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Moving to the DR. I need advice please!

Hello everyone,
I currently live in Canada and was offered a job as a teacher in the Dominican Republic. I’m relocating to Santo Domingo soon.

I’ve never moved abroad before. I am having a hard time deciding how to bring money with me.  Of course I will bring a few hundred dollars for survival but I really don’t want to bring thousands of dollars with me. Once I get there, I expect to open a bank account in the first few days.

I am worried to use westorn union there because there are always people in line who can hear or see your transactions. I’m worried to walk outside with a lot of cash on me. I read a forum that travelers checks are not very useful in the DR and that you get charged a large fee.

What is the safest and most affordable way to transfer money? Would I be able to withdraw money from my debit card at the bank I plan to open an account with? (Not atm machine)

Also, silly question; I have an apartment ready for me when I arrive but I do not have a bed and I really don’t want to pack a sleeping bag as it is bulky and takes a lot of space in the luggage. I plan to get an inexpensive mattress to put on the floor for a while before I buy a bed. Are there any recommendations as to where I can get something inexpensive?

Does anyone have any other advice or tips (aside from visa and medical insurance as it’s all taken care of) for me as a new mover? For example: affordable ways to survive and transportation tips, comparing prices. I do not want to get hustled there because I don’t speak Spanish.

Thanks for your help!
God bless

Hi Believer33,

Wherever you'll withdraw money there will be people around seeing more or less what you are doing. The best place is to do it in a shopping mall.

In my opinion, the best way to regularly withdraw money is from ATMs,  with a debit card wearing the Maestro Logo. The advantages are :
- low cost
- debit card is useless if stolen
You should have 2 cards from 2 different banks, one at home and one with you.

You can withdraw from 3,000 to 10,000 DOP by transaction, according to the bank.
If you need 20,000 DOP you'll have to do it twice or more.

Maestro withdrawals are accepted by Banco Popular, Scotia Bank and Banco del Progreso.

The Maestro network is locked abroad for security reasons, you have to contact your bank in Canada and ask them to unlock the system for the DR and mention for how long.

You could buy furniture at IKEA, not that they are the cheapest but they have a delivery service and you are likely to find out someone who speaks English among the staff.
The cost of delivery is fixed, you can check it on their website.

Concerning your other questions there is much to say, read the forum as much as possible using keywords ( transportation , safety ect ...). If you never traveled to a "developing country" prepare yourself to the new reality : nothing nor nobody is reliable.
Try to learn basic Spanish as soon as possible.

When will you arrive to Sto Dom ?
Transportation is not safe, where is located your apartment ?

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