Generalities on the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are in fact an archipelago of 60 islands, among which 16 are inhabited. Tortola, the main island, is only 24 miles square. The group of British islands is also know as the BVI. Geographically the BVI are located some 60 miles west of Porto Rico and are in the same archipelago as the U.S. Virgin Islands. The BVI are also known as a tax heaven, which explains the number of foreign firms and companies.
The language is English, although it may seem difficult to understand at first. The climate is warm all year-round, and there is a notable difference between the temperature in Road Town and up the hills: in the hills, one benefits from the breeze, which make is cool and ideal to sleep at night, without resorting to the AC unit.
Boating is one of the main activities on the islands. The scenery is spectacular, the water crystal clear and basically, it just gives you a taste of what paradise will look like. Sailing is very popular as well.
Social life revolves a lot around boating or bars. After work on Thursdays and Fridays, expats gather at the Dove for a few drinks, then head to Le Cabanon at around 11h pm for more and the toughest finish at the Bat Cave for dansing and more drinking. There are more bars to explore as well, some of which benefit from the waterfront (Village Cay, Bomba Shack, all the bars at Cane Garden Bay, etc).
Making local friends is very difficult, as locals don't tend to mix with foreingers. However, it is quite easy to get to know people over there, be it at the beach, at the bar, on the boat, etc. After a few months, one gets to know a lot of people around. Just need to be sociable.
The main school for expats if Cedar School, located on the way to the Airport on the East side. There is also a Montesouri School, near Joe's Hill Road up the hill.
Finding the right house may become challenging. There was websites designed especially for house seekers. See for instance: http://bvisothebysrealty.com/bvi_index.php
For a two bedroom-appartment it will cost you approximately 2000$ per month. Utilities are quite expensive there. In 2007, my electricity bill was 150$ per month when I was abroad and not there. Basically, just for the fridge and freezer. Internet is about 100$ per month. Water is usully supplied by cisterns.
You may want to look at the BVI Beacon online for jobs. Nevertheless, employers tend to find their employees, then advertise on the papers to fulfill the local requirements in term of immigration. So you may apply for a job that was already filled. I usually suggest people to contact directly firms or businesses. For Lawyers, a UK or BVI qualification is essential for most firms. There are also several accounting firms, banks, etc. Tourism, banking, finance and legal are the main sectors in the BVI.
Guide section: Generalities
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