Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Summer Community Public Health

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Information for term Summer Community Public Health

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 18 – Aug 13, 2023 (8 weeks)
  • Credit: 10 semester hours / 15 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Spend your summer examining the complexities of healthcare in developing nations by studying abroad in the Dominican Republic. Between exciting classroom instruction and hands-on fieldwork in urban and semi-rural settings, you’ll get a close look and new perspective on the social and health issues facing the Caribbean’s fastest-developing country. Courses are delivered in Spanish by CIEE’s partner school, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), a top-ranked Dominican Republic university. Your coursework will be complemented with immersive co-curricular activities outside the classroom designed to increase intercultural understanding. 

Unique Experiences

  • Get to know

    the hospitality of a Dominican family, the candidness of Dominican patients, and the service-driven work of medical professionals, while improving your Spanish language skills.

  • Explore

    different approaches to public and private health and discover the challenges of implementing effective public health interventions to improve community health.

  • Expand your knowledge

    on assessing the needs of a semi-urban community in the Dominican Republic and contribute to planning potential interventions to alleviate those needs.




    10,161 FT

Location & Culture

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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 baseball, kitesurfing, and golf, 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. 

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


  • Explore a historic location outside Santiago on a day trip to see the famous Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, which was Colon’s first settlement and where the first hospital in the Americas was built.  
  • Enjoy an unforgettable evening in the beautiful garden of the Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración, the main featured monument in Santiago de los Caballeros, embellished with historical architecture, cultural-inspired sculptures, and a horses-pulled-carriage ride. 
  •  Live the experience of exploring the murals of Santiago, art and culture at Centro León, shopping for souvenirs at the iconic Calle del Sol, and much more. 

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Homestays: All students live with CIEE homestay families. Living with a Dominican family is your ticket to integrating into Santiago de los Caballeros life, as it provides an excellent opportunity to immerse into the local culture. Although families may be able to communicate in English, they foster communication in Spanish to motivate language learning. 

    Your host family provides a single room with a desk, laundry once a week, Wi-Fi, and a copy of the house keys. All homestays are within walking distance (20-30 minutes) or a single public transportation ride (30-45 minutes) to Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) campus and are located close to coffee shops, commercial centers, ATMs, and restaurants. Students staying for an entire year are responsible for their own housing during the break between semesters. 


    Homestays include three meals per day. Host families and students arrange their own meal schedules. If students miss a meal, they are responsible for either preparing it at home or eating in one of the many restaurants and cafés throughout the city. 

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Where You'll Study

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This intensive eight-week program features a comprehensive approach to community and public health issues in the Dominican Republic under several social contexts. It includes orientation, six weeks of language and public health courses, a ten-day rural clinical field rotation, and a five-day urban stay. Students participate in a semi-urban community service practicum in an underserved area in Santiago while complementary theory classes are in session. During this time, students will learn about the impact of social determinants on the health/illness process and its relation to individual and collective health. In addition, they will understand the health system in the Dominican Republic, including healthcare management, policies, and local health insurance. They will also explore mental health topics, preventive medicine programs, and primary healthcare administration while learning relevant medical Spanish terms. Completing a few academic activities that integrate all components of the program – public and community health and Spanish – is a feature of this interesting educational exchange. 



Language Prerequisites

At least 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) 


College-level public health coursework recommended. 

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.

Program Requirements

All students enroll in three required CIEE courses including one Spanish language course and two CIEE courses taught in Spanish:  

  • PUBH 3001 DRSU: Pre-Professional Health Care Issues 
  • PUBH 3002 DRSU: Community Health Practicum 
  • SPAN 3003 DRSU: Advanced Spanish Conversation and Grammar 

Program Credit

Total credit: 10 U.S. semester/15 quarter credits 

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits; 45-60 contact hours 

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

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

The pace of this intensive program is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. Students should expect a more formal and technical teaching style that relies on lectures and includes participatory strategies such as problem-based, cooperative, and project-based learning activities. The teaching-learning style emphasizes both memorization and the practical application of theoretical concepts. Service learning is also comprised of hands-on experience that students gain in the community practicum. Students should also expect a fast-paced and intense daily schedule. All classes are taught in Spanish. Students are expected to successfully complete daily reading and formative activities, a community assessment, and a final proposal to address a health issue identified during the process.  

Class Format

Students take courses only with other CIEE study abroad students. There is a faculty assigned for each of the three courses of the program. 


Students are given letter grades from A-F on summative activities such as quizzes, exams, papers, presentations, and class participation.  

For public and community health courses, an integrated mid-term consists of a community assessment to identify health problems in the community. A final evaluation consists of the written and oral presentation of a project proposal that could address one of the health problems in the community assessment. Attendance is mandatory. 

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.


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Course Information


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.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers 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:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • McDermott Health Sciences, Nursing, and Public Health Merit Scholarships
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Summer 2023 8 weeks Deadline Passed Jun 18, 2023 Aug 13, 2023
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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 = $6,928 **

Housing = $1,025 ***

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $8,450

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 ††

Local Transportation = $30 †††

Books & Supplies = $25 ††††

Visa Fees = $75 †††††

Personal expenses = $100 ††††††

Other = $0

Total Estimated Costs = $830

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 by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's 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

Homestays include three meals per day.

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

††† Airport transfer at the end of the program

†††† Books are available for participants' use at the library and supplies are minimal.

††††† Paid upon departure at the airport

†††††† Depends on personal and social activities

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.

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What's Included

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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
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
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    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.