Relocating to the DR in 2011 - all info is appreciated!

MovingToDR2011

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Mar 29, 2010
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Hello,

My name is Linda and I'm looking to move to the Dominican Republic in August (ish) of 2011. Along with me I'll also be bringing my two sons, one aged 14 and the other aged 22. The eldest will finish university next May and can speak semi-reasonable Spanish and the youngest will be learning it for a year at school as well as help from the older brother no doubt.

We have been to the Dominican Republic before and stayed in Puerto Plata and liked the area and the town etc and as such are looking at this as being a place we would like to move to. This is taking into account that we would like to be on the north of the island and also the lower number of ex-pats than in other cities/towns in the north.

We really need information about schools for a monolingual 14 year old - as I mentioned he will study Spanish next year at school but I don't think that at his age putting him into a Spanish speaking or bilingual school would be in his best interests with it being so close to his final exams when we finally move out there. So any information on English speaking schools in the Puerto Plata area would be extremely useful.

We also need information on reputable estate agents in the area if anyone knows of some. This would alleviate any stress or worry that we have chosen one who is not as clean cut as he or she first appears.

We are planning an 'exploratory' trip out in August of this year to the Puerto Plata area so if anyone knows of someone who will rent a room or two out to myself and my two sons for 2 weeks at the end of August 2010 it would be greatly appreciated! This trip is partly to view areas and get a general feel of the place but also to see general costs of day to day living in a non-hotel enviroment.

We are looking to rent for about 6 months to a year when we first arrive and then look at purchasing a house towards the end of that - we think this is probably the best way of going about it but if anyone has any other ideas please share!

I suppose for now that is it, but like I said any information etc would be useful and greatly appreciated. Plus any additional information that you think is important then please let us know!

Thank you in advance :D

Speak soon,
Linda (and the kids)
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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I think the only option for your son will be the International School in Sosua that has already been mentioned. By choosing Puerto Plata as your place to live, that would limit you to Spanish only schools within Puerto Plata.

Good luck with your transition and keep in mind there will be those that might question the sanity of such a move as you described, but life is an adventure so live it as you see fit.

There is transportation between the International School and Puerta Plata for the students. Many in fact live in Puerta Plata.
 

cobraboy

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Are you coming because of some guy who lives in POP?

Have you been to any other areas of the country?
 
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MovingToDR2011

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Are you coming because of some guy who lives in POP?
No.

Have you been to any other areas of the country?

We have so far only visited places in the north although when we go in August we are going to travel around and speak to people to get their opinions on different areas. Saying that based on what we have read/seen so far we think the north would provide the lifestyle we are looking for.

Any information about different areas here would be useful - basics: we don't want to live in a large city (SD or Santiago) and we don't want to live in areas over-populated by tourists or expats (I know that Puerto Plata does have a lot of both but apparently it is not saturated with either in the way some other places are).

Obviously we are flexible and our hearts aren't "set" on Puerto Plata but somewhere like that is what we think would be good for us but of course you guys know more about the places than we do!

Thanks for all of the other information - I will be e-mailing the Sosua school shortly requesting being able to visit them in August.

Please keep the information coming!

Linda
 

jrhartley

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hmmm so you want a place not saturated by expats but with an English speaking school. you may have a problem there

Whats wrong with expats by the way- you just have to be careful with them like everyone else
 
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ExtremeR

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If you were moving alone all by yourself then the north coast would've been fine. But you're moving with your 2 sons one of which has to start college. With that being said the North Coast is NOT the best place for you to move in.

While you would love to be in walking distance from the beach, several needs that you and your son's will find would be better suit in one of the 2 biggest cities: Santo Domingo or Santiago. Both cities are within 1 hour of a nice beach and they have every perks any big city in Europe or USA can offer.

I would advice you to travel the whole country when you come in your "exploratory" trip.

