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As part of its strategic vision to establish a centre for international education and training, the Bahraini Government, through his Royal Highness Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, invited the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to establish a centre for medical and para-medical education and training in Bahrain.
RCSI Bahrain opened its doors in 2004 in a temporary facility in the Seef District, with the first cohort of medical students joining in October of that year. As a constituent university of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI Bahrain delivers undergraduate courses in Medicine and Nursing and a Masters in Nursing programme, as well as the Institute of Leadership (IOL), to the highest international standards, with qualifications recognised around the world worldwide.
Construction of a purpose-built, state-of-the-art campus commenced in 2005 on a site provided by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and staff and the official opening was carried out by then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and His Royal Highness Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa.
RCSI Bahrain graduated its first cohort of students in June 2010, with degrees recognised by the National University of Ireland, and since then, more than 1,300 graduates have successfully passed through its doors. The university continues to build on its strong relationships with local hospitals and government entities, including the adjacent King Hamad University Hospital.
Living in Bahrain
Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf in the Middle East. It is an archipelago of 33 islands between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. It is approximately 23 kilometres east of Saudi Arabia, connected by the King Fahd Causeway. Manama, home to RCSI's campus in Bahrain, is the country's largest and capital city. The currency is the Bahraini Dinar; 1 BD = 2.55 EUR (XE.com, December 2016). Bahrain attracts a large number of foreigners and foreign influences, with just under a third of the population hailing from abroad.
Facts and figures
- Population: Circa 1.4 million
- Temperature (summer): 35-48C
- Temperature (winter): 10-20C
- Timezone: GMT +3
Transport and getting around
Food and dining
Religion and culture
Sports and family clubs
Entertainment and socialIn addition to cinemas showing current release Western and Asian films there is also a Bahraini National Theatre. There are numerous bars, night clubs and discotheques. There are occasional exhibitions of local painters' work. Several times during the year the British Council, Alliance Française and some of the larger hotels arrange cultural evenings when international entertainers perform in plays, classical music performances, opera and even ballet.
Relocating to Bahrain
As is the case when relocating to any new location, there is a lot to consider when relocating to Bahrain – where to live, schools, cost of living, visas, etc. The RCSI International Talent team are available to assist with providing detailed information on all aspects of relocating, from the logistics of flying out, transporting personal effects and other support services available. A brief overview on some topics can be found below.
Education in Bahrain is of a high standard, and to meet the needs of a growing expat population in Bahrain, the country has seen growth in the number of international schools. There are a number of schools for expats to choose from, however classes fill up quickly so registration should be completed as early as possible. Generally speaking, smaller class sizes are the norm in Bahrain and most have modern facilities and healthy extra-curricular programmes.
Cost of livingDue to inflation and a growing expat population, the cost of living in Bahrain is on the increase. However, the cost of living in Bahrain is still reasonable in comparison to many of its neighboring destinations. As with relocating to any destination, the cost of living in Bahrain can vary depending on the lifestyle one chooses to lead. Accommodation is typically the largest expat expense. Food costs in Bahrain are generally reasonable, with fresh and local products extremely affordable.
|Litre of milk||BHD 0.51||€1.70|
|Dozen eggs||BHD 0.77||€1.91|
|Loaf of bread||BHD 0.38||€0.94|
|Three course meal (mid-range restaurant)||BHD 15.00||€37.35|
|Bottle of beer||BHD 2.25||€5.60|
|Petrol/gas (per litre)||BHD 0.13||€0.32|
Working in Bahrain
As an RCSI international employee, there are many support services available when relocating to Bahrain. The international talent team and dedicated HR support will work collaboratively to ensure all necessary visas, work authorisation paperwork is arranged. As a result of Bahrain's economic growth, many multinational companies have established their regional headquarters in Manama, its capital and commercial centre. Bahrain is regarded as a wealth hotspot among expat professionals and most people report experiencing a higher standard of living with a larger disposable income than they had in the their home country.
Work authorisations and visas
Central Population Register (CPR)
BankingIn order to open a bank account in Bahrain, you must already have the relevant visa and CPR card in place – this will be arranged with the RCSI International Talent team and the dedicated HR support in advance of relocation. An element of paperwork will be required, with which assistance will also be provided. There are several international banks in operation in the region. Banks such as Standard Chartered, Citibank and HSBC have some branches in the country and using one of these may make it easier if you wish to transfer money back to an account in your country of origin. Some banks offer the facility to open an account in another currency such as GBP or USD.