Useful information On Mauritius For Foreign students
Mauritius at a glance
Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Madagascar. It became independent on 12 March 1968. Republic Day was proclaimed on 12 March 1992. Mauritius is a democracy with a regular change of governments. The Government is elected on a five-year basis. The President is the head of the state but constitutional power is vested in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The main languages spoken in Mauritius are Mauritian Creole, French and English. The official language is English but the main spoken language is Mauritian Creole, and the newspapers and television programmes are usually in French. The country is composed of several ethnicities, including Asian, African, Chinese and French. The local climate is tropical, modified by south-east trade winds; there is a warm, dry winter from May to September and a hot, wet, and humid summer from October to May. Anti-cyclones affect the country during May to September. Cyclones affect the country during November–April.
• Country: Republic of Mauritius
• Population: 1,200,000
• Capital city: Port Louis
• Official Language: English
• Other spoken languages: Mauritian Creole, French and Bhojpuri
• Ethnicity: Indo-Mauritian (Indian), Creole (African), Sino-Mauritian (Chinese), Franco-Mauritian (French) and South African expatriates
• Area: 2,040 square kilometres
• Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
• Time zone: (GMT + 3)
• Country dialling code: +230
• Religion: Hindu, Roman Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Buddhism
In Mauritius there are both private as well as government hospitals. Government hospitals are free of charge and provide 24-hour service. The main government hospitals are:
• AG Jeetoo Hospital
Volcy Pougnet Street, Port Louis
Tel: +230 212 3201
• Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Hospital
Tel: +230 243 4661
• Victoria Hospital
Candos, Quatre Bornes
Tel +230 425 3031
The Service d’aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a free government run ambulance service which responds to emergency calls. The 24hr phone number is 114.
Private Hospitals and Clinics
The medical services in private hospital and clinics are indeed of very good standard. A list of private clinics by region is as follows:
Port Louis and North
• City Clinic, Port Louis – Tel: +230 241 2951 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Clinique du Nord, Baie du Tombeau, Port Louis – Tel: +230 247 2532, +230 247 1056 Email: email@example.com website:
• Clinique de Grand Baie, Grand Bay – Tel: +230 263 1212 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Centre Medical du Nord, Pointe aux Cannoniers – Tel: +230 263 1010 Email: email@example.com
• Chisty Shifa Clinic – Labourdonnais St, Port Louis. Tel: +230 211 5157, +230 211 5181
• Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Royal Road, Tombeau Bay Tel +230 247 4949
• Fortis Clinic Darne, Floreal – Tel: +230 601 2300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.cliniquedarne.com
• Nouvelle Clinique du Bon Pasteur, Rose Hill – Tel: +230 464 2640 Email: email@example.com
• St Esprit Clinic, Quatre Bornes – Tel: +230 424 5471 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• La Clinique Mauricienne, Reduit – Tel: +230 454 3061 Email: email@example.com
• St Jean Clinic, Belle Rose – Tel: +230 466 1544
• Clinique de Lorette, Higginson Road, Curepipe. Tel +230 670 2911
• Medisave Clinic, St Jean Road, Quatre Bornes. Tel +230 427 7000
• Appollo Bramwell Hospital, Reduit – Tel: +230 605 1000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (The largest private hospital in Mauritius).
• Clinique de l’Occident, Flic en Flac – Tel: 453 5858, 453 5859 email: email@example.com
• Polyclinique de L’Ouest, Flic en Flac – Tel: 453 9240 Emergency: 758 5296
A pharmacy is easily recognised by the green cross and is found in all major shopping centres, towns and large villages and most coastal tourist villages. The pharmacies of the island are usually open until 7:00pm with a restricted few operating till late at night in some regions, mostly the towns. Pharmacies sell all types of medicines originating from Europe and from India. The medicines from India are usually cheaper than those from Europe. Certain drugs are available only on doctor’s prescription.
