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Study Abroad in Santiago
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Program Overview

Program Overview

Ready to improve your Spanish language skills? Come to Santiago, Dominican Republic, where you’ll study at the best academic institution of higher learning in the country, and interact with the locals. In Santiago de los Caballeros, the second-largest city in the country, you’ll live with a local family, and go on field trips and excursions that bring your studies to life. You’ll also volunteer in service activities with local ONG’s to experience how much of the country’s population really lives.

Study abroad in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and you’ll:

  • Go on trips to the central mountains of the Cibao region, visit the Samaná Peninsula or Montecristi, and Santo Domingo the capital of the D.R., and its museums
  • See the Haitian/Dominican border and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Perform service work in a local or rural community
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Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships & Grants

We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $5 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.

Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence

    $2,500 toward program costs. To recognize high academic achievement, CIEE offers a limited number of merit scholarships to our strongest students. These awards are based on students’ academic records, and on the submission of a personal essay describing to us how their CIEE program will impact their college experience and future career plans.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants

    The GAIN Grant helps cover airfare costs to and from CIEE program locations for students who demonstrate high financial need. GAIN Grants are available for short-term (January and summer), semester and year-long CIEE programs.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

    Applicants for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship can apply for the CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant, which provides both program cost support and support for airfare. Students will have to provide proof of having applied to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, upon request.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.
Apply now

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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Excursions

CIEE organizes excursions to help you get to know the country. You’ll go on a weekend trip to the growing eco-paradise that is the Samaná Peninsula and Los Haitises National Park. On another trip, you’ll visit Santo Domingo and its Zona Colonial including the first Cathedral of the Americas. On day trips, you’ll explore the Hermanas Mirabal Museum in Salcedo; the town of La Vega during Carnaval season; the market-town of Dajabón on the Haitian-Dominican border, and the Centro Leon Museum in Santiago. Plus, depending on what courses you take, you’ll visit agricultural and industrial projects, free trade zones, a Dominican tobacco company, other local museums, clinics, schools, or nonprofit organizations. Our staff will provide a weekly calendar of activities in Santiago, so you’ll always have the option to explore local culture.

Volunteering

CIEE has a long-standing relationship with many service sites in the Dominican Republic, meaning plenty of opportunities to give back. Help out at a local school, orphanage, or home for mentally or physically challenged infants and children. Twice a semester, you’ll also do service work in a rural community, working alongside local community members.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Spring 2017 (17 wks)
11/01/2016
01/02/2017
04/28/2017
$13,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$11,133
Housing ***
$2,250
Insurance
$167

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

Estimated Additional Costs

International Airfare *
$500
Local Transportation
$200
Books & Supplies
$175
Visa Fees **
$200
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$1,200

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

More Information
Fall 2017 (17 wks)
05/15/2017
08/20/2017
12/15/2017
$13,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$11,133
Housing ***
$2,250
Insurance
$167

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

Estimated Additional Costs

International Airfare *
$500
Local Transportation
$200
Books & Supplies
$175
Visa Fees **
$200
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$1,200

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

More Information
Spring 2018 (16 wks)
11/01/2017
01/02/2018
04/27/2018

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

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.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
Academic year 2017-2018 (36 wks)
05/15/2017
08/20/2017
04/27/2018
$26,300

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$21,333
Housing ***
$4,500
Insurance
$167

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

Estimated Additional Costs

International Airfare *
$500
Local Transportation
$400
Books & Supplies
$350
Visa Fees **
$200
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$2,400
Expenses during break ***
$600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

*** academic year students who wish to stay onsite are responsible for arranging their housing and meals during the semester break

More Information
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Eligibility
2.5 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 2.5
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit is 15-16 semester / 22.5-24 quarter hours.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Students enroll in 15 to 19 credits worth of courses. Participants may take a maximum of 16 credits at PUCMM, one Spanish language course, and other elective courses offered by PUCMM in English.

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About the City

About The City

Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros (knights), noblemen who came with Columbus's early expeditions, Santiago de los Caballeros is now a growing, modern city with a population exceeding 800,000. It still retains many features of a small town, though. Traditional merchants, called marchantas, ride burros loaded with baskets of goods and call out their wares in a musical chant. Street vendors carry large baskets of fruit, vegetables, and other goods on their heads. People are friendly and there is very little crime. Santiagueros (the people of Santiago) like to play dominos, listen to merengue and bachata music, and talk about baseball.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

Ryan Bowen

Resident Coordinator

Ryan Bowen earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literary and cultural studies and religious studies from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. During college, he studied abroad in the Dominican Republic as a participant on CIEE’s Liberal Arts program in Santiago. An avid traveler, Ryan spent four years working with underserved youth from communities in New York and Washington state, traveled through east Africa, and rode across the U.S. on his bicycle. Ryan’s passion for the DR is complemented by a love for photography. He shares deep knowledge of the fascinating people and places of Hispaniola with students on CIEE Santiago study programs.

