the DR is safer than those countries, the threat of crimes remains high, so make sure to be aware of the most common crimes.

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  • Tropical Storms in the Dominican Republic

    Tropical storms and hurricanes are a serious concern for those living in the Caribbean. These storms can cause serious damage and injury and are a threat which is not to be taken lightly. The main hurricane season is from June to November, with peak times from late August to the end of September. The last hurricane that hit the country was Hurricane Sandy in 2014. It was very powerful and deadly, and it is advised to be always prepared for a storm warning. Generally, you should find out if a tropical storm is approaching via different news media. Keep your eyes open for alerts (alerta) and approaching storms (aviso).

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  • Necessary Vaccinations and Precautions

    As is always the case when you move to a Caribbean country, living in the Dominican Republic requires expats to take care of vaccinations and immunizations if they want to stay healthy. Aside from routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, and rubella, as well as diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, there are other health precautions you need to keep in mind. Hepatitis A and B should by now be a standard vaccination for expats who travel abroad a lot to lesser developed countries. If you also plan on spending a decent amount of time outside the cities exploring rural areas and smaller towns of the Dominican Republic, typhoid and rabies vaccinations are definitely recommended.

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  • Dominican Medical Services

    In terms of medical services, the Dominican Republic is not far behind other developed countries and even offers far better services than other Caribbean nations in some areas. Its excellent reputation in the field of laparoscopic laser surgery and dentistry, for instance, attracts patients from the Virgin Islands, the Lesser Antilles, and other Caribbean countries who wish to take advantage of the high-quality care. However, most of these high-quality services are offered by private clinics which are well staffed and have the newest equipment. Fees range from DOP 400 to DOP 3,000 — around 65 USD — for the first visit, depending on the clinic. Make sure that your insurance covers treatments at these hospitals.

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