Service-Learning Program in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic: Global Service & Critical Reflection on U.S. Identity will be offered during the 2019 Winter semester. Apply TODAY!

THE PROGRAM

 

 

 

Global Service in the Dominican Republic is grounded on the premise that community service is a valuable response to social problems faced by marginalized populations. This 3-credit service-learning course to the Dominican Republic is designed to give students real-life, hands-on experience as international community service providers, by applying scholarship to practice and using critical reflection to explore how our experiences and identities inform the ways we approach addressing a wide-range of social issues. By working in partnership with community-based organizations in the Dominican Republic and engaging in critical reflection through intergroup dialogue, students will be introduced to existing community-based responses to social inequalities and support our community partners in their mission to address a particular social issue.  Each year, the program works with a different community partner that addresses any of the following social issues through direct programming and services:

  • Education access
  • Healthcare access
  • Youth homelessness
  • Childhood hunger and poverty
  • Immigration and citizenship support services and more

At the beginning of this program, you will attend two class meetings on campus before departing to the Dominican Republic. Over the course of the program, you will live with host families to maximize your cross-cultural communication and skill-building opportunities. In addition, you will take part in daily reflections and evening seminars that focus on various aspects of Dominican culture including an overview of Dominican/Haitian relations; Dominican history, food, and traditions; a Salsa/Merengue dance lesson, and an excursion to 27 Charcos to learn about the possibilities of eco-tourism. To this end, the program will also stress the importance of post-trip reactivation that accompanies the work you do on the ground.

THE LOCATION
Santiago (with a population of 1,000,000) is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic and the economic center of the fertile Cibao Valley. The Septentrional mountain range is visible from most points of the city. Santiago has a relaxed and refined atmosphere and the most vibrant Carnival in the country. Whether strolling through the shopping district of Calle del Sol or dancing to the rhythms of merengue and bachata, Santiago has proven to be an ideal location for study abroad.

THE ACCOMMODATIONS

You and another student will live together with a carefully selected host families. All host families have been pre-screened and undergo an interview process and home visits. Many of the families have been affiliated with ISA for years and live in middle-upper class neighborhoods, which are very safe.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hands on learning experiences through service projects and interactions with the host community
  • Cultural and language immersion through homestay living arrangements
  • Daily cultural experiences and seminars, including a special day trip to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, and 27 Charcos where you can explore the area by jumping into the naturally formed pools, sliding down waterfalls and coasting downstream with the current

THE COURSE
After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • BSGC338D Global Service Abroad: Global Service in the Dominican Republic
  • LASC338D Special Topics in Study Abroad III: Global Service in the Dominican Republic