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Staff Image

Melba Gonzalez

Office Assistant

Melba González earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA), and has been working with CIEE for nearly 20 years. Any questions you might have about the program, campus, city, where to get something, how to get somewhere, really anything at all – ask the always smiling Melba.

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Staff Image

Mercedes Munoz

Academic Director

Mercedes Muñóz earned an M.A. in Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility in 2012 from the Escuela de Organización Industrial in Madrid, Spain. Her major interests lie in the fields of service learning, social science research, and the advancement of cultural values, art, and education. She received her undergraduate degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra´s (PUCMM) Department of Social Communication, and was selected to study and work as the Spanish Teaching Assistant at Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2008-09. Upon her return to Santiago, she became the Director of PUCMM´s Office of International Students. Since January of 2014, she has been the Academic Advisor for CIEE´s Service Learning program and professor for two of our most important Service Learning courses: “Independent Research and Capstone Project” and “Community Partnership: Theory and Engagement". She is also a writer for the Dominican national news media, collaborates with several of the Dominican Republic´s leading NGOs and cultural organizations, and has her own radio station and blog called Champola. Mercedes laughingly says that, in addition to her work, she enjoys travel, languages, cooking, the beach, good conversations, and good coffee.

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Tian Song

Interim Resident Director

Tian Song, Resident Director, is responsible for the successful program administration of all semester, summer, and special programs in Santo Domingo. She teaches the Development Internship and Intercultural Communication and Leadership courses during the academic year. She earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and completed an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Santo Domingo team in 2014, Tian served as Manager of Student Services for the CIEE Shanghai Study Center where she enhanced and strengthened the overall academic, cultural, and residential life program offerings at the growing center. Before CIEE, Tian worked in the Global Education Office at Vanderbilt University as a Study Abroad Advisor and oversaw the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Exchange Student Program.

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Dorka Tejada

Faculty-led and Custom and Short Term Program Manager

Dorka Tejada earned her technical degree in agronomy in Loyola Dajabón, Dominican Republic, has taken numerous courses in Business Administration, and is currently studying hotel administration and tourism at UAPA in Santiago. She lived in the United States until she was 12 years old. Perfectly bilingual in Spanish and English, Dorka has worked as an administrator with CIEE, and in particular with the CIEE FAC programs since 2013. She and her husband sing in their church and enjoy traveling with their daughters Keren and Kamelia.

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) was founded in 1962 as an institution dedicated to serving the social and economic development of all Dominicans. PUCMM has been ranked by the Inter-American Development Bank as the best academic institution of higher learning in the Dominican Republic. Located about 15 minutes from downtown Santiago, PUCMM's campus is laced with attractively landscaped, shady sidewalks connecting the various academic buildings. It has four academic schools: Social Sciences and Administration; Science and Humanities; Engineering Sciences; and Health Sciences. With a total enrollment of approximately 15,000 students, PUCMM offers the academic resources, support services, and physical facilities of a typical high-caliber Latin American educational institution. The CIEE Study Center is located on the PUCMM campus.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

Housing and all meals are included in the study abroad program fee. Students live in Dominican private homes and meals are eaten at the place of residence. Housing assignments are made by the Office of International Students at PUCMM, based on questionnaires that students submit to CIEE. The families are middle to upper-middle class, with a working class option, and all live within walking distance of PUCMM. Students and their families are asked to speak Spanish exclusively. Living in private homes is considered the best housing arrangement in Santiago because of its practicality (there is no student housing on campus) and positive contribution to the program’s objectives. CIEE works closely with host families to provide students the opportunity for integration into the Dominican community.

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Orientations

Orientations

You'll begin your study abroad experience in Santiago even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. The study center staff meets with students online and shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple: to help you understand more about the program and identify your goals.

A mandatory orientation is conducted in Santiago and lasts approximately one week, with various activities held on the PUCMM campus as well as in and around Santiago. Orientation features discussions about the culture, history and practices that are particular to the Dominican Republic, as well as health and safety precautions and other practical information about the program, campus, city and country. You'll meet and interact with Dominican students, explore the city independently and visit your fellow students’ host families, better familiarizing you with your surroundings. In addition, you'll take a Spanish language placement test and register for classes during this time. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the study abroad program.

