CIEE: Santiago, Dominican Republic- Liberal Arts
Santiago, Dominican Republic (Outgoing Program)
Your Host City: Santiago
Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, is surrounded by mountains in the lush valley of the Cibao region. Places of historical, cultural, and ecological interest are nearby, and it is just a little over an hour’s drive to the Atlantic Coast. Known as La Ciudad Corazón (City of the Heart), Santiago is the commercial and cultural center of the fertile Cibao Valley region, housing over 100 industrial free-trade-zone factories, the León Jiménez Cultural Center and cigar factory, and the lively commercial street of Calle del Sol. Although it is a growing city with a population exceeding 800,000, Santiago retains many features of a small town.
In order to have an idea of what classes are available, you should visit the CIEE website.
The CIEE Liberal Arts study abroad program in Santiago was established in 1987 with a dual focus: to enable students to achieve advanced Spanish language skills, while studying and actively participating in the society of a developing Caribbean country. The program is designed for students who have taken two years of college-level Spanish and would like to significantly improve their skills in conversation and grammar. Liberal Arts courses offer a solid foundation and unique insight into the evolution of society, culture, economics, and politics of Hispaniola (an island shared by the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti) and the Greater Hispanic Caribbean, providing courses on regional literature, history, and the comparison of the widely variant socio-cultural issues that are pertinent for contemporary society in this region.
At the start of the semester, all CIEE study abroad students are tested to determine their oral and written Spanish level. Students are then placed in one of three distinct academic tracks (Advanced Level I, II, or III) according to their language proficiency, each offering a different configuration of required and elective courses. Students who place into the two most advanced levels of the program have the opportunity to take direct enrollment classes with PUCMM students. Regardless of language level, all CIEE study-abroad students may choose electives among a variety of dance, sports, and arts courses that they take alongside PUCMM students. Students are expected to do required readings as part of these courses, and most require a written exam.
You will need to be sure that you are registered as a full time student according to CIEE and Rutgers University. That means you will need to take at least 15-18 credits while abroad. The credit translation system between CIEE and Rutgers University is 1:1, meaning a 3-credit course at CIEE will also be a 3-credit course on your Rutgers University transcript. You will receive 3-4 credits per class taken with CIEE. In some cases classes will only be worth 1-2 credits. It is not possible to take classes as not-for-credit or pass/fail.
For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.
Excursions and Cultural Immersion
Weekend excursions generally include the Valley of Constanza, high 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 co-pay 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 rural work retreats per semester are designed to bring breadth and depth to your stay in the Dominican Republic by introducing you to the country’s non-urban reality while providing opportunities to partake in a service project and reflect on the issues affecting service work and community building. CIEE has a long-standing relationship with many of the service sites, where you'll work alongside community members on a variety of projects in the areas of community development, education, health, and construction. While safe, accommodations for these optional retreats are rustic, often testing the ability of students to adapt to the Dominican rural reality.
Fall Semester: Late August – Mid-December
Spring Semester: Early January – Late April
To view the current academic calendar, please visit the CIEE web page.
*All dates are subject to change. Do not book your flight until you have been accepted by CIEE and the academic dates have been confirmed.
Accommodations and Meals
You will live with a Dominican host family and meals are taken at the place of residence. The families are middle to upper-middle class, with a working class option, and all live within walking distance of PUCMM. Housing assignments are made by the Office of International Students at PUCMM based on questionnaires that students submit to CIEE.
You are strongly encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Though home access to the Internet is rarer than in the U.S., many public areas, including restaurants and commercial centers, have free wireless access, and wireless Internet is available throughout the PUCMM campus. There is a computer lab at PUCMM as well as computers with Internet access in the CIEE Study Center for your use.
Program Cost: 2016-2017
For more information about the additional Non-Billable Expenses please click on the Budget Sheet links near the top of this page.
For more information about Finances, including information about Financial Aid and Tuition Remission please visit the Finances section of our website.
As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Rutgers Study Abroad withdrawal policy.
Students are also encouraged to start researching Scholarship opportunities as early as possible. You may find the following scholarships applicable to this program.
Center for Global Education Scholarships- Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Center for Global Education program during the fall/spring/academic year/summer. Applications will be released to students after their acceptance and are reviewed on a first-completed basis. For more information please visit the Scholarship section of our website.
Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarships- Available to study abroad students who receive a Pell Grant. For more information about the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements please visit the Gilman website.
CIEE CIC-Partner Scholarships ($1000) - Available to Rutgers students participating on eligible CIEE study abroad programs. Students submitting applications for the Center for Global Education scholarships will be considered for a CIEE-CIC scholarship.
CIEE Scholarships- Available to students participating in CIEE study abroad programs. For more information please visit the CIEE website.
Please also visit the Scholarships section of our website for additional information about Rutgers and National Scholarships.