Students Bonaire

Practical information for students that go for fieldwork to Bonaire
Notice that things may change and prices may increase

Updated july 2018: by Marjolijn Christianen with contribution of STCB, Fee, Monique, STINAPA

Requirements for a student project within our program:

  • Enthusiastic for the ecological research subjects offered
  • Great sense of responsibility and self-reliance
  • Scuba + drivers licence, 30 dives minimum
  • Accomodation, Insurance & Travel cost should be covered by student
  • Minimum 3 months fieldwork
  • Registered as a student at WUR (fulltime or only for this project), for students from outside WUR see instructions to register as a “bijvakstudent” at WUR *also see below
  • See the WUR-AEW website for further information and requirements and the contract/agreement that you need to fill in

Student funding opportunities:

  • See this list of possible funding opportunities (updated 2019, by me): additions / updates? Send me an email.
  • And if you do get funded: acknowledge them, also in your publications!
  • See info about doing a research project (called “thesis” at WUR) or internship at our departement here, and the and the codes for the thesis / internships (last 2 numbers represent # ECTS)

Accomodation tips:


  • Set your debet card (pinpas) to “world”  so that you can use it  outside europe
  • Currency Bonaire: US dollar,
  • Multiple ATMs on Bonaire, ATM “van den Tweel supermarket” is not charging extra.
  • But be prepared for the 1st day (in case you arrive late / ATMS are out of order with 100-150 dollars), you can easily take this from the ATM at Schiphol ABN-AMRO

Things to arrange

  • Funding! See above
  • Return ticket
  • Diving insurance
  • Check if your pasport is valid for at least 6 months after returning to the issuing country
  • Check your medical insurance & travel insurance
  • @ Bonaire: Get a STINAPA dive tag (e.g. in dive shop) and pay nature fee:
  • No need to get a residence permit to do a research project on Bonaire: Dutch can stay on the island 180 days per year, for other EU countries this is 90 days.

Bonaire is a fairly small island of 294 km2 without public transportation. Arranging transportation is, therefore, essential. A bicycle can be a cheap option but with the warm weather, bad roads, and diving equipement you have to carry you have to buy/rent a car. Cars have a wide variety of prices. Once you are on the island there are plenty of opportunities to buy one second hand, or you could contact a student that is there before you and ask if you can buy from them.

Things to bring / or buy

  • Bonaire has lots of shops, including well equiped supermarkets, hardware stores, toiletries -> HOWEVER things are fairly expensive on Bonaire (everythings has to be imported) so you could save some money
  • Laptop
  • Bring you diving certificate! & logbook
  • Waterproof cover for you phone
  • Mask, fins, snorkel, seperate watershoes, wetsuitBCD, regulator (try to buy 2nd hand e.g. from student in Bonaire or -> ask for recently serviced materials)
  • Weight belt & dive tank: rent in Bonaire
  • Sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (waterproof factor > 40), rash guard (surf/UV shirt) with long sleeves,
  • Small personal first aid kit with mosquito repellent (Dengue Fever is a concern, but there isn’t any malaria)
  • world adapter: plug types A, B, F: power is 110V 50hz:
  • @ Bonaire: Local Digicel sim card + data for phone (emergencies) Kaya Grandi 26.
  • Water shoes or Crocs with a good footpad

the information below are just suggestions to help students in arranging logistics behind their student projects on Bonaire.

*How to register as Bijvakstudent at WUR ? – only for students from outside WUR

See the procedure at this WUR website. This will take ±½ day to arrange

Please note the following

  • the procedure includes getting approval at your local university via standard forms of you examination board.
  • “vakcode” and name of the courses can be found at the AEW-studyguide, for internships “AEW-704..” and for a thesis (or research project) “AEW-804..”, the last 2 digits will be the # ECTS agreed for your project.
  • You need a copy of your passport and a proof of payment of tuition fees (can by requested via the student service desk of your university), a proof of English language proficiency (e.g. a “VWO diploma”)
  • For a thesis you also need permission of the examinination board of the WUR (examiningboard.lifesciences at
  • always see the WUR bijvak instructions for the latest updates
  • When registration is complete, you will receive an inlog for WURnet, then you can register for the potential other courses that you will follow via: