With its underserved population facing a spate of social and health issues, the Dominican Republic offers you fascinating insight into the state of healthcare in the Hispanic Caribbean. Combining traditional classroom instruction with homestays and field work in both urban and semi-rural communities, you will explore firsthand the challenges confronting developing countries.
Study abroad in the Dominican Republic and you will:
Improve your Spanish language skills through a homestay with a local family
Examine a range of pre-professional healthcare and issues
Engage with local patients and medical staff through a health practicum and clinical rotation
If you have an interest in Spanish language, medicine, and the allied health professions as they relate to underdevelopment and public health, explore them all in the Dominican Republic.
The CIEE Difference
Explore a host of pressing, international healthcare concerns in a community struggling with many of them:
Cover concepts of public health with a focus on the health/illness process and its relation to health management, policies, and coverage
Look at the multi-dimensional nature of health, preventive medicine programs, and primary healthcare administration through involvement in health-related community services
Advance your conversational Spanish with a focus on mastering medical terminology
Community Engagement and Field Rotation
Give back to the community where you’re studying. Work beside local medical staff during a weeklong rotation in a semi-rural clinic, and health promoters operating in marginalized neighborhoods during an urban community service practicum based in and around Santiago.
Immerse yourself in Dominican culture. Living with a host family will give you unparalleled insight into the country and its people while giving you the opportunity to use, and improve, your Spanish language skills.
Total recommended credit for the summer program is 9 semester/15 quarter hours.
Contact hours for each course are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course.
Study abroad students are required to take all three CIEE program courses.
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 Jimenez cultural center, 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.
Where You’ll Study
The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) is a private, non-profit institution of higher education. Founded in 1962, PUCMM has been ranked by the Inter-American Development Bank as the best academic institution of higher learning in the Dominican Republic. It has five academic divisions: social sciences and administration, science and humanities, engineering, health sciences, and tourism/restaurant management. With a population of approximately 10,000 students, PUCMM offers the academic resources, support services, and physical facilities of a superior-level Latin American educational institution.
Housing & Meals
Housing and meals are included in the program fee. Study abroad students live in Dominican private homes and meals are taken at the place of residence. Most families live within walking distance of the University. CIEE works closely with host families to give students the opportunity to become immersed in Dominican society. Students and their families are asked to speak Spanish only. Living in private homes is considered the best housing arrangement in Santiago because of its practicality and its contribution to the program’s objectives.
Students live in a semi-rural clinic for up to one week, where they are paired with local medical staff. Prior to their stay at the clinic, CIEE staff take students to shop for food for the week. Some students may prefer to eat at local eateries or arrange to have meals prepared for a nominal fee.
This seven-week program consists of six weeks of language and healthcare courses, and a weeklong semi-rural clinical field rotation. Students also participate in an urban community service practicum in an underserved area in Santiago as part of the academic curriculum.
Most PUCMM students specialize in such professions as the law, medicine, engineering, education, or business. The only social science major is psychology. Like all universities in the Dominican Republic, PUCMM has limited resources compared to most U.S. colleges and universities.
The summer study abroad program courses have been designed by PUCMM specifically for CIEE students only. All coursework is conducted in Spanish. Students should be prepared for a style of teaching that is more formal and technical, relying primarily on lectures and emphasizing memorization. Readings are typically assigned in class.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
As students gain proficiency in Spanish, resident staff encourage them to use their language skills in everyday settings. This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Dominican society.
Students are normally graded on the basis of quizzes, exams, papers, and class participation much like in the U.S. Letter grades of A-F are given without pluses or minuses.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught by PUCMM faculty.