Alou, Bautista, Franco, Guerrero, Ortiz, Martinez, Pujols—the Dominican Republic has produced more major league baseball players per capita than any other country in the world.
Spend your summer in Santo Domingo examining the impact of sports on the culture, identity, and society of this island nation. Through Spanish language study, cultural activities, and facilitated interactions with Dominicans within and outside of the local sports world, studying abroad in Santo Domingo offers you unparalleled insight into the relationships between baseball and Caribbean culture and society.
Study abroad in Santo Domingo and you will:
- Learn about the cultural, social, and economic impacts of major league baseball on Dominican society, and the challenges and opportunities posed by the globalization of the sport
- Examine the interdependence between developing countries and the premier leagues of the baseball and sporting industries of various developed countries
- Experience Dominican baseball through site visits to baseball clubs, academies, training facilities, and through attendance at baseball games where you'll meet with players, scouts, trainers, agents, and managers
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
In addition to an introduction to Spanish language, enroll in two program specific courses developed specifically for CIEE by resident staff, local university professors, and/or professionals in the baseball industry. Explore ethical issues in sports development, and the impact of sports on Caribbean cultures, economics, and politics through coursework, a series of site visits, and guest speakers from the local community.
Enjoy various field trips and excursions including visits to baseball academies, amateur games, local NGOs that work with baseball prospects, and Dominican professional league offices.
The study abroad program also includes a weekly film night, hosted at the CIEE Study Center, where you’ll watch and discuss films centered on the program’s core themes of sport and society.
Community engagement is an important cultural and educational component of this program. A number of projects arranged by CIEE are designed to give you a firsthand look at the challenges facing baseball and the Dominican Republic today. CIEE has an established network of community partnerships with local NGOs, schools, and other organizations.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
The program fee includes:
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Summer 2014 (6 wks)
Program Date Notes
In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, field trips, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
Educational Costs **
This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.
Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** includes all meals
Estimated Additional Costs
International Airfare *
Local government registration/entrance fees
The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.
* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure
- Overall GPA 2.75
- 1 semester of college-level Spanish or Spanish language course within the past year strongly recommended
Total recommended credit for the summer term program is 6 semester/9 quarter hours. This designation is based on the number of hours students dedicate to the courses, both in and out of the classroom.
Course contact hours are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.
All study abroad students are required to enroll in the two CIEE required courses. Students with no prior college-level Spanish, or equivalent, are required to take basic Spanish in place of the Ethics in Sports Development course. The Spanish requirement may be waived with written approval from participants’ home school advisor and the CIEE resident director.
About the City
About The City
The Dominican Republic has produced more major league baseball players per capita than any other country in the world, and visiting Santo Domingo, the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic, baseball is observable in almost every breath the city takes. With a population of two million, Santo Domingo is considered to be the main economic and political center of the country. The city, often called the “First City of the New World,” is steeped in historical significance, and while the arrival of baseball to the country only dates back to the end of the 19th century, its importance to the Dominican Republic’s modern history is no less significant. Along with numerous plazas and churches throughout the colonial district, which give a distinct flavor to the city, baseball fields dot the landscape, and variations of the game can be spotted throughout each neighborhood. Most neighborhoods have local colmados (corner stores) where many locals gather in the evenings to watch baseball games on TV and play dominoes.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Nathaniel Thompson, Assistant Resident Director (Semester), Resident Director (Summer) Nathaniel has been with CIEE in the Dominican Republic since 2006. He earned a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder and completed his M.A. through Stony Brook University where his Master’s thesis focused on the cultural and historical importance of baseball in Dominican society. As an undergrad he worked at CU Boulder’s Study Abroad Programs office and studied in Spain, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Before joining the CIEE Study Center in Santo Domingo he spent five years with CIEE in Santiago, DR, and before Santiago spent two summers working in Seville, Spain, and Cannes, France. Nathaniel will be supporting the CIEE Liberal Arts program during the academic year, and leading the new Sports and Society: Baseball in Context summer program as Resident Director.
