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Fact Sheet:
Cristina Sosa
Who Can Apply?:
UMA only - non-UMA students consult your study abroad office
Fields of Study:
Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Culture, History, Latin American Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Service Learning, Sociology, Spanish
Host Institution:
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo
Language(s) of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite:
4 College-Level Semesters
Additional Requirements:
3.0 GPA in language
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Family Home Stay
Minimum Class Standing:
2nd Sem Sophomore
Minimum GPA:
Program Description:

This program is for advanced level Spanish students who are motivated to gain a deeper appreciation of the realities of Dominican society, and the Caribