santiago dr colonial building
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

January in Santiago DR

Study Program



3 weeks



3 semester hours

4.5 quarter hours


Application Deadline

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Spend your winter break studying abroad in Santiago de los Caballeros,  Dominican Republic this January and immerse yourself in the daily life of a vibrant developing Caribbean Island. Located in the central Cibao valley, Santiago offers fascinating historical, entertaining, and scenic gems. Known as Ciudad Corazón (the Heartland City) and home to national baseball pride Las Águilas Cibaeñas, the city provides a glimpse of authentic Dominican culture through the lens of one of our offered courses.

During this winter program, you’ll spend three-and-a-half weeks delving into the rich tapestry of Afro-Caribbean history, culture and identity. From exploring the legacy of Taíno and African cultures to Spanish and American cultures, you’ll examine notable music, art, religion, and social movements. You’ll also engage with local communities and gain a deeper understanding of resilience, creativity, and heritage on a paradisiac island.

Round out your time abroad by stepping up to the plate and learning about the heartbeat of Dominican culture: Baseball! In Santiago, you’ll discover the passion, talent, and business behind this national obsession. Catch a winter league baseball game in the endless summer and visit locals, from promising underprivileged youth to elite professional baseball academies. This is a winter study abroad program you won’t want to miss! 

Unique Experiences

Explore the diverse environments

of a tropical island by hiking and cycling along beautiful beaches, rivers, and mountains 


Get captivated by the local lifestyle

by immersing yourself in Dominican traditions and exploring street art in the “Heart City.”

Enjoy local Dominican cuisine

from street food like savory empanadas, fresh tropical fruit juices, yun-yun, and yaroas to the most elaborate dishes in fine restaurants and welcoming homes. 


major league baseball players who are Dominican


miles of tropical paradisiac coastline in the country

10,161 FT

highest peak of the Caribbean, Pico Duarte

  • santiago dr
  • santiago dr
  • santiago dr

Your Destination

Find yourself surrounded by mountains in the lush valley of the Cibao region in the center of the island of Hispaniola. Here lies Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, which puts you steps away from places of historical, cultural, and ecological interest – not to mention about an hour’s drive to the Atlantic Coast with crystal-clear warm water and white sand. Santiago is the commercial and cultural center of the fertile Cibao Valley region, housing the León Jimenez cultural center and the commercial street of Calle del Sol.  

Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros from Columbus’ early expeditions, Santiago boasts a fascinating history, exciting museums, and endless cultural experiences, including music, art, and festivals. This growing, modern city is home to many Dominican specialties, such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, amber, and larimar, and a population of more than 800,000. Despite its sprawling size, Santiago retains many small-town features. Traditional merchants call out their wares in a musical chant, and street vendors balance large baskets of fruit and vegetables on their heads.  

Close to the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south, Santiago offers endless sports options, including surfing, kitesurfing, and golfing, along with ample cultural and artistic entertainment and recreation. Here you can dance to the contagious rhythm of merengue and bachata and enjoy the best Dominican gastronomy.  And of course, engorge all the entertainment a baseball fan can ask for.

Come and enjoy a vibrant and growing city in the Caribbean with everything the tropics offer, from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to the highest peak of the Caribbean.    

The Culture

santiago dr baseball stadium crowd

Excursions & Activities

While participating in the January in Santiago program, you have a chance to: 

  • Immerse yourself in the heartbeat of Dominican culture by keeping up with the national baseball championship. Become a passionate fan of one of the local teams, and cheer for them during the winter league. Connect with fellow enthusiasts and meet others who keep the baseball spirit alive on the island.
  • Examine the historic and cultural charms of Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic and one of the Caribbean’s oldest cities. Walk the cobblestoned paths around the historic colonial zone, with an enlightening decolonial tour. Meet the resilient Congos de Villa Mella maroon community and learn about their rich heritage. Enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or a savory snack from one of the many cafes surrounding El Conde Street.  
  • Visit nearby cities and places of historical, social, or ecological relevance, such as Puerto Plata, Jarabacoa, or Rio Blanco. Take advantage of the stunning landscapes for outdoor adventures including surfing or kitesurfing, hiking through lush trails and even waterfall jumping. With its renowned perfect winds and picturesque mountain views, the area surrounding Santiago features the perfect setting to experience first-hand Dominican expertise in tourism.
  • Tour the vibrant streets of Los Pepines and admire Santiago's traditional Downtown and its murals. People-watch or dare to dance in a true Dominican street gathering with live music at the family setting of El Son de Keka.

Please note: Activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience.  

Program Blogs


Why YOU should come to Santiago? By Ada I. Rios

By CIEE Santiago de los Caballeros at CIEE

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... keep reading


Tour de las ballenas en Samaná by Eliana Olivier

By CIEE Santiago de los Caballeros at CIEE

Our overnight trip as part of the CIEE Liberal Arts program consisted of a trip to Samaná. We were able to take advantage of the long weekend due to the... keep reading


Day trip to Puerto Plata by Allejandra Spear

By CIEE Santiago de los Caballeros at CIEE

After the first three weeks full of exploring and adjusting to the environment and school, we ended the month with a day trip to a nearby city, Puerto plata. It... keep reading



Courses are taught at CIEE Santiago De Los Caballeros and are only for CIEE students. Classes are scheduled Monday-Friday and meet three to five times per week, and attendance is strictly enforced both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online with our learning management system, Canvas.



Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


All students enroll in one 3-credit CIEE course. 

Program Credit

Total credit: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits per session.

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours per session. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

Class pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. CIEE courses follow U.S. academic culture and standards. The class environment typically features a combination of traditional lectures and discussions with co-curricular excursions and activities. Each course is a full semester in content, so the pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. CIEE courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel out of Santiago when classes are in session and plan trips for the weekends.   

Class Format

Courses are for CIEE students only and are taught Monday-Friday, and attendance is strictly enforced both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas. 


Students are graded on quizzes, exams, attendance, homework assignments, presentations, and class participation. As attendance is mandatory, absences affect final grades. Students must check with their professors to find out exam and project presentation dates. Under no circumstances will CIEE alter deadlines or exam dates for study abroad students who have made conflicting travel plans. The course includes compulsory activities with special assignments as part of classwork. The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Course Information

Health Professions and Related Programs

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

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 canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program January 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $3,850

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300

Educational Costs = $2,695*

Housing = $775**

Insurance = $80

Total Fees = $3,850

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $0

International Airfare = $600††

Personal expenses = $135†††

Total Costs = $735

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

*direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

**Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

For students in homestays, families provide all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). For select/select plus option, you should budget approx. $290 per month for groceries if you plan on making your own meals, and more if you plan on eating out regularly.

††round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†††$100 emergency fund + toiletries + cell phone expense (may vary depending on the plan the student choose)

What's Included



Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet


Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support



Our Staff

Lucía Agüero

Center Director

Lucía Agüero is a passionate educator and lifelong learner with over fifteen years of professional experience.

Dorka Tejada

Custom & College Senior Program Coordinator

Dorka Tejada earned her technical degree in Agronomy at Loyola Dajabón, Dominican Republic, and has taken numerous business administration, tourism, and hotel management courses.

Randolp Valenzuela

HSSA & College Program Coordinator

Randolp Valenzuela has a degree in electrical technics and has taken numerous courses in business administration and media communication. He has more than a decade of experience coordinating youth camps...

Get Started Steps

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