Starting a life in the DR

TravelHippo

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Mar 24, 2008
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Hi everyone...

My boyfriend and I have just returned from a vacation in the Dominican Republic, where yes, we did spend a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the beach, but also spend a great deal of time visiting the countryside and mingling with the locals. And in that time, we absolutely fell in love with the country, its people and its culture.

I have spent a great deal of time travelling and volunteering throughout Central America, The Caribbean and South America and had already fallen in love with the Latin American way of life myself, but for my boyfriend, this was his first visit. Although he had enjoyed stories and tales of my past adventures, it took seeing it for himself to know that this is somewhere we'd like to be.

My boyfriend is a certified teacher in both regular ed and special ed, as well as a History major. I am a college graduate in Travel and Tourism and also have a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language. Our dream would be to open up a private school in the Dominican Republic where my boyfriend could teach as a qualified teacher and I could help out as well as teach English to those in need. What I hope to learn from some of you is, do you know of anyone who has opened a private school in DR? If so, would I be able to contact them? Any idea of what it would cost? What schools charge? Any other information on opening a school that may be useful? Also, just to add, I do speak Spanish, but my boyfriend does not at this time but is certainly willing to learn, from now until the move and continue to learn upon arrival.

Also, with the dream of opening the school perhaps remaining a dream for sometime, we would like to start working on something upon arrival in the DR. With our qualifications, do you think this would be a possibility? Does anyone have any information on giving private English speaking classes?? Or any sort of tutoring?? Going rates of such things? Is the demand there? How about tutuoring or private classes for English speaking children living with their families in the Dominican? I am sure they would be looking for a qualified English speaking teacher. But perhaps there are already enough?? Im not sure. Thats why I need your help! :)

And last but not least, I know that so many people seem to ask about housing but none are quite the question/answers I am looking for. My boyfriend and I are looking to rent an apartment, 1-2 bdrm, somewhere on the coast, and somewhere that does have the demand for the teaching, tutoring, that we would be offering. Does anyone know where the best places to start looking would be?? I see most listed online are on the luxary end of the scale which is not at all what we are looking for. We are hoping for something around $200 a month. I lived for most of my time in Central America, in dirt floored homes with no bathroom or shower, and loved every minute so we really aren't fussy when it come to our apartment. (Although I suppose a bathroom would be nice!!!!) Is $200 a reasonable amount? I am sure it varies a lot from town to town so for example, does anyone know the average price of a 1-2 bdrm in Sosua for something quite simple?

Sorry, one more thing! :) High speed internet... How plausible would it be to have high speed internet available in our home? We would be willing to pay most any price (to an extent) , as I do have a administrative job at current that I can access online with high speed from any location. As well, it would be such a great resource for our teaching.

We are currently living in the US but due to visas expiring (we are not US citizens), we are due to leave this summer. Up until recently, England was our destination of choice, due to the fact it is the only location we both hold citizenship...but other than that we are not tied down to anything in anyway. At this point in our lives we have finished school, do not own property, no children, will be finishing our jobs in the summer, and we are ready for a new adventure... an adventure of discovering new cultures, a new language, new friends, a new home.

Any information or advice that anyone has on making the move, life in DR, work, schools, costs, stories, etc.... I'd love to hear from you. Thanks so very much for your time.

All the best :cheeky:
 

leekiv

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Mar 5, 2007
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Hi

Have you used the search function on here yet? If not use it and look up moving to the DR or North Coast, or teaching jobs etc. If you use this and read all most of your questions will be answered. As for anyone opening up a "school" I am not sure if that has been covered. Best of luck to you.;)
 

TravelHippo

Member
Mar 24, 2008
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Yes, I have spend the past few days searching and reading through everything I can find. Lots of very useful information...just thought explaining our personal situation and some of our exact questions couldn't hurt to get a little more information. Thanks!!! :)
 

bob saunders

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2002
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Perhaps if your boyfriend was to get a job in one of the international or bilingual schools this would do two things- give you the opportunity to see the opportunities, gage the market, and give you the time to really find out if this is what you want to do. You would have time to explore your options with the security of a job. This is what I would do.
 

TravelHippo

Member
Mar 24, 2008
491
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Thanks so much for the information Joe!!

I'll have my boyfriend preparing his CV, references, etc tonight! :) The International School of Sosua sounds like it could be an idea if they are currently looking for teachers to start in the fall.

As well, The DREAM project sounds like a great cause. The only problem is that with it being volunteers, we do still need to make enough money in the DR to get by. Nothing fancy, just to eat, sleep and drink! :)

Thanks again!
 

TravelHippo

Member
Mar 24, 2008
491
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Sorry, just noticed your post now, Bob....Thanks for the advice! We are going to look into doing something along those lines, at least to start out and get settled. Of course, no guarantees he will find a school that needs him but here's hoping he can!! :) Having that job security, plus my online admin job (family business in Canada) should be enough to get us a roof over our head and a bite to eat.
 

Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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We are hoping for something around $200 a month. I lived for most of my time in Central America, in dirt floored homes with no bathroom or shower, and loved every minute so we really aren't fussy when it come to our apartment. (Although I suppose a bathroom would be nice!!!!) Is $200 a reasonable amount? I am sure it varies a lot from town to town so for example, does anyone know the average price of a 1-2 bdrm in Sosua for something quite simple?
Yes it can be done - see for example this apartment in Puerto Plata for US$225
Homes for Rent/Lease in Puerto Plata City, Puerto Plata $225 monthly

If you're going to be in Cabarete area (Dream Project) check out the Callejon de la Loma area.

International School website is here
International School Sosua - Working Together to Give our Children the Best Education

Also check out Garden Kids which has a good reputation:
Garden Kids

Male teachers are in shorter supply than female so that should give your boyfriend a bit of a boost.

......... and a bite to eat.
British by any chance? ;) So are we. Welcome to DR1. :)
 

TravelHippo

Member
Mar 24, 2008
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My boyfriend is British, and I was actually born Canada but hold British citizenship as well due to both of my parents being British.... Thus being why the UK is the only place we can legally settle with great ease. But who wants easy!? Thanks so much for all your info, as well as giving us that hope that we do have a chance :) It seems male teachers are in high demand everywhere...which makes having one by my side quite handy ;) He's working on getting some references together and his CV prepared to stay applying from here at the moment although I'm sure the best thing will be to get down there and start getting to these schools in person.

Just a bit worried about myself finding work now. I graduated college in Travel and Tourism and have worked as a Travel Agent, as well as directly for the airlines in the past. Does anyone know if I'd have much of a chance finding something in that industry in the DR? And then as I mentioned before, I am also TESL certified but I have a feeling that won't get me too far, as everyone and their cat seems to be TESL certified that is looking for a job down that way this days!!
 

Lambada

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Just a bit worried about myself finding work now. I graduated college in Travel and Tourism and have worked as a Travel Agent, as well as directly for the airlines in the past. Does anyone know if I'd have much of a chance finding something in that industry in the DR?
Maybe if not that industry then something allied like hospitality e.g. Guest Service Manager in a hotel. Of course you'd be in competition with the many Dominicans who have languages & can do this job, but perhaps worth exploring?
 

Dolores1

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May 3, 2000
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You should also look into moving to the Punta Cana area. I would think you could find work tutoring and there are two English language schools in the area. Also, it is the biggest tourism destination in the country, and growing.