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Thread: ?s about moving to Santo Domingo this summer

  1. #1
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    Wink ?s about moving to Santo Domingo this summer

    Hello Everyone~

    I am moving to the DR within the next couple of months, but I still have some unresolved questions I hope you can help with. Any aspect you can comment on would be really helpful! I'm also looking to make some friends before I go! Thanks

    I will give you some lengthy background info:
    I'm a 23 year old graduate student studying international development. I am hoping to get an internship with a US development agency in Santo Domingo, but I won't know until they contact me. The position with them runs from July - December. They don't pay interns, so I will be using my school loans for that semester and money I've saved up over the next two months to travel to and live in the DR. (The masters program I am in now is online.)

    If I don't get the internship, I'm moving anyway, to just get away and be with my boyfriend for a few months. While I am there I will keep looking for other paid or unpaid positions in development. A major reason I decided to do this is because future International Development Internships will look for people who have worked abroad. I have previously worked in Haiti doing short term projects (1 week, 2 weeks). So I figure get the experience and live near my bf for the same or less than living here (in Washington DC area where rent alone for a 1 bedroom is $700 in the most roach infested area).

    My boyfriend is Haitian but has a Dominican residence and speaks Kreyol/Spanish as his native tongues, French fluently, and is proficient in English. I speak English and can communicate moderately in French. He's teaching me Kreyol and Spanish. He lives with his family, and despite their objections, I am going to rent an apartment on my own. I don't know what social class to put them in but they are not wealthy. Even though I don't right now, I am used to living poor and was content enough in Haiti, but I discovered mosquito protection & a good shower or bath outside of a bucket is something I value in a long term living situation. (i am mentioning this because i want to live on a budget)

    I'm vegan (fruits, veggies, beans) & I have 2 medium sized dogs I probably have to bring. I have a strong background as a veterinary technician. I also am advanced in website building and stuff like that.

    A lot of my uncertainty comes from the pending internship decision, but I still have a few questions.

    Does anyone have experience bringing your pets with you? I calculated it would cost about $2000 roundtrip including vet stuff which I can get at work for free. That's about $330/month, which is less than paying someone to dogsit for 6 months.

    If I got the internship, I'd like to keep bringing in some income -- do those weekend english-teaching jobs pay enough to go out once in a while? (considering I don't speak Spanish and don't have TESOL accreditation) Is it possible to find a job working with/caring for animals?

    If I don't get the internship, what type of work I can do in Santo Domingo with people who speak English? This site listed a few but I want to hear about your experiences. My boyfriend assures me there is, but he's biased because he doesn't want me to change my mind! I've looked into usa government jobs and will keep looking as the summer advances, but since this will be short term I'd rather find something else, like a local business or self employment.

    Can I find a good apartment that accepts pets for around $400 including utilities? I know my bf thinks thats a lot and most Dominicans dont pay that much, but I am wondering will I have a dependable shower and be near public transportation? The internship is near the US embassy & I dont mind travelling up to 30 minutes. (Does anyone live near there?) I know the DR isn't like Haiti but I still don't know what kind of accommodations to expect for what price. I don't need to have fancy things or a lot of space but that shower is key!

    I do have other questions that will probably arise . . . but that was long enough!
    Last edited by blackisback; 05-09-2010 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Okay, thanks. I looked over the residency process and its not something I really want to do in the near future. Unless I can babysit or dogsit or something like that, I'll look into other methods to bring in income.

  3. #3
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    Edit...if I fly with my dogs instead of shipping them, the price will be $600 roundtrip

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