Area: 430 sq km
Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Population: 286,705 (July 2011 est.)
Languages: English, Bajan (local dialect)
Government type: parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realmNational holiday: 30 November (1966, independence from the UK)Currency: Barbadian dollars (BBD or BD$); it is tied to the US Dollar GDP: $6.196 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $21,700 (2010 est.)
Information for Foreign Students in BarbadosTravel Advice
Concerning tap water, Barbados's water is said to rank amongst the purest in the world; it is filtered naturally by limestone and coral and pumped from underground streams. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. As for vaccinations, long-term travellers may be advised to immunise against hepatitis B. Barbados has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, particularly amongst the 20 to 45 age group, of which it is the second-biggest killer. All necessary precautions should be undertaken.
Obtaining a VisaIt is not for required by all nationals (except Slovak Republic), it depends on the stay length and travellers' home country. It will be necessary for nationals of EU countries which stay is up to six months and for nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia which stay is up to 3 months. Australian, American (USA and Canada) nationals will be asked a visa if their stays exceed six months. The other National not referred above are advised to contact the high commission to check visa requirements.Embassy of Barbados in the USA: http://barbados.usembassy.gov/visas_to_us.html
HousingStudents' accommodation provided by West Indies University:
HealthBoth private and state-run medical facilities in Barbados are excellent. A reciprocal health agreement with the UK entitles UK nationals to free hospital and polyclinic treatment, ambulance travel. Prescribed medicines are provided cost-free for children and elderly patients. All dental treatment bears a cost. To receive treatment, UK nationals must show their UK passport or NHS medical card, as well as their temporary entry permit. Medical insurance is recommended for all other nationals.
ATMs are widely available. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in the resorts, but cash is preferred for customs duty payment. ATMs are widely available. Travellers cheques Accepted by all banks and most hotels. Opt for traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.
Keeping in touch
There are Internet cafés throughout Barbados. Wi-Fi is increasingly available, especially in hotels. Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. Mobile phones can be bought locally. Cardphones and payphones are located across the island; many make overseas calls. Local calls are free (unless calling from a hotel or business).