Here is a list of some pharmacies:
Port Louis area
• Medical Trading, Chaussee Street, Port Louis Tel +230 210 4724
• Planet Ltd, Chaussee Street, Port Louis Tel +230 211 0235
• Newton Pharmacy, 10, Sir William Newton Street, Port Louis Tel +230 208 2224
• Primecare Pharmacy, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Street, Port Louis Tel +230 213 5082
• Grand Bay Pharmacy, Coastal Road, Grand Bay Tel +230 263 8403
• Pereybere Pharmacy, Royal Road, pereybere Tel +230 263 5788
• Trou Aux Biches Pharmacy, Royal Road, Trou Aux Biches Tel +230 265 6538
• Tamarin Pharmacy, Royal Road, Black River Tel +230 483 5247
• Flic en Flac Pharmacy Pasadena Complex, Royal Road, Flic en Flac Tel +230 453 9112
Living in Mauritius
In choosing the area in which you wish to live, there are many factors to take into consideration, including the availability of schools, the proximity to part-time work and the availability of shops, bus stops and other amenities. In addition, you might also consider choosing an area that is popular with foreign students.
Various types of accommodation are available on rent: flats, countryside house, town house, guest house, paying guest, rooms, etc. Public transport is not always easily available in most residential areas and it is advisable search for a house/flat/room with easy reach of a bus stop/bus station. Houses can be found through local real estate agents or from classified adverts in the local press. The lease period of the house is negotiable, and an agreement is drawn up between both parties.
Monthly rental price varies according to region, type and size of property and amenities offered. If rented through an agent, a commission equivalent to one month’s rent is usually payable to the agent. Rental is negotiable and landlords may ask for up to three months security deposit and one month advance rent payment.
In Mauritius, driving is on the left-hand side of the road with priority given to traffic from the right. A foreign student coming to Mauritius may apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) in his country of residence. The International Licence is usually valid for one year, and renewable. However, once in Mauritius, the foreigner must validate his Driving Licence at the Police Headquarters, Traffic Branch, Line Barracks in Port Louis (Tel +230 208 1212).
The maximum speed limit on the motorway is 110 km/h. In urban and other built-up areas it can be as low as 40 km/h, unless signs indicate otherwise. Common speed limit is 50 or 60 km/h. Seat belts must be worn at all times in both front and rear seats. Children under the age of ten are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. Drinking under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence. Use of mobile phone whilst driving is prohibited. Speed detecting radars and cameras have been installed across the island. If caught speeding, a fine of at least Rs 2,000 is payable.
A foreign student may purchase a car in Mauritius. Most of the global brands are available in Mauritius, such as BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Honda, Jaguar, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot, Hyundai, Suzuki, Kia, Proton, etc. New and second hand car dealers can be found across the island. When buying a car from a dealer or an agent, the dealer/agent undertakes all paperwork on behalf of the buyer. A car can also be bought from private individual sellers, advertisied in the classified section of newspapers.
All vehicles in Mauritius need to have compulsory third party insurance. Fully comprehensive insurance is optional. The motor insurance market is very competitive in Mauritius.
Car prices vary according to the make and country of origin. All types of cars are available in Mauritius, from small car to sedan and luxury vehicles, including SUVs. Most dealers are happy to give a no obligation instant quote. The car market is mainly dominated by Japanese vehicles followed by European brands. However, lately, vehicles from Korea and China have become popular due to their competitive prices. Dealers of brand new cars also offer spare parts. Stock is readily available, however, in case of non-availability, the dealer may order it from his supplier abroad.
The banking sector is highly competitive in Mauritius. Commercial banks are regulated by the Bank of Mauritius, which is the government central bank. It is easy to open a bank account in Mauritius. An account can be opened in Mauritian rupee or in any convertible foreign currency. Banks undergo a lot of formalities to secure against money laundering and will normally ask for the following main documents:
• Banking reference from applicant’s current bank in country of previous residence
• Proof of address
• Local employers’ details
• Residence Permit
Monday to Thursday: 9.15 am -3.15 pm
Friday: 9.15 am -3.30 pm or 4pm for some banks
Saturday: 9.15 am -11.15 am (Some banks only, most are closed).
Each bank has its own procedure. Interest rates on savings accounts vary from bank to bank. Local banks offer a range of banking facilities such as foreign exchange account, international transfer, direct debit, standing order, ATM cards, credit cards, Internet banking, mobile banking, etc. Most banks are headquartered in Port Louis.
Credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard are widely used in major shops, supermarkets, restaurants and in other businesses wherever the Credit Card sign is displayed. Petrol filling stations do not accept credit cards. Very few government public services accept Credit Cards, so it is advisable to always keep cash for payment of public services.