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Internet

Internet

You are strongly encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Wi-Fi is available throughout the PUCMM campus, in host family homes, as well as in many public areas around the city, including restaurants and commercial centers that offer free Wi-Fi. There is also a computer lab at PUCMM as well as computers with Internet access in the CIEE Study Center for your use.

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Culture

Culture

The study abroad program offers an extensive agenda of educational excursions throughout the country and provides a weekly calendar of local sociocultural activities in Santiago and the surrounding area. Offerings include rural and urban volunteer opportunities, numerous day trips, and class trips designed to supplement classroom content. You are encouraged to participate in student opportunities offered by PUCMM, such as helping with planning educational fairs and participating in health promotions. These opportunities are designed to allow you to intimately experience Dominican culture and geography outside of the classroom setting.

Weekend excursions generally include going to Rio Blanco, Bonao located in the central mountains, and the Samaná Peninsula, where we visit sites in Los Haitises National Park that are accessible only by boat. Day trips include visits to sites such as: the Capital and its Zona Colonial; the Hermanas Mirabal Museum in Salcedo; La Vega during Carnaval season; and to the market town of Dajabón, the principal commercial and economic development zone on the Haitian-Dominican border. There is also a selection of optional activities that cater to individual interests and include cultural, historical and ecological options.

Many field trips are also integrated into academic classes. These may include visits to agricultural and industrial projects, free trade zones, a Dominican tobacco company, local museums, clinics, schools, and nonprofit organizations.

Two times each semester, students will do service work in a rural community. CIEE has a long-standing relationship with many of the service sites. While safe, accommodations for these optional retreats are rustic, often testing the ability of students to adapt to the Dominican rural reality. Students work right alongside local community members.

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Academics

Academics

Nature of Courses

The CIEE elective course is for students only. Electives through PUCMM’s division of Spanish for Foreigners include CIEE, local, and other international students.

Grading System

A, B, C, D, F, FN (failure for absences) with no pluses or minuses

Language of Instruction

All courses are taught in English except for the Spanish language courses.

Faculty

Courses are taught by CIEE and PUCMM faculty.

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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

All Courses

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.

CIEE Study Center Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.

All students are required to take one Spanish language course. Course levels are determined by an on-site placement exam administered during the program orientation. In addition, students take 3-4 elective courses.

CIEE Spanish Language Courses

SPAN 1001 SADR

Beginning Spanish Language
The main objective of this course is to provide beginning Spanish language learners with the tools needed to develop and improve their conversational and reading / writing skills in Spanish, while also learning more about Dominican culture. This course has an essentially communicative orientation, through which students improve their oral and aural comprehension through exciting interactions with their professor, peers, and Dominicans and Haitians of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds both on and off campus; and through visits to a variety of cultural and educational centers. They also learn through skits in which they practice conversations in a wide variety of contexts, expand their vocabulary, and strengthen their knowledge and use of the most important grammatical structures of Spanish, while exploring social issues of Hispanic, and specifically Dominican, life.

SPAN 2001 SADR

Intermediate Spanish Language
This course provides a review of what was learned in Beginning Spanish I and II, while offering students the essential tools to continue developing their communicative competencies, thus reinforcing previous knowledge and adding to students’ ability to correctly use the often complex aspects of Spanish grammar. A wide variety of mostly interactive conversational practice both inside and outside the classroom, as well as reading and writing practice, helps students acquire an expanded and contextualized vocabulary, while focusing on readings and conversational topics that compare and contrast Hispanic-American culture in the different regions of the Caribbean, especially the Dominican Republic.

SPAN 3001 SADR

Advanced Spanish Language
This course helps students to perfect any aspects of advanced Spanish grammar that they have not yet mastered. It provides an ever wider vocabulary and an introduction to linguistics that provides a general vision of Dominican linguistics, exploring in detail its phonetic, morphographic, syntactic, lexic, and semantic aspects. Opportunities are offered in diverse communicative contexts with the aim of verifying and assessing the relevant data and Dominicans´ distinctive forms of speaking. In addition, students improve their observational, conversational / interviewing, analytical, and writing skills while doing research on topics of comparative Dominican / U.S. American values and culture, and how to bridge differences, which they will present to the class via drama, PowerPoint, video, or other creative methods.

