University of Medicine and Health Sciences

    Student Life /
    Life in St. Kitts

    Island living

    St. Kitts offers our motivated medical students an ideal mix of sanctuary and adventure. On the stunningly beautiful island UMHS calls home, you can focus on your coursework free from the distractions of your regular life, while still enjoying the many benefits of island life. 

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    Local Amenities

    St. Kitts offers many of the same amenities and luxuries that can be found in the U.S.. There are supermarkets, chic restaurants, nightclubs, laundromats, banks, and even a movie theatre. There are also resort hotels, high-end stores, and a variety of houses of worship. Public transportation is widespread, with buses and taxis operating throughout the island.

    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.

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    Speak with a UMHS ambassador

    Learn more about life on St. Kitts by speaking with a current UMHS student or alumnus who can share their experiences with you.

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    Government

    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.

    Economy

    Historically, the economy of St. Kitts was focused on sugarcane production. In recent years, tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have become the primary businesses.

    Time

    The time observed is Atlantic Standard Time, which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Saving 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 the Royal Bank of Canada.

    Electricity

    The electricity in St. Kitts is 220 volts/60 cycles. American electricity is 110 volts/60 cycles. While many apartments use 110 volts, you may need converters for use with American appliances in off-campus apartments. Contact the UMHS Housing Department prior to arriving in St. Kitts to verify the voltage of your apartment. Electricity on the UMHS campus is 110 volts/60 cycles.

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    UMHS students shopping at Ram's supermarket in St. Kitts

    Supermarkets

    St. Kitts has supermarkets that are similar to smaller markets in the U.S. or Canada. In Basseterre, there is a farmer's market open most Saturdays and a fish market that sells daily fresh catches.

     

    Communications

    When students arrive for orientation prior to the first semester, the Welcoming Committee will explain telephone options. Cable and Wireless provides the only phone cards that work in St. Kitts. Each student receives an island phone with a local phone card during orientation. Many students also rely on VoIP or web-based video conferencing services such as Vonage or Skype to keep in touch with friends and family back home.