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Dominicus Beach in Dominican Republic

Pros and Cons of Living in the Dominican Republic

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 14, 2022

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Dominican Rep.

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What do expats in the Dominican Republic appreciate most about the local culture?

"We enjoy the laid back quality of life in the DR. We are in a small town and find people helpful and generally nice. We have met few US expatriates, but many Europeans and Canadians. I experienced a severe urinary infection and went septic. My wife wasn't sure how to handle that, but two locals called an ambulance and got me to an ER. I truly believe they saved my life. .Ambulance, ER, 4 days in hospital and doctor's fees were about $3000. I suspect my copay in the US would have cost more," explained one expat.

"I appreciate the fact that under extreme poverty, the people somehow seem to survive on so little," said another person in Santo Domingo.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Living with close DR natives can be challenging, mostly because of partying at late hours. They do not understand why noise should be an issue. As I have sleep issues, this can be annoying. Far fewer Dominican people speak English than you might expect. But they will try to help, none the less," remarked another expat in Juan Dolio.

"The most challenging aspect of the new culture for me has been getting business people to understand that when I pay for a service, I expect to get what I pay for in a timely manner. Example, ( I went to a local bank to open a checking account and I had to come back and forth four times to complete the process) ( my apartment lease includes TV internet and cable. The TV was a 30 year old TV that never worked, the cable only sometimes and the internet is much like waiting for a snail to travel one mile. I requested to have my lease reflect the fact that none of these services are being used due to the fact that the landlord removed the TV during my first week and I had to purchase my own, plus I had to purchase my own internet and cable to ensure that I have service. However, the landlord wants to stick to our original agreement even though he is not providing what is promised in the lease. These sorts of things are very common in Santo Domingo). Beware," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Dominicus Beach in Dominican Republic

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