CIEE Elective Course (Taught in English)

COMM 3301 DRAS

Intercultural Communication and Leadership
In this class, students will develop skills, knowledge, and understanding that will help them to communicate and engage more appropriately and effectively in Santiago, Dominican Republic, as well as in other intercultural contexts. Students will explore various topics in intercultural communication within the context of their experiences abroad, and will practice intercultural learning processes that can be applied when working across difference in a wide variety of contexts. Students will increase their own cultural self-awareness and develop personal leadership skills to help them become more effective in an interdependent world.

Elective PUCMM Courses (Taught in English)

Afro-Caribbean Cultures

This course will examine the roots that culturally define Afro-Caribbean people in their diversity, uniqueness, and unity, with a special focus on the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Students will analyze and compare key examples of political ideology, religion, and art from each of the various Caribbean regions.

Caribbean History

This course introduces the history of the region, with a focus on the Hispanic Caribbean, but includes some history of the non-Hispanic Caribbean as well (English, French, Dutch) in order to better understand the history and development of the Caribbean Region as a whole.

Latin American Cinema

As the Civilization of the Imagination, cinema is recognized as one of the most effective mediums for the diffusion of human ideas and for understanding the reality of the world’s peoples. Furthermore, it is an excellent vehicle to inform us about the social, political, and cultural reality, in both the past and the present, of the countries that produce films. These and other reasons motivate Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra to offer, within the division of Spanish for Foreigners, a semester-long course called “Latin American Cinema,” which serves to deepen students’ knowledge about this region of the world. Parallel to the concepts mentioned above, theoretical cinematographic concepts will be presented and a compendium of the history of this “7th art form.”

Culture and Society in the Hispanic Caribbean

This course deals with the various cultures that comprise the Hispanic Caribbean as a socio-historic unity within the Caribbean cultural group, considering the specificities and diversities in which their cultural richness lies. We will examine the historic and social processes of the formation and development of the various societies and state forms in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. In addition, we will study the manifestations and representative movements of political thought, philosophy, and pedagogy, as well as artistic and literary production in the Hispanic Caribbean.

Dominican-Haitian Relations

This course will examine, in an introductory form, the reality of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, emphasizing the historical structure of both societies as well as historical, political, economic and cultural factors that have influenced the relations of both nations. There will also be complementary activities, such as a visit to a batey and/or the border region (Dajabón) and viewing videos, among others.

Gender and Society of the Hispanic Caribbean

In this course, the situation of women in the Hispanic Caribbean will be analyzed from a human development perspective. For some of the course’s themes, we will make comparative analyses of the situation of women in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. At the same time, we will review the variables of health, education, work, politics, and art, starting from the level of development of the individual countries referred to above, comparing the different variables associated with the condition of gender. Student participation requires extensive field work in Santiago and in nearby sites as we visit, investigate, and compare those elements that cause the gender differences.

Hispanic Caribbean Literature (published in English)

This course offers a panoramic vision of Hispanic Caribbean literature from the colonial era until the contemporary literature with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Representative works will be read, analyzed and presented from each era corresponding to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The analyses will be complemented with secondary readings of a diverse nature.

Introduction to Dominican Folklore

This course presents a complete and systematic panorama of the different aspects and branches of the study of folklore, with special emphasis on those areas of Dominican folklore that are particularly rich and colorful, including religious observances and festivals. In addition to the natural richness that folklore exhibits, the course will be developed within a wide theoretical framework, emphasizing Dominican references. Various videos will be shown, there will be short excursions that vividly illustrate concepts discussed in class, and students will share brief presentations of their own research, applying the research concepts that are studied in the class.

Poverty and Development: Dominican Case Study

In this course, the concepts of poverty and development are studied through an analysis of national and international factors that deepen poverty and impede a country´s and/or a region´s progress and socio-economic development. Special emphasis is placed on the socio-cultural contexts of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The focus is on neoliberal economic policies, statistics related to international financial organizations, strategies and alternatives for socio-economic and human development in Latin American and Caribbean societies, and external debt and its impact on the poorest countries in the region.

Teaching English as a Second Language

This 4-credit course is addressed to speakers of English who are seriously interested in the ESL / EFL teaching field. It is intended to provide the student teachers with the appropriate and necessary instructions, strategies, and techniques that will enable them to succeed in their English teaching practice. The course is comprised of 28 hours of in-class theory and 56 hours of hands-on practice teaching the regularly enrolled university students at PUCMM, and requires an extensive written report at the end that incorporates elements of both theory and experiences learned through the practicum.

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