If you have any questions hopefully you can find the answer here. If not, you are welcome to drop us an email.
Q – Do you have any age requirement? +
A: You need to be 18 years old. There is no upper limit as long as you are reasonable fit.
Q – What is the average age of the participants? +
A: Students of all ages join our programs, from 18 up till 72. The average ages of our students are between 20 and 35.
Q – What is an B-certificate? +
A: A B-certificate equals a third Bachelor in “Fighting with The Poor”. You study 750 hours and it gives 30 credits with ISET / One World University.
Q – How do I fly to St. Vincent? +
A: Ask for a specific travel guide for your area.
Q – How do I get to Richmond Vale Academy from the airport? +
A: If you arrive early in the daytime you can take a van to the Leeward bus station and from there another Van to Chateaubelair but it is a strenuous trip with your luggage; so for the first time travelling in St. Vincent we advise you to take a taxi.You can ask us to call one of our local taxis to pick you up. It will save you app. 30 USD. The taxi driver will have a “Richmond Vale Academy” sign right outside the airport.You can pay the driver with USD or EC dollars, which is the local currency. One USD is 2.71 EC. If you drive with our local Taxi they charge you a set price of 220 EC or 82 USD. Inside the airport there is an ATM where you can use any bankcard or credit card to take out EC dollars.
Q – Do I need to apply for a visa before I arrive? +
A: Upon admittance you will receive an acceptance letter from RVA. You will need to present this letter to customs upon arrival in Saint Vincent. After three months (Europeans except UK citizens) or one month you will fill out a visa extension application which will be provided by the school.
If you are a citizen of the following 8 countries you must apply for a visa in advance:
ChinaDominican RepublicIranIraqJordanLebanonNigeriaSyriaWe will support you in obtaining the visa. So far no one has been denied.
Q – Should I get travel vaccinations before my travel? Which vaccines are recommended? +
A: Vaccination recommendations can differ based on where you are traveling from but generally you don’t need any vaccinations to enter St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is advisable to boost your Tetanus shot.
Q – Does the program offer health coverage? +
A: Richmond Vale Academy does not provide health coverage. Please acquire your own policy before traveling to Saint Vincent. For those traveling to Belize or Ecuador, health coverage is provided for the 5 month service period but not during the time at Richmond Vale Academy.
Q – Can I use USD and Euros in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? +
A: In almost any bigger store you can use USD or Euros – any change will be returned in EC dollars. (East Caribbean dollars).
Q – Can I use my credit card or banking debit card from the ATM? +
A: You can use any banking card to take out EC dollars. On Arrival there is an ATM in the airport – it is advisable to take out 2 to 300 EC dollars, as the nearest ATM from the school is 40 minutes away. In Kingtown there are several ATM’s which all charge a different fee to take out EC dollars.
Q – Do you have Internship Positions? +
A: Yes, Richmond Vale Academy co-operates with several universities. For example students of Environmental Engineering can do 1 to 6 months Climate Compliance Conference as part of their education, and receive credits from their university.
Q – What are the frames of the school? +
A: In order to ensure the best possible conditions for the programs, we have set frames regarding alcohol and drug use while in the program.
Nobody who participates in a course can take alcohol while carrying out the program exept for Open Weekends and holiday periods spent away from Richmond Vale Academy.
Nobody who participates in a course can be involved with euphoriant or narcotic substances.
These two fundamentals apply whether you are at the schol, on investigation, or in Central or Latin American during travel and work periods. In short it applies all the time.
Former drug users must have been free from heavy drugs for a minimum of 18 months before the course starts.
Q – Are Sundays off? +
A: Yes but most teams agree on team activities such as hiking the volcano or other nature trails, jump from the cliffs at the Richmond Beach, take a diving certificate, sailing to Falls of Belem, visit families in Chateaubelair, etc.
Q – Which holidays will I have off if any? +
A: The school has no program from the 22nd of December till the 2nd of January. You are welcome to stay on at the school.
Q – Are there any breaks during the program? +
A: Yes, there are 3 Open Weekends during the program from Friday Noon till Monday Noon. The March team has a holiday break in June and the November team from 22nd of December till 2nd of January.
Q – Do we have school program during the weekends? +
A: Yes, there are school activities and classes on Saturdays. Typically Sunday is off. We also have a Building Weekend once a month where everyone work on various projects around the school through the weekend and then the following Monday is off.
Q – Can I bring a pet? +
A: While we do have some animals here at the school, we ask that you do not bring your pet (unless it is a Service Animal).
Q – Will I share a room? +
A: All rooms are double rooms so it is very likely that you will share a room with another person.
Q – Do I need to bring anything to furnish my room? +
A: The rooms are furnished with two twin beds, a desk, shelving space and curtains. Please bring your own sheets and pillow case.
