Participating in our program – what do you need to know

This section of the website is to help you prepare mentally and physically for what you will need when studying with CIEE on Bonaire.

Before you leave:
Please study the course requirements to make sure you meet them. Please realise that while rewarding, our courses tend to be demanding and don’t leave a large amount of time to explore the island. Make sure you know what to bring for each class. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

What to Bring: Paperwork

What to Bring: Scuba Gear

Tips and tricks for travel and island life:

  • Pack a change of (summer) clothes and your bathing suit in your carry on. Sometimes luggage gets delayed, and you definitely want those on your first days.
  • If possible and applicable, always travel with your dive computer and regulator in your carry on. Computers don’t do well in low pressure environments and regulators don’t like to be thrown around.
  • Download Skype with your family and learn how to use it – it’s a great free way to call your parents / friends / …
  • Bonaire has no regular public transportation service.
  • Island internet might not be quite the speed you’re used to. If possible, finish downloading your books / finish e-learnings while still in the states.
  • On tropical islands, there’s going to be bugs. Especially cockroaches and ants love leftovers. Don’t like bugs? Make sure you clean up after yourself.
  • Protect yourself against the sun, even on cloudy days you can get sunburned.
  • Protect yourself against mosquito’s, especially around sunset. For that reason, don’t leave water standing for too long (buckets, rinsing tanks, …).
  • Drink a lot of water. The tropical climate and dry, super salty air will leave you dehydrated very quickly. Headache? Muscle cramps? Try to drink more.
  • The roads on the island are pretty terrible. You’ll get used to navigating holes and bumps quickly.
  • Be careful with alcoholic beverages. Even if you’re used to drinking alcohol, the effect will be magnified in a tropical climate (due to inevitable dehydration).
  • Bonaireans are typically friendly and cheerful. However, walking around in your bikini or bathing suit is not much appreciated and will result in occasional wolf whistling.
  • Bonaire is not a criminal island, but there is crime. So lock your doors, don’t leave your i-thingy’s out in the open and when going out at night, don’t walk alone.

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