The new semester is approaching and by now new students should already have turned in all the papers to the Chicago office, no exceptions. If you haven’t turned in all your immigration papers already to the Chicago office, then expect immigration approval delays or other issues on Bonaire. Chicago representatives may tell you that it’s ok after you turn in your papers after their deadline, but we’re students in Bonaire, and we know the hell that our classmates have to go through because they were late.
One of my friends didn’t make any calls or did not contact anyone in Bonaire; he just showed up and he suffered a lot. I have made a check list of all the things you should consider for the first two weeks of Bonaire.
1. Book your airline tickets now, try making it on a Sunday. On Fridays you have limited time to go around because most places are closed in the weekends, especially all the Banks.
2. Book you hotel room. It’s urgent that you reserve your hotel room. Don’t ever expect for a vacant hotel room. Remember you will be coming in the same time as other MD students and tourists so those rooms will go by fast. I personally recommend Divi Flamingo Hotel because I stayed there and I loved it.
3. Most flights from USA/Canada arrive in the weekends so get enough personal items to last for the weekend. For example, small tooth paste, snacks, etc. Eating out, is very expensive so keep that in mind.
4. Get yourself an unlocked quad-band GSM phone, trust me you will need it. A quad-band is like the Motorola RAZR or the Apple iPhone.
5. On Monday morning get a pre-paid Digicel or a Chippi GSM card and load it up on your cell phone.
6. On Monday morning or anytime during the week, come and stop by the student lounge. You will meet current students and new MD students from your class. Trust me, unless you’ve came to Bonaire before, you will not know your way.
7. And about the housing issue, don’t waste your time or money calling landlords from USA/Canada. First come to the island and then call them because they will not take you seriously unless you are on the island.
Updated (8-17-10) : No SGA members will be on the island during the break so no rides will be available. Also, they didn’t get the funding to rent cars and pay for gas.