St Kitts Community
St. Kitts and her sister island, Nevis, compose the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis. St. Kitts has become the commonly used name for St. Christopher, and the people of St. Kitts are called Kittitians. English is the primary language, although Kittitians often speak a dialect called Patois.
The Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The British monarch is recognized as the head of state. The country became autonomous in 1967 and is led by a prime minister. The capital of St. Kitts is Basseterre.
The economy of St. Kitts traditionally was focused on sugar cane production. In recent years, tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have become the primary businesses.
St. Kitts offers many Western-style amenities, including resort hotels, excellent restaurants, movie theater, taxi services, stores for shopping and groceries, and houses of worship for a variety of religious beliefs.
The time observed is Atlantic Standard Time which is 4 hours behind Greenwich.
Daylight Savings Time is not observed.
Currency and Banking
The official currency in St. Kitts is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC). The conversion rate is approximately $2.70 E.C. for $1.00 U.S. Bank branches are easily found in Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts. Each bank provides 24-hour ATM services, and cash distributed by ATM is in EC dollars.The UMHS on-campus ATM is affiliated with Royal Bank of Canada.
The electricity in St. Kitts is 220 volts/60 cycles. American electricity is 110 volts/60 cycles. While many apartments use 110 volts, students may need converters for use with American appliances in off-campus apartments. Students should contact the UMHS Housing Department prior to arriving in St. Kitts to verify the voltage of their apartment. Electricity on the UMHS campus is 110 volts/60 cycles.
St. Kitts has supermarkets that are similar to smaller markets in the U.S. or Canada. There is a farmer's market open most Saturdays in Basseterre. There is also a fish market that has fresh catch daily in Basseterre.
St. Kitts Community
When students arrive for Orientation prior to first semester, the Welcoming Committee will explain telephone options. Cable and Wireless provides the only phone cards that work in St. Kitts.
Students might want to consider using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service provided by most U.S. telecommunications carriers and companies such as Vonage. In addition, there are computer-to-computer Internet telephone services such as Skype. Skype users may place calls at no cost to other Skype users.
In St. Kitts, everyone drives on the left. Road conditions in St. Kitts are significantly different than those in the U.S. or Canada. While roads are well paved, they may be narrow and poorly marked. Drivers often stop on the road to visit with other drivers, blocking at least one lane of traffic. When a driver honks a car horn, it is common form of greeting, not a warning.
Public transportation consists of minibuses and taxis. Because of the road conditions, the use of a motorcycle or scooter is not recommended.
We urge students to visit the following websites to get a better perspective on why St. Kitts is an amazaing place to live.