Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Language + Culture

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Information for term Language + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 24 – Dec 8, 2020 (15 weeks)
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours / 22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jan 2 – Apr 10, 2021 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours / 22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours / 22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Bring your beginner to intermediate Spanish language skills to Santiago de los Caballeros and immerse yourself in Dominican university life at our partner school, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). After your required Spanish language course, choose from courses in English, from PUCMM’s four academic schools: Social Sciences and Administration; Science and Humanities; Engineering Sciences; and Health Sciences. Classroom instruction is supplemented with educational excursions throughout the country, local activities, and rural and urban volunteer opportunities to increase intercultural understanding. 

Unique Experiences

  • Explore

    the great outdoors in the central mountains of the Cibao region, visit the Samaná Peninsula or Montecristi.

  • Stroll through the museums

    of Santo Domingo, the capital of the D.R.

  • See the Haitian/Dominican border

    and a UNESCO World Heritage site

  • students at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

  • miles from the national capital

  • people living in this city, the second largest in the D.R.


Location & Culture

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Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros (knights), Santiago de los Caballeros has all the charm of a small neighborhood. You’ll find small-town delights right around the corner — street vendors, friendly locals playing dominos and listen to merengue and bachata music — while still being a stone’s throw away from national parks and museums like Centro Leon and Casa de Arte.

The Culture


  • Go on a weekend trip to the growing eco-paradise that is the Samaná Peninsula and Los Haitises National Park.
  • Visit Santo Domingo and its Zona Colonial including the first Cathedral of the Americas.
  • Embark on day trips to explore the Hermanas Mirabal Museum in Salcedo; the town of La Vega during Carnaval season; the market-town of Dajabón on the Haitian-Dominican border, and the Centro Leon Museum in Santiago.
  • Depending on the courses you take, visit agricultural and industrial projects, free trade zones, a Dominican tobacco company, other local museums, clinics, schools, or nonprofit organizations.


Volunteering. Help out at a local school, orphanage, or home for mentally or physically challenged children. You’ll also have the opportunity to do service-work in a rural community alongside locals.

Daily Life

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    Homestay There is no student housing on campus, so students live in middle class or upper class Dominican homes, all within walking distance of PUCMM. Housing assignments are made based on questionnaires that students submit to CIEE. Students and their families are asked to speak Spanish exclusively.


    Homestay: Meals are eaten at the place of residence and are included in the program fee.

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Where You'll Study

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Prepare for a full calendar — with plenty of educational excursions throughout the country, local activities, and rural and urban volunteer opportunities. The Language and Culture program is packed with exciting opportunities that supplement classroom content and immerse you in the community. You’re also encouraged to participate in student opportunities offered by CIEE partner university, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) and experience Dominican culture and geography outside of the classroom setting. All courses are taught in English except for the Spanish language courses. In addition, all students sign off on the CIEE Community Language Commitment, agreeing to speak only Spanish to foster language proficiency and understanding of Dominican society. Courses are taught by CIEE and PUCMM faculty.

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra was founded in 1962 and dedicated to serving the social and economic development of all Dominicans. PUCMM has been ranked as the best academic institution of higher learning in the Dominican Republic. Just 15 minutes from downtown Santiago, PUCMM's campus has four academic schools: Social Sciences and Administration; Science and Humanities; Engineering Sciences; and Health Sciences.


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  • Class Format

    All students are required to take one Spanish language course and other elective courses offered by PUCMM in English. Students take a Spanish language placement test during orientation and register for classes during this time.


    Students are graded on a scale of A-F. PUCMM courses may include FN (failure for absences).


    The CIEE elective course is for students only. Electives through PUCMM’s division of Spanish for Foreigners include CIEE, local, and other international students. Field trips are often integrated into academic classes.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


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Course Information

Program Credit
Credit:15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-2 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) courses: 1-4 semester/1.5-6 quarter credits; 15-60 contact hours

Language of Instruction


  • One Spanish Language course
  • 3-4 additional electives

Course Notes

  • Additional electives may include CIEE Intercultural Communication and Leadership.
  • PUCMM classes are offered for foreigners by PUCMM staff, although up to five Dominican and/or Haitian students per class may also enroll, space permitting. Courses are not always offered each semester and a minimum enrollment of six students is needed to run each class.
  • A preliminary list of courses is sent to students upon acceptance into the program. The final list of available courses is given to students upon arrival, as not all courses are offered every semester.

