Domian Republic
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Leadership & Service in Public Health

Limited Spots in Session 2




3 weeks



Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information



3 weeks



Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Make a genuine impact in the Dominican Republic serving in community projects to promote good health and well-being.  

Assess the health needs of semi-urban communities in Santiago de los Caballeros and participate in field-based public health education initiatives. Alongside a local NGO, take part in activities that encourage children and teens to follow healthy habits, like healthy eating, physical activity, personal hygiene, and adequate sleep. Analyze the ways local organizations are detecting, preventing, and responding to factors that negatively affect the community’s general wellbeing.  

Throughout the program, reflect on your service and on what you’ve learned about basic care, safety, mental health, health education, and general education in the second largest Caribbean nation. Transform your ideas into an actionable plan for future service or to pursue a career in public health.  

In this Dominican hilltop city, you will live with a local family and meet local teens to fully immerse yourself in Caribbean traditions and the Spanish language. Enjoy bachata and salsa dance classes, admire Dominican art at the Centro León, try empanadas and coconut ice-cream, and really get to know the people. 

The Take-Aways

Real-World Experience

Support public health initiatives alongside a local NGO. Come home with a greater understanding of your own leadership style and societal issues in the Dominican Republic. Be better prepared to take action on local public health issues. 

Credentials for Your Future

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.

Life Skills and New Friendship

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S. 


Hours of Service-Learning


Weeks of Community Engagement


Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
  • city shot
  • city shot
  • scenic shot

The Destination

Welcome to Santiago de los Caballeros, the commercial and cultural heart of the Dominican Republic.  

Santiago de los Caballeros, or simply Santiago, is affectionately known as Ciudad Corazón—“Heart City.” Tucked between two mountain ranges in the center of the fertile Cibao Valley, Santiago is the second-largest city of the Dominican Republic and boasts the country’s largest hospital—Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago.  

Even though it was founded in 1495, Santiago is a modern metropolis, thriving on industry and vibrating with culture. As the arts capital of the country, it houses a world-class collection of paintings, a carnival museum, renowned urban murals, and countless cultural exhibits.  

Away from the touristic hotspots, Santiago is a perfect place to experience Dominican day-to-day life. Here you will surround yourself with the contagious happiness of the Santiagueros, the syncopated rhythms of bachata, the national obsession for baseball, and the pride of home cooking inspired by African, Spanish, and Taino flavors.  

Cultural Awareness

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Santiago de los Caballeros. 

Daily Life

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 and healthcare professionals and/or service in community projects 
  • 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 


Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

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

Program Blogs


Student Takeover: Shii-Ann Wallace

By Megan Hoeffler at CIEE

Blog written by Shii-Ann Wallace, a student at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York. A big part of Dominican culture is mural art that portrays Dominican pride and political... keep reading


A Sweet and Adventurous Journey: High School Students Explore the Dominican Republic

By Megan Hoeffler at CIEE

Blog post written by one of our PL’s Julianna Martinez. Embarking on a study abroad program can be a life-changing experience for high school students. For a group of 14... keep reading


Our local NGO: Red Misericordia

By Megan Hoeffler at CIEE

In the mornings this past week we have been going to our local NGO, Red Misericordia, to do our leadership and service work through learning and immersing ourselves in the... keep reading


Sample Activities

dominican republic downtown building with flag

Just Imagine All the Fun You’ll Have!

  • Soak in Dominican natural beauty on a hike up a stunning green mountain, a swim in a picture-perfect beach, or a boat tour around tropical mangroves.  
  • Take dream-worthy pictures on the giant swing flying over the sea in Monte Cristi, a spectacular hidden gem of a town on the northern coast. 
  • Go on an exciting hike through the vibrant eco-tourism center of Jarabacoa. Then, take a dip in the river with your friends.
  • Visit the Mirabal Sisters Museum, which pays homage to fearless national heroines who courageously opposed Trujillo's regime.
  • Slice, dice, and savor in a cooking class at your homestay. Take the recipe home to share a delicious Dominican dish with friends or family. 

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "It's a transformative experience that allows us to experience another culture while being independent and meeting other like-minded people.”

    Victoria H., Global Navigator Alum

  • “We got to try some great food, see some beautiful sites, and just enjoy our time while abroad. Above all, I had fun making new friends!"

    Arlette C., Global Navigator Alum

  • "I had a really fun time and learned a lot. I also loved all of the staff. My favorite thing was the bonfire on the beach."

    Mara W., Global Navigator Alum

  • "I would recommend CIEE programs because it's a really cool experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. I've made so many friends and met so many new people that have had a great impact on my life."

    Alejandro A., Global Navigator Alum



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.   

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $4,950
Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $4,950

What's Included

Interactive Classes


3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Lucía Agüero

Center Director

Lucía Agüero has a BA in Latin American Spanish and Literature and a MA in Creative Writing. She is the author of poems and short stories published in several anthologies.

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