Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Service Learning

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Information for term Service Learning

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2018

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2018
  • Credit: 15 - 16 semester hours / 22.5 - 24 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Ever wonder what fair-trade labels means to the workers who attach them? In the Dominican Republic – one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean – your experiences will shine a light on this and more. Examine their socio-economic challenges, and help improve their lives. Through coursework, fieldwork, internships, activities, and excursions, you’ll also improve your Spanish skills, and add valuable skills like research methodology, grant writing, critical analysis, and public speaking to your resume.

Unique Experiences

  • Get out of the classroom

    and learn through collaborative experience on grassroots and community-based projects.

  • Contribute

    to an ongoing rural partnership in organic farming and environmental justice.

  • Make a difference

    for a community in need with capstone service project that includes field research.

  • average daily temperature (F)

  • universities

  • square miles of lush beauty make up remote Los Haitises National Park


Location & Culture

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Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros from Columbus’ early expeditions, Santiago is a growing, modern city with a population of more than 800,000. Despite its sprawling size, Santiago retains many small-town features. Traditional merchants ride burros loaded with baskets of goods and call out their wares in a musical chant. Street vendors balance large baskets of fruit and vegetables on their heads. People are friendly and crime is scarce. The people of Santiago like to play dominos, listen to merengue and bachata music, and talk about baseball.

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The Culture


  • Visit free-trade zones, schools, clinics, NGOs and more – last year’s visits included a fair-trade clothing factory and sugar plantation.
  • Unwind at tropical Samaná Peninsula, where you’ll marvel at mangroves at Los Haitises National park, swim at one of the DR’s most beautiful beaches, and visit Salto El Limon, and the magical Lemon Waterfall.
  • Get skills you need for a global career by earning a Teach English as a Second Language certificate or completing a course in community service.
  • See the economy in action with weekend excursions. Visit Dajabón, an economic development zone on the Haitian-Dominican border region. Visit Santo Domingo and Haina to learn about the slave and sugar trades.
  • Explore national parks like Lago Enriquillo, Bahia de las Aguilas, and el Hoyo de Pelentito.
  • Take one-day trips to Jamao del Norte, the Hermanas Mirabal Museum, and La Vega during Carnaval season.


  • Rural stays. Halfway through the program, students stay in a rural community and learn about community development. Work with the first school of organic agriculture and ecology in the DR, to learn sustainable environmental practices and alternative strategies for common problems in urban and rural areas, and fine-tune your capstone project.
  • Work retreat. See how grassroots development works with this weekend away.
  • Internships. Team up with one of our partners (below) and help communities with a range of issues from education to legal assistance while you gain great experience.

Daily Life

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    Homestays. Living with a Dominican family is your ticket to immersion into every day Santiago life. Your Spanish-speaking host family provides housing and three meals a day. All homestays are within walking distance of campus.


    All meals are provided by your homestay family.

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Where You'll Study

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What you need to know

The program details

This program helps students to fulfill educational and personal goals while they forge relationships in the communities they’re learning about. In this sense, service-learning takes theory to practice, solving social problems and benefiting all involved.

The American Association for Higher Education defines service-learning as a method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service conducted in and meets the needs of a community, and coordinated with an institution of higher education and the community; helps foster civic responsibility; is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled; and includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience. Our program is designed to include and address the four core principles of service-learning – engagement, reflection, reciprocity, and public dissemination.

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.

Professors are from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra or contracted by CIEE.


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    Students take all courses with other CIEE study abroad students in the service-learning program only. The Directed Independent Research and Capstone Project course is completed individually in consultation with the CIEE resident director and a research committee. Language and cultural immersion occurs largely within homestays and service work.


    In CIEE and PUCMM courses, students are graded from A-F on quizzes, exams, papers, presentations, and class participation. Attendance is mandatory. Incompletes are not accepted.


    Service learning is more interactive, field-based, and reflective compared to normal course pedagogies. Students are required to draw upon knowledge and reflect on experiences through the analytic scope of research and observation methods drawn from the core course. Language coursework is framed on Spanish grammar, but focuses on expanding everyday vocabulary and communication skills regarding community development and service work. The core courses and Directed Independent Research and Capstone Project course draw on the expertise of the CIEE resident director and professors from the Department of Applied Linguistics at the PUCM.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    3.0 GPA in Spanish language 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) Volunteering and/or research experience is recommended


Program Credit

  • Total credit, semester: 15-16 semester/22.5-24 quarter hours
  • Course contact hours: 45; credit – 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course, unless otherwise noted

Students to take the following:

  • Community Advocacy Internship
  • Development and Globalization: Dominican Republic Case Study
  • Social Research Methods
  • 1 Spanish language course at your level
  • Capstone Project

Students can also take a 1-credit direct enrollment course elective.


Fall 2017 Courses

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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.





The following courses are offered to all CIEE students and 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


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Scholarships & Grants

In 2016, we awarded over 1,000 scholarships totaling more than $5 million, helping more students get on planes and live their dreams in faraway places than any other organization. This year's no different. In fact, every year we give this unrivaled amount of funding, because we’re on a mission to help YOU go abroad, too! Explore your options today.

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

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

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, Deadlines & Fees

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Dates, Deadlines & 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
  • Meals
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Two-week orientation – an introduction to Dominican culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in and around your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • Overnight excursions
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext

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.

No Hidden Fees


Fall 2018

Application Due

May 1, 2018

Start Date


End Date


Fees & Housing

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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 = $9,133 **

Housing = $2,250 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $11,850

Estimated Costs

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

International Airfare = $500

Local Transportation = $200

Books & Supplies = $175

Visa Fees = $200 ††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $1,200

Total Estimated Costs = $2,775

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $5 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, MSI grants, Gilman matching grants, and Pell matching 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

†† average cost

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