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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Program Terms: Summer I
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer I 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Manager:
Stephanie LaCava
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Minimum G.P.A.:
Good Academic Standing
Number of credits per term:
Program Type:
Faculty Led
Program Director:
Carlos Decena
Enrollment Restrictions:
Must have completed Spanish 132 & interview with faculty leader
Service Learning:
Program Description:
dR 2015 Banner

The Program

2015 Student Blog
Click below to follow one student's service-learning experience in Santo Domingo through her own eyes and words!

    Doing Right in the DR    
     by Vanessa Raymond    
             Rising Junior, Women's and     Gender Studies
  • Learn about the Dominican Republic through the lens of contemporary social justice movements
  • Participate in an intensive four week internship with one of several organizations and agencies engaged in advocacy, research, and social justice education
  • Gain insight into the complex challenges of instituting social reform presented by both a national and pan-Caribbean perspective
Your Host City: Santo Domingo
Nestled deep in the heart of the Caribbean, Santo Domingo, the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic, has much to offer to both the casual and informed traveler.  Long a crossing point of differing cultural influences, this deeply Caribbean city continues to be a place where various perspectives and identities coexist and collide.  As traditional values become increasingly questioned by new attitudes, the city represents a fascinating laboratory to study the complex dimensions of social justice.

Faculty Director Profile:
Carlos Decena

Professor Carlos Decena is an associate professor in the departments of Women's and Gender Studies and associate professor and chair in Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, as well as the director of the Rutgers Initiative on Migration, Health, and Wellbeing.  His academic interests range broadly from transnationalism and diaspora in the American continent, US Latinoamerica and the Caribbean, to the impact of race, gender, and sexuality on critical public health.  He has several years of experience leading an alternative Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic.

This program requires students to have at least intermediate proficiency (four semesters or the equivalent) in Spanish.

To view the program's 2016 syllabus, please click here.  A preliminary syllabus for 2018 will be available before the start of the spring semester.

This six-credit service-learning experience will explore the intersection of social science research techniques in the service of community-based organizations to document and address social justice concerns in and around Santo Domingo. Its main goal is to build student capacity to conduct rigorous social science research while grasping how research interacts with the making of policies and activist organizing.

Students selected to participate will be matched with one of several host organizations, which will involve them for most of the regular week in activities related to addressing their ongoing organizing, activist, or research needs and which may include fieldwork, data analysis, and the development of evaluations of existing programs.

In addition, one day of the week will be devoted to a seminar on social justice research techniques taught by the faculty director and two additional activities to acquaint students with current challenges and promising lines of inquiry for future work they might want to undertake. Seminar sessions will be guided by readings available in advance and will move between considerations of specific topics as well as by the insights drawn from ongoing student field experiences.  The final grade will be based on the evaluation provided by the institutional liaison on the internship work of the student as well as by the Professor’s evaluation of a final paper to be submitted no later than one week after returning from the Dominican Republic.

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

The program itinerary includes several group excursions, designed to enhance student learning about the history, culture, and contemporary society of the host culture and community.  The final itinerary will be posted closer to the start of the program.

Accommodations and Meals
Students will be housed in a European-style Bed & Breakfast within walking distance of the Zona Colonial.  The accommodations feature double and triple bedrooms and are centrally located with respect to the various internship sites.  Students will be responsible for their own meals during the program.  Breakfast is included in the accommodations; a large variety of cafes and restaurants are located within easy walking distance for additional meals.

Financial Information
Program costs for 2018 will be updated by the end of the fall semester.

For more information about the Program Cost and additional Non-Billable Expenses for this program from 2016, please view the program budget sheet.

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 encouraged to start researching scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  There are many kinds of scholarships available, with different eligibility requirements and application criteria.  To get a sense of what scholarships are available for your program, please download the Scholarships At-A-Glance worksheet, and visit our Scholarship Directory for a comprehensive list of study abroad scholarships.