Why YOU should come to Santiago? By Ada I. Rios
It’s officially about a month until the semester is over. During my time studying in Santiago, I’ve verified that I prefer the heat to the cold. Sometimes on my way back from uni, I stop by a tree & get some carambola. In the cold you cannot go out & pick fruit. Nor can you walk outside. Yes, you may sweat buckets, but you are still able to get that vitamin D & surreal views of leaves. The greenery here goes crazy, I constantly find myself stopping to admire the nature. Tips for walking to uni en El Caribe are: applying sunscreen, water, sunglasses & potentially a sweat handkerchief.
My biggest shock, in terms of fits, was learning that here in R.D barely anyone wears shorts, let alone in the uni context. In this sense, the culture here is a bit conservative regarding attire. But, men also do not wear shorts— so everyone is sweating equally. So another packing tip is to bring blue jeans! Some days, especially in this weather, it may feel impossible, but you’ll adapt. Remember that you’re here for uni, not for a resort vacation, when packing. But you’ll be living on an isla tropical, entonce' the bathing suits are a must.
Be sure to come with an open mind & ready to learn. Even as a native Spanish speaker, Dominican Spanish has some unique words. Something that has been helpful for me is thinking of it as integrating the words into my vocabulary. I can promise, you won’t be judged for this. On the contrary, in my experience using Dominican words as a Hondu-Mex, Dominicans get very excited to see a foreigner learning about their culture & using their words. ¡Suelen a ser muy acogedores! Countless times I’ve been told “Se está aplatanando” which means “she’s becoming Dominican.” Just like you want to learn about their culture, I can almost guarantee they want to learn about yours.
By Ada I. Ríos
CIEE & DePaul University’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Sustainable Food Systems program in Santiago, DR
Leading the CIEE custom program for DePaul University in the Dominican Republic was truly a beautiful experience. This is a very impactful program. Not only on its participants, but also... keep reading