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CIEE: Santiago, Dominican Republic- Service Learning
Santiago, Dominican Republic (Outgoing Program)
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 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 Jimenez Cultural Center and cigar factory, and the 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 and to learn more about the service learning projects, please visit the CIEE website.
Use language learning, case studies, and courses in social theory and research methodology to support an Independent Capstone Project. The project requires you to develop—in coordination with the community— a original service project or a new extension of an existing project. At the end of the semester, you will present your project and research results to community members and other constituents.
The CIEE Service-Learning program is specifically designed upon the four core principles of service-learning, and each component of the program addresses one or more of the principles:
1) Engagement 2) Reflection 3) Reciprocity 4) Public Dissemination
The design and nature of the Service-Learning program requires methodology that is more interactive, field-based, and reflective in theory compared to normal course pedagogies. Students are required to draw upon learned and new knowledge and reflect on these experiences through the analytic scope of research and observation methods drawn upon from the core course.
The language coursework is framed on the foundations of Spanish grammar, but focuses heavily on expanding everyday vocabulary and communication skills with regard to issues in community development and service work, enabling students to better communicate and understand the community in which they work.
The core courses and Directed Independent Research and Capstone Project draw on the expertise of the CIEE resident director and professors from the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). The internship component is coordinated through various non-profit and non-governmental organizations in the Santiago area.
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 15-16 credits while abroa. 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 credit; however these classes are related to art and culture electives. It is not possible to take classes not-for-credit, nor is it possible to take classes as Pass/Fail (unless the course is an internship and you receive prior approval).
For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.
Excursions and Cultural Immersion
The study abroad program offers an extensive agenda of educational excursions throughout the country that are designed to allow you to experience Dominican culture and geography outside of the classroom.
Weekend excursions generally include trips to Dajabón, an economic development zone on the Haitian-Dominican border in the northwest region; Santo Domingo and Haina, where you'll visit historic ruins and learn about the slave and sugar trades in the new world; and an ecological trip to the Southwest to visit national parks such as Lago Enriquillo, Bahia de las Aguilas, and el Hoyo de Pelentito. Each trip entails a visit to organizations involved in local development projects, and group travel embraces practices of sustainable tourism by supporting locally owned establishments.
In addition, there are several one-day excursions to sites of cultural and social interest such as Jamao del Norte, the Hermanas Mirabal Museum, and La Vega during Carnaval season. Many field trips are integrated into academic classes. These may include visits to agricultural and industrial projects, free trade zones, clinics, schools, and various NGOs.
Midway through the semester, you'll participate in a week-long rural stay to learn about different community development associations (local and international) while working alongside our community partner CREAR (Centro Regional de Educación Alternativa Rural), the first organic school in the Dominican Republic to learn about sustainable environmental practices.You'll have the opportunity to observe the rural counterpart of the same area of service where you work in Santiago. Supplementary benefits of the rural stay are time for reflection and observation of alternative strategies that address similar problems in both the urban and rural areas and the opportunity to fine tune the capstone project through exposure to different models.
The weekend work retreat designed for this program is intended to provide you with the exposure to grassroots development through exchange and reflection. Through this retreat, you'll participate and learn best practices in community partnership development and project sustainability.
Fall Semester: Early 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
Housing and all meals are included in the program fee. Study abroad students live in Dominican private homes, and meals are eaten at the place of residence. Homestays are within walking distance of PUCMM. Students and their families are asked to speak only Spanish. 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.
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.