Baseball is, and has long been, one of the most powerful cultural phenomena in the Dominican Republic. Much more than a diversion or a pastime to Dominicans, it is played and followed often with single-minded devotion. Baseball takes form in many shapes here. In the countryside, players share the fields with grazing livestock; in the narrow city streets, they use broomsticks as bats and bottle caps as balls; professional teams and independent scouts administer training academies hoping to sign, and profit from, the next big star.
But the story of Dominican baseball is not only told in the Dominican Republic. It continues on in the form of legend in the U.S., where Dominican players-- representing by far the largest group of foreign players in the major leagues-- become superstars. The social and historical conditions that have led to this cultural phenomenon, and the role of Major League Baseball abroad, are often overlooked and misunderstood. As a participant in this program, expect to experience and understand Dominican baseball where it is born and where it comes to life, as you interact with the individuals involved with baseball in order to learn what makes the sport so important to Dominican society and what it can tell us about how a familiar pastime can take on new meaning according to each culture that adopts it. You’ll see a new side of baseball here, and you’ll see it not just as fans, but rather as cultural observers eager to understand baseball as culture, and as learners who understand much about the phenomenon of a sport that crosses borders and bridges cultures.
— Nathaniel Thompson, Resident Director
Héctor López, Student Coordinator, graduated with a degree in architecture from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), and has been a member of the CIEE team since 2002.
April Yoder, professor of the Cultural Studies of Caribbean Sport class, holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and is a Ph.D. candidate in Georgetown University’s Department of History, completing her dissertation, entitled Pitching Democracy: Baseball and Politics in the Dominican Republic, 1955-1978. She is a Davis Fellow at Georgetown and has received numerous other grants and awards during her undergraduate and graduate studies. In addition to being a part of CIEE’s Sports and Society study abroad program, April recently taught a course on Drug Policy in Latin America at Georgetown, and in the fall of 2012 will be teaching Sports in the History of the Americas. In 2010, she presented a piece entitled, “Politics at the Plate: Baseball and Democracy in the Dominican Republic, 1961-1963," for Georgetown’s Latin American History Research Seminar. She specializes in the political aspects of baseball, both locally and internationally, especially throughout Latin America during the Cold War.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
The study abroad program is hosted by the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), which is linked to other research and teaching centers throughout Latin America and was founded by UNESCO, the UN agency dedicated to education, culture, and science. Classroom discussions take place at the CIEE Study Center, a large and charming colonial residence in the Gazcue neighborhood of central Santo Domingo. The Study Center is equipped with classrooms, study areas, wireless internet, a kitchen, outdoor seating, a computer lab, and other amenities for students, staff, and instructors.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Study abroad students live in Dominican homestays in middle-class neighborhoods throughout Santo Domingo. Housing and most meals are included in the program fee. All students eat three meals each day with their host family. Weekly laundry and linen service is also provided. The homestay is essential to the student’s learning process and integration into life in Santo Domingo. The opportunity to live with a Dominican family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, but it also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses, and practicing their Spanish language skills. Wherever possible, homestays include at least one member who speaks conversational English.
You'll begin your study abroad experience in Santo Domingo even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple—to help you understand more about the program, and identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.
A three-day orientation session at the beginning of the program will introduce you to the city of Santo Domingo and the program. The orientation includes specially designed sessions on health and safety, local living logistics, and community engagement opportunities.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. The CIEE’s Study Center is equipped with free wireless internet as are many local restaurants and shops. USB-enabled 3G modems can be purchased locally and you can purchase internet time for a reasonable price in order to have internet access wherever there is cell phone coverage. The Study Center also has a computer lab available for your use.
The academic program is supplemented by field trips and excursions to various points of interest around Santo Domingo. Field trips and excursions may include visits to baseball academies, home towns of professional baseball players, amateur games, local NGOs that work with baseball prospects, and Dominican professional league offices. These activities take advantage of seasonal events and current attractions.
The study abroad program includes a weekly film night, hosted at the CIEE Study Center, where you'll watch and discuss films centered on the program’s core themes of sport and society. Events and activities are chosen to provide you with an overview of the cultural diversity offered in the city and surroundings, and to complement the overall academic theme of the program.
