Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Leadership & Service in Youth Development

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Information for term Leadership & Service in Youth Development

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 18 – Jul 8, 2023 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 9 – 29, 2023 (3 weeks)


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Interested in playing sports, making arts and crafts, and helping kids learn about teamwork? Join forces with a local nonprofit organization serving underprivileged children and teens in Santiago and help run a summer camp project. You’ll gain valuable leadership and coaching experience while helping to plan and implement a program that aims to improve the lives of approximately 400 children and youth. The camp is part of a prevention program focused on vulnerable communities where many children cut school and are forced to work.  

Outside of camp time, you’ll take functional Spanish classes to help you communicate with the locals and have ample time to practice your language skills in the cafes, shops, and markets of this scenic hilltop city. On group outings, you’ll tour Santiago’s murals, historic museums, and quaint architecture. On an excursion to Montecristi in the Northwest region of the island,  you’ll sunbathe on the beach, swim, and snorkel in the clear tropical water. You’ll also tour salt mines and hike up El Morro de for amazing views of the sunset.  

Back at your homestay, you’ll help prepare and share meals, shop at markets, learn local customs, and enjoy every-day routines and recreation with your host family. In your free time, join new friends to play dominoes in the park, catch a movie or local soccer game, go out for ice-cream or smoothies, and grab local street food like tostones and empanadas on the go. 

What will you gain through this full-immersion experience? Social empathy and awareness, global competence, and a whole new perspective. After three weeks of full immersion, you’ll return home with intercultural skills that will serve you well in future service projects and beyond. Having helped run a summer camp and team-building activities for students from 8 different communities, you’ll be equipped for your next big challenge.  

The Take-Aways


    Work alongside passionate Dominican NGO leaders committed to transforming the lives of children through education. Reflect on your own leadership style and strengths as you mentor children ages 4 to 15. Be better prepared to plan and implement community activities.


    Topics for your college essays; experience to inform your future career; a Community Profile documenting how you investigated needs, resources, and perspectives during your service; and a record of your service-learning hours.


    Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.





Location & Culture

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Welcome to the second largest city in the Dominican Republic.

Santiago de los Caballeros, La Ciudad Corazón, is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic and full of interesting historic buildings and museums that celebrate the country’s heritage and cultural diversity.  An important center of local industries and businesses in the D.R., Santiago de los Caballeros is an empowered city known for its noticeable development and growth during the last 5 decades. With a little over 1 million people, the city has a vibrant cultural life, restaurants, and local associations and institutions that promote and preserve the most important traditions of the Dominican culture. 

Dominicans love for music, carnival, baseball and gastronomy are highlights to explore in La Ciudad Corazón. 

Daily Life

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Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction, service-learning, and cultural activities with time on your own, too.   

  • Breakfast at the homestay 
  • Hands-on learning with local instructors 
  • Lunch at the homestay or in the community with your fellow Global Navigators  
  • Out and about for a Cultural Activity  
  • Time for writing individual reflections on your service and for holding group debriefs 
  • Dinner at the homestay   


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites  
  • Quality time with friends and everyone at your homestay 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.      

  • Housing

    Carefully-screened Homestay

  • 24/7 SUPPORT

    1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities

  • Enjoy weekend trips with Dominican peers to whitewater raft, swim in waterfalls, and snorkeling in the warm waters of the Caribbean at Isla Cabra.
  • Check out Dominican art at Centro Leon.
  • Play dominos in the park.
  • Enjoy merengue, bachata, and salsa dance classes.
  • Hike in the adventurous eco-tourism hub of Jarabacoa.
  • Take an overnight excursion to Santiago Rodríguez - Montecristi in the Northwest region of the Island and get immersed in the culture of rural Dominican Republic with its traditions, merengue music, and local gastronomy, eating locally grown mangos, and meeting villagers. You’ll spend a day relaxing at the sea, snorkeling and exploring the country's famous scenic salt mines.
  • Tour the Murals of Los Pepines and admire Santiago's traditional Downtown.
  • Take daytrips to Santo Domingo and/or Puerto Plata - explore the contrast between the urban life in the capital of over 4 million people and/or on the beach!

​​Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2023 3 weeks Deadline Passed Jun 18, 2023 Jul 8, 2023


Summer Session II 2023 3 weeks Deadline Passed Jul 9, 2023 Jul 29, 2023


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Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?