Q – What kind of activities can I do during my free time and are there any stores around? +
A: At Richmond Vale Academy a healthy lifestyle is promoted and offers many opportunities for sport (volleyball, soccer, and diving, swimming, hiking, yoga, dancing, gym). RVA has a library and there is a public library in Kingstown. There are some very basic shops nearby as well as a weekly farmers market.
Q – Can I have visitors while I am at the school? +
A: Yes, but you have to first make an agreement with your team regarding dates, duration of stay, etc. While visitors are welcome it is important that they do not interfere with your studies or your ability to fully participate in the program. There are holiday periods where it might be more suitable to have visitors.
Q – I am a vegetarian/vegan. Does the school provide meals that meet these dietary restrictions? +
A: Yes, every meal will contain vegetarian and/or vegan options based on the needs of everyone here.
Q – Will my cellphone work while I am at the school? +
A: This depends on your phone/service but if you bring a phone with a sim card you can obtain an SVG sim card to insert in the phone. Most people at the school are able to use WI-FI on their smart phones
There are several phone companies, which offer prepaid phones. The school has a phone for local calls and the staff are all equipped with phones to call internationally in case of an emergency.
Q – How far away is the nearest town? +
A: The nearest town, Chateaubelair, is 5.5 kilometers away. This is about a 30 minute walk or a 10 minute drive from the school.
Q – Does RVA have a stable Internet connection? +
A: Yes, RVA has a reliable Internet connection which seldom fails.
Q – Is public transportation available? +
A: Taxi is available any time and public transportation (vans) is very frequent. There are several info booklets and maps at RVA to give you an overview of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Q – Can I get any Tropical diseases while I am there? +
A: As in any tropical climate there are Mosquitos and flies and these can transmit a number of diseases. Chikungunya, Dengue fever, and Zika are present on the islands. They are not life threatening and have the same symptoms as a flu. Travelers should carry and use insect repellents and mosquito nets. There are mosquito nets available.
Q – What if I need medical assistance? +
A: Several staff have a first aid course. First aid kits are available. The closest village Chateaubelair has a clinic with nurses and a doctor. A doctor is available on call 24/7. There is a Hospital in Kingstown about an hour’s drive away with an ambulance.
There are clinics for all kinds of ailments in Kingstown, which is 1.5 hours away. The rates are low and the personnel very friendly and accommodating.
Q – How do I take care of my personal security? +
A: RVA has a no drugs and no alcohol policy, which is part of securing the safety of the individual. Besides this there are rules for not hiking or swimming alone. Furthermore RVA has a security guard on the 30-acre premises.
Q – Can I get mail and packages sent to me? +
A: All mail and packages go to the Chateaubelair post office where we pick it up on a regular basis. Regular mail can take up to 2 months to reach you so if you need expedited delivery use DHL or FedEx.
Q – Can you recommend a list of books to read about Global Warming and Climate Change? +
Q – Can you recommended list of documentaries to watch about Global Warming and Climate Change? +
Here is a list of documentaries:2011 – the year the earth went wild Six Degrees Disruption An Inconvenient TruthChasing IceThe GardenThe Power of Community – CubaDo the Math – from 350.orgGeneric RouletteDude where do you get your proteins?The end of poverty? Food Inc.The Future of FoodHope in a Changing ClimateWhen the water endsHow many people can live on Planet Earth?HomeThis Changes Everything BBCPlanet Earth – David Attenborough BBC – Human Planet – 8 programs of people’s lives in extreme places around the planetPlanet in PerilThe 11thhourThe miracle tree – MoringaWhen the water endsForks over knivesHungry for changeKiller at largeHuman Planet 1-8King CornTales from the hive – beesA place at the tableAddicted to plastic Bello Horizonte FoodBiofuels think outside the barrelCradle to Cradle RX for survival – examples of low tech solutions Mark HertsgaardHOT – Democracy Now 2012 (droughts and food riots – mobilize next generation – climateparents.org)Food MattersGlobal Warming part 1, 2, 3 and 4Hope in a changing climate and 17 other documentaries from John Liu under the title “What if we change….”The miracle water village (producing healthy soil in time of scarce water)Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret’
www.350.orghttp://www.climateparents.org/www.jameslovelock.orgwww.geofflawton.com– 40 videos on permaculture “Surviving the collapse”www.permaculturenews.org Permaculture Research Institute Australiawww.whatifwechange.orgwww.nationalgeographic.comUnion of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of more than 100,000 concerned citizens and scientists. They aim to augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world.
GM Watch http://gmwatch.org/GMWatch is an independent non-profit making organisation founded in 1998. We seek to counter the enormous corporate political power and propaganda of the biotech industry and its supporters through our website, our lists, our Spinprofiles portal, LobbyWatch, the BanGMFood campaign and our many other outreach and campaigning activities.
Friends of the Earth http://www.foe.org/Friends of the Earth is a network of grassroots groups in 77 countries that defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world.