Significantly improve you Spanish language skills, while developing a critical appreciation of the Dominican Republic and Caribbean.
Through CIEE electives, specialized study tracks, and direct enrollment in a number local universities, study abroad in Santo Domingo allows you to pursue your interests and explore the country and region alongside local and international students in a variety of academic settings. And with homestays, internships with local grassroots organizations, volunteer opportunities, and a variety of activities and excursions, studying abroad in the Dominican Republic offers you a uniquely immersive intercultural experience.
Study abroad in Santo Domingo you will:
Improve your Spanish language skills significantly through advanced-level courses
Partake in an optional development internship working with local organizations
Take part in excursions to sites of cultural importance, including the colonial zone, an anthropological museum, ecological preserves, and trips to the Samaná Peninsula and the Cibao region
Enjoy a specialized track in Caribbean Studies, non-credit volunteer opportunities, and the support of peer advisors
The CIEE Difference
In addition to a number of CIEE advanced language and area studies courses, enroll directly at three Santo Domingo universities in a wide range of courses in the humanities and social sciences.
Interested in concentrating your studies on the Caribbean? Pursue a track of study focused solely on the region with courses in Social and Ethno-cultural Identity, Authors of the Hispanic Caribbean and Dominican-Haitian Relations.
Gain professional, international experience while giving back to your host community. After analyzing themes of social-cultural change, the characteristics and role of NGOs in the Dominican Republic and exploration of challenges facing contemporary Dominican society, you’ll enter field service at a local grassroots development agency.
Enjoy various daylong and one overnight excursion of cultural, ecological, and/or historical interest. Visit national reserves, a colonial sugar mill, and museums, attend theater performances, and baseball games and travel to an outdoor market along the Dominican/Haitian.
All students must enroll for a minimum of 15 U.S. semester hours. Recommended credit for the semester is 15–16 semester/22.5–24 quarter hours. Recommended credit for the academic year is 30–31 semester/45–46.5 quarter hours.
Contact hours are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.
All study abroad students take a total of five courses or 15 credits. Based upon the results of a Spanish language exam, students may be required to take Advanced Spanish I or II, or to enroll in the “Language and Culture in the Dominican Republic” course at CIEE. Students who are required to take Spanish may take up to two additional CIEE courses and two direct enrollment courses at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC. Those students not required to take Spanish may enroll in a maximum of two CIEE courses and three direct enrollment courses at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC. Students choosing the Caribbean Studies Track may take up to three CIEE courses, including the Social and Ethnocultural Identity of the Contemporary Caribbean and Spanish language (if required based on language exam), and up to three elective courses through direct enrollment at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC, for a total of five courses. All students may take the Living and Learning Seminar, offered at the CIEE Study Center, regardless of their other course enrollment. Students are not permitted to take more than two courses at the UASD.
About Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, is located on the southern coast of the island. With a population of 2,000,000, it is considered to be the main economic and political center of the country. It is a city of contrasts, where one can observe rapid economic growth and challenges to human development. The city, often called the “First City of the New World,” is steeped in historical significance. There are numerous plazas and churches throughout the colonial district, which give a distinct flavor to the city. Santo Domingo is divided by a river, the Río Ozama, and is close to many beaches.
Where You’ll Study
The study abroad program is hosted by the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO). FLACSO is linked to other research and teaching centers throughout Latin America and was founded by UNESCO.
The opportunity to enroll in more than one Dominican university is quite unique and provides insight into the diversity of the Dominican educational system.
El Bonó is a small Jesuit institute of higher learning specializing in philosophy and social sciences. It was founded in the 1980s as the Jesuit Order separated from the official Catholic Seminary to create an academic setting that encouraged freedom of expression, critical thought, and a philosophy more in line with Latin American Liberation Theology.
INTEC is a private university founded in the mid-1970s by a group of professionals and businessmen who were disenfranchised with the level of freedom of expression and critical thought in the Dominican university system of the era. The university was founded to promote academic excellence in the areas of social sciences, humanities, medicine, business, and engineering.
With 160,000 students, UASD is the largest university in the Dominican Republic—and it’s the oldest, having been founded in 1538. As many public universities in Latin America, the UASD has battled against political and social oppression and is known for its political engagement. This institution offers CIEE students courses in the humanities, arts and social sciences.
Housing & Meals
Study abroad students live in Dominican homestays in middle-class neighborhoods throughout Santo Domingo. Housing and meals are included in the program fee. (All students receive three meals per day with their host family.) Weekly laundry and linen service is also provided.
Established in 1998, the CIEE Study Center in Santo Domingo gives study abroad students the opportunity to enroll in classes at Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó (El Bonó), Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), and Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC). When available, CIEE students may enroll in post-graduate social science courses at FLACSO. In addition, the CIEE study center offers specially designed courses for CIEE students in Spanish language and cultural, literary, artistic, political, and social aspects of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean as a whole. Students generally enroll in one Spanish language course and a variety of CIEE content courses, as well as in courses at the other host institutions. This arrangement permits students to combine the CIEE specialized” atmosphere of CIEE with courses offered through INTEC, UASD, and El Bonó.
The program is suitable for advanced undergraduate students with strong language skills and a background in the social sciences or in Latin American studies.
The CIEE Study Center is housed in an elegant home in the Gazcue neighborhood of Santo Domingo. It provides a safe and beautiful space for students to study, share experiences, and gather for program and cultural activities. The new facility boasts large classrooms and plenty of office space, ample study spaces, a computer lab, wireless internet, and several outside terraces and lawns.
For those students who have an interest in focusing their academic studies on the Caribbean region, the CIEE Study Center offers participants an opportunity to pursue a Caribbean Studies track of study. Students who pursue this track must enroll in the required core course taught at CIEE, Social and Ethno-cultural Identity of the Contemporary Caribbean; up to two elective courses taught at CIEE; and up to three elective courses at CIEE-affiliated universities in Santo Domingo. These latter courses must focus on the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean region.
Academic culture in Dominican universities is different from that of universities and colleges in the United States. Direct enrollment in Dominican universities is one of the richest opportunities not only for academic learning, but also for immersing oneself in the language, for meeting Dominicans, and for learning about Dominican culture and society. However, it also brings many challenges, which include adapting to and learning from a more formal academic culture and dealing with limited or hard-to-find materials.
Nature of Classes
CIEE courses taught are for CIEE study abroad participants only. At INTEC, and El Bonó, participants enroll directly in host university courses and take classes with Dominicans.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
Students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Dominican society.
Letter grades of A-F are given without pluses or minuses. Students are assessed based on a combination of mid-term and final exams, papers, oral presentations, and small quizzes. Attendance is mandatory and incompletes are not accepted.
Language of Instruction
Faculty is from CIEE-affiliated host institutions: FLACSO, El Bonó, and INTEC.