Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Summer Community Public Health

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This program has been suspended for summer 2021.

Explore our other active study abroad programs for summer 2021, or check out our travel assurances and updated health and safety guidelines.

Examine the complexities of healthcare in developing nations by studying in the Dominican Republic this summer. With classroom instruction plus fieldwork in urban and semi-rural settings, you’ll get a close look and new perspective on the social and health issues facing one of the Caribbean’s fastest-developing countries. Courses are designed and taught, in Spanish, by a top-ranked Dominican Republic university and CIEE’s partner school, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), and complemented with immersive co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Get to know

    a Dominican family while you improve your Spanish language skills.

  • Make a difference

    for Dominican patients and medical professionals as you engage at a semi-rural clinic and in an urban neighborhood.

  • Expand your knowledge

    of pressing global public health issues.

  • 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 (knights) 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.

The Culture


  • Complete a ten-day rotation at a semi-rural medical clinic.
    Support the efforts of health promoters in marginalized urban neighborhoods.

Program Blogs

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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 Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). During the rural and urban stay, students live with host families with support from local medical staff and leaders in each community.


    Homestay: All meals are provided by your homestay family. Field study: All meals are provided by your homestay family.

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Where You'll Study

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This intensive eight-week program includes orientation, six weeks of language and healthcare 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 classes are in session. During this time, students will learn about public health with a focus on the health/illness process and its relation to health management, policies, and coverage. They will also explore mental health, preventive medicine programs, primary healthcare administration, and learn relevant medical Spanish terms.



Language Prerequisites

4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent)


College-level public health coursework recommended

Program Requirements

Students enroll in three required CIEE courses.

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

Academic Culture

Students should expect a more formal and technical teaching style that relies on lectures and emphasizes memorization. Students should also expect a fast-paced and intense daily schedule. All classes are taught in Spanish.

Class Format

Students take courses only with other CIEE study abroad students.


Students are given letter grades from A-F on quizzes, exams, papers, presentations, and class participation. Attendance is mandatory.

Language of Instruction



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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.


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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
  • McDermott Health Sciences, Nursing, and Public Health Merit Scholarships
  • 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.

See more scholarship info

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.

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:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    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.