Good luck with your plans!!
 

bob saunders

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If you were moving alone all by yourself then the north coast would've been fine. But you're moving with your 2 sons one of which has to start college. With that being said the North Coast is NOT the best place for you to move in.

While you would love to be in walking distance from the beach, several needs that you and your son's will find would be better suit in one of the 2 biggest cities: Santo Domingo or Santiago. Both cities are within 1 hour of a nice beach and they have every perks any big city in Europe or USA can offer.

I would advice you to travel the whole country when you come in your "exploratory" trip.

Good luck with your plans!!

One is finishing university not starting.
 

MovingToDR2011

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If you were moving alone all by yourself then the north coast would've been fine. But you're moving with your 2 sons one of which has to start college. With that being said the North Coast is NOT the best place for you to move in.

While you would love to be in walking distance from the beach, several needs that you and your son's will find would be better suit in one of the 2 biggest cities: Santo Domingo or Santiago. Both cities are within 1 hour of a nice beach and they have every perks any big city in Europe or USA can offer.

I would advice you to travel the whole country when you come in your "exploratory" trip.

Good luck with your plans!!
My eldest son will have finished university by the time we move to the DR. Why is the North Coast not the best place for us to move? I like the opinions but if you could please give some reasons then I can apply those reasons to other situations/places we might be looking at.

We don't want to live in a city - I think I have stated this already. We aren't fussy about specifically where we want to live (location on the island-wise) but we don't want to live in a (large) city.

What needs that me and my sons will need are these? I can't think of any but obviously someone who already lives there will know these more than me. (That wasn't meant to sound as sarcastic as it did in type :) )

Hmmm re: the ex-pat/tourist thing obviously we don't mind ex-pats (we will be ex-pats ourselves!) but I have read that in some areas there are such a high number of them and they are of a certain "character". This is not a massive point one way or the other just I would like to live in a place where there is a good mix of locals and ex-pats.

Someone mentioned the transport between Puerto Plata and Sosua - does anyone have any more information about this? Is it organised by the school? (if so we can ask at the school when we visit)

Linda
 

jrhartley

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all expats are different like everyone else- just dont make friends with people you wouldnt normally make friends with at home
 

Chip

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Santiago
Puerto Plata is a tourist town and has all the problems associated with such.

As a gringa you will always be considered as an outsider by 95% of the people mainly because many will look at you as a business opportunity.

Santiago is not like this.
 
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I do not these places very well, but I think Constanza is very nice, Moca and La Vega are interesting places I have heard about. Many will disagree with me but it seems like you want something different and very Dominican. These places are very, very nice. So explore, there's a lot see.
 

J D Sauser

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I think that what many posters here art trying to hint is a question to you:
What future do you envision for your sons (both)?
Maybe, it escaped to me, but what is it the older one is going to graduate in?
IF you think, that the very very few qualifying employers on the North coast are going to court your foreign graduated son, just because he graduated at a developed country's university, you might be in for a cold awakening... Most locals show little interest in knowledge from foreigners and rather concentrate on trying to sell foreigners something.
Reputed local Universities have a similar jump board effect like big name Universities in the States. It's where and especially whom with you studied which will open doors to future business and employment. In that sense, your younger son may even have a better chance if you can afford to send him to the country's most renown University (Santiago or Santo Domingo). Similarly, the lower graded Universities will only label him as somebody of less interest.
So, it's not all as laid back at it may seem at first glance.

I live in Puerto Plata. I like this little town, and I can understand how others may like it too. But if my kids where to live with me, I would NOT be in Puerto Plata with them, maybe not even in the DR. Chances are too few, education only barely comparable with Mexico, Chile, Argentina and even Colombia... incidentally, where many of the more affluent send their kids at least for post grads out to.
Then, is the inherent lack of a wide offering of real, interesting, stable and well paid jobs and/or business opportunities, again, especially for somebody with no network of friends withing the few powerful and historically productive families.

So again, what is the future you really envision for you sons?

... J-D.
 
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