The CIEE Study Center in Santo Domingo has a long tradition of high academic quality in the social sciences. The Sports and Society: Baseball in Context program is open to students from all majors who have an interest in any of the following disciplines: Latin American and/or Caribbean studies, sociology, anthropology, sports management, and development. Students with some background in college-level Spanish enroll in the two content courses: Cultural Studies in Caribbean Sport and Ethical Issues in Sports Development. Students with no background in Spanish enroll in a Spanish language course and Cultural Studies in Caribbean Sport. All courses, except Spanish, are taught in English.
The observational- and experiential-based courses are designed specifically for CIEE study abroad students. Class time includes in-class discussions as well as extensive experiential and field-based learning components. Professors prepare students in the classroom and accompany them on educational field trips in and around Santo Domingo. The classrooms are located in the CIEE Study Center and though classroom time is spent only with other CIEE students, field trips provide ample opportunity to interact with a varied population of Dominicans within the baseball community such as prospects, players, coaches, scouts, administrators, and historians.
Nature of Classes
Class discussions are held in classrooms at the CIEE Study Center, which is also equipped with classrooms, study areas, wireless internet, a kitchen, outdoor seating, a computer lab, and other amenities for students, staff, and instructors.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
While this study abroad program does not have a Spanish requirement, and course content is delivered in English, students are encouraged to practice their Spanish before arriving to the program and using as much Spanish as possible outside of the classroom. This will help them in their interactions with their host families and members of the baseball community, as well as with their integration into Dominican culture. While translation is provided when necessary, some community members with whom students will interact and members of CIEE staff speak limited or no English, hence some effort on behalf of the student is urged. CIEE Santo Domingo staff is always willing to help students improve their Spanish while participating in the program.
Letter grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F are given. Students are assessed based on a combination of participation, papers, oral presentations, and a final exam. Attendance is mandatory and incompletes are not accepted.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught by faculty from local universities, CIEE resident staff, and/or professionals in the baseball industry.
Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Courses
LAST 3001 SSDR/SPMG 3001 SSDR
Ethical Issues in Sports Development
This course examines the nature of relationships and business ethics in international sports, and the ways in which the sports industry—particularly baseball in the Dominican Republic—affects the communities and people that it touches. The course challenges students to analyze and assess who the winners and losers are when mainstream globalized sports collide with the challenges and cultural realities of the developing world. Students are asked to generate conclusions about the potential for sports to foster positive social change, identify the challenges it must confront in order to do so, and propose ethical and practical solutions. Special attention is paid to the effect of globalization on baseball in the Dominican Republic and on an analysis of the role of Major League Baseball (MLB) in Dominican society, and its influence over the Dominican game. Class format emphasizes discussions and student participation. In addition, this class is supplemented with site visits and guest speakers from the local community.
LAST 3003 SSDR
Cultural Studies of Caribbean Sport
This course specifically investigates and explores the culture of sports in the Dominican Republic and Caribbean region, and uses a case study approach to examine baseball and the ways in which it has become a dominant sport and significant cultural influence in the region. During the course, students look at baseball as major cultural fixture in several countries where it has taken deep root, and will come to understand the genesis of baseball in the region, how it has impacted local cultures, economics, and politics, and likewise how the cultural features of each country have impacted the development of baseball there and influenced linkages with the U.S. and Major League Baseball.
SPAN 1001 SSDR
Spanish Language, Beginning I
This course comprises an introduction to the Spanish language with an emphasis on the speaking, listening comprehension, and understanding of basic grammar. Students master basic communication skills in Spanish; learn to employ simple verb tenses correctly; acquire vocabulary; and learn and use language skills in their daily life. To reinforce class lessons, homework assignments are given on a routine basis and reviewed in class. Assignments are modified and adapted to the needs of individual students. Evaluation for the course is based on attendance, participation, quizzes, exams, and a final creative presentation demonstrating progress in the language. Students with no prior college-level Spanish must enroll in this course in place of one of the required program courses.