Host Institution Courses

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  • Beginning Spanish Language I
  • Beginning Spanish Language II
  • Intermediate Spanish Language I 
  • Intermediate Spanish Language II
  • Advanced Spanish Language I 
  • Advanced Spanish Language II 


Latin American Cinema and Society
As the Civilization of the Imagination, cinema is recognized as one of the most effective mediums for the diffusion of human ideas and for understanding the reality of the world’s peoples. Furthermore, it is an excellent vehicle to inform us about the social, political, and cultural reality, in both the past and the present of the countries that produce films. These and other reasons motivate Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra to offer, within the division of Spanish for Foreigners, a semester-long course called “Latin American Cinema,” which serves to deepen students’ knowledge about this region of the world. Parallel to the concepts mentioned above, theoretical cinematographic concepts will be presented and a compendium of the history of this “7th art form.”

Culture and Society in the Hispanic Caribbean
This course deals with the various cultures that comprise the Hispanic Caribbean as a socio-historic unit within the Caribbean cultural group, considering the specificities and diversities in which their cultural richness lies. We will examine the historic and social processes of the formation and development of the various societies and state forms in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. In addition, we will study the manifestations and representative movements of political thought, philosophy, and pedagogy, as well as artistic and literary production in the Hispanic Caribbean.

Dominican-Haitian Relations
This course will examine, in an introductory form, the reality of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, emphasizing the historical structure of both societies as well as historical, political, economic, and cultural factors that have influenced the relations of both nations. There will also be complementary activities, such as a visit to a batey and/or the border region (Dajabón) and viewing videos, among others.

Hispanic Caribbean Literature
This course offers a panoramic vision of Hispanic Caribbean literature from the colonial era until the contemporary literature with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Representative works will be read, analyzed, and presented from each era corresponding to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The analysis will be complemented with secondary readings of a diverse nature.

Introduction to Dominican Folklore
This course presents a complete and systematic panorama of the different aspects and branches of the study of folklore, with special emphasis on those areas of Dominican folklore that are particularly rich and colorful, including religious observances and festivals. In addition to the natural richness that folklore exhibits, the course will be developed within a wide theoretical framework, emphasizing Dominican references. Various videos will be shown, there will be short excursions that vividly illustrate concepts discussed in class, and students will share brief presentations of their own research, applying the research concepts that are studied in the class.

Poverty and Development: Dominican Case Study
In this course, the concepts of poverty and development are studied through an analysis of national and international factors that deepen poverty and impede a country´s and/or a region´s progress and socio-economic development. Special emphasis is placed on the socio-cultural contexts of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The focus is on neoliberal economic policies, statistics related to international financial organizations, strategies and alternatives for socio-economic and human development in Latin American and Caribbean societies, and external debt and its impact on the poorest countries in the region.

Teaching English as a Second Language
This 4-credit course is addressed to English speakers who are seriously interested in the ESL/EFL teaching field. It is intended to provide the appropriate and necessary instructions, strategies, and techniques that will enable them to succeed in their English teaching practice. The course is comprised of 28 hours of in-class theory and 56 hours of hands-on practice teaching the regularly enrolled university students at PUCMM and requires an extensive written report at the end that incorporates elements of both theory and experiences learned through the practicum.

PUCMM One-Credit Courses

PUCMM offers the following courses to all CIEE students, which are worth one credit each.

Arts: Artistic Drawing, Drama, Guitar, Oratory, Photography, Sculpture, Silk-Screening, Stage Scenery Design

Dominican Dance and Folklore: Dominican folklore is introduced through regional dances and musical instruments. Students learn to dance traditional merengue, bachata, and salsa.

Physical Education: Baseball, Basketball, Gymnastics, Judo, Karate, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track, Volleyball

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.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • Latin America Flight Voucher

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates & Fees

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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.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Orientation conducted in Santiago and lasting approximately one week
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 15 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 24, 2020 Dec 8, 2020
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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 insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $10,133 **

Housing = $2,250 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $12,850

Estimated Costs

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

International Airfare = $600

Local Transportation = $250

Books & Supplies = $175

Visa Fees = $700 ††

Personal expenses = $1,500

Total Estimated Costs = $3,225

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.

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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 $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes all meals

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

†† Only if students opt for the student permit, but we recommend that they enter as a Tourist. They will pay an overstay fee of US $50 upon departure. Tourist card is US $10 and is included in the cost of the airfare.

Spring 2021 14 weeks Nov 1, 2020 Jan 2, 2021* Apr 10, 2021*
Academic year 2020-2021 14 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 24, 2020 TBD

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

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, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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