This post is copied from an earlier post and someone suggested I make it a new topic to help people understand our life on Nevis.
After living in the states this is really an adjustment for a family. A car is needed. There are public van(buses) you can get a ride on for a low price but you are really limited to the amount of groceries you can bring in a crowded bus on your lap. And you may have to take two buses to get to the grocery store according to which direction you live from town. We got a tercel for $5000US and we have ample space for luggage or groceries(and I do fill it up each week) but if you have many traveling with you the muffler tends to drag on these bad roads and in the swales for the water to run off. You see alot of jeeps here but they don't have cargo space.
There is a weekly beach day(on Wedenesday) for spouses & family during the day. We just hang out and let the kids play. We go to a different beach each week or to the school pool. There are tennis courts at the school and a nice pavilion beside the pool with picnic tables available for students & family use anytime.
As for schooling my kids are homeschooled online. There are primary schools all over the island and high schools in town and maybe in Gingerland. There are a few private schools in town- Charlestown Prep and one at a church for primary. The local kids walk and the ones going into town take the bus system.
Also the school has a "party" at different restaurants after some of the exams and your family is welcome to those- food provided but you have to purchase your drinks(I take my own sometimes). This is another time you need a vehicle of your own.
You are allowed to bring packaged foods with you and you should bring as much as possible because the food prices here are very high. The govt charges a duty making everything higher.
I brought my own cheap toaster oven(great for pizza, cookies & cakes to avoid turning on the oven when it is so hot and kitchens have no a/c here), a waffle iron, blender, coffee maker, skillets and other items like that. If you can pack it, bring it because it costs too much here to purchase anything. Some homes may supply good pots/pans but ours did not and you won't know until you get here. Towels/sheets/pillows may be needed also. They usually have a bad odor or may be wore out. Fans are used alot here too. A/c is usually only in bedrooms.
We pay $850US for a large 3br/2ba home in the Butlers area which is the country side but we have a large view of the Atlantic Ocean. Some homes are on the caribbean side with a view there. Even if you don't have a view you won't be far from one anywhere. And be sure to ask if the places you look at to rent has a water heater, some do not. It's hot here in the summer but you still need a little warm water for a shower.
We now have high speed cable internet island wide and we have a phone(with a number from our home state) through the internet unlimited to the US nationwide through packet8.com for $20US so we can contact family/friends. If you are interested in the packet8, pm me your email address and I can refer you to packet8 so you can get your first month($19.95) free. And you would not have to have a phone here unless you want dsl versus cable internet if you live where it is offered, we don't. And we disconnectted our local phone. If we have to call somewhere on Nevis we can use pay phones throughout the island or it is .24$US to call from our packet8 phone.
After April(they wanted $316/night in January) you can get a student rate at the Marriott on St. Kitts for $89US/night and it is really nice. Great to get away.
I did figure our expenses last summer for a semester and for groceries(for family of 4), tuition, books, utilites, rent, gas(without upkeep on car), etc. we spent about $13000US to live here for a 15 week semester. That did not include air fare and going out to eat or any extra activites. And tuition has gone up since then.
That may be way more than you asked for but I hope it helps. We do get bored here, especially the teenagers. Wal-mart & McDonald's would be greatly welcomed. (And by the way this is the Ol'Man's wife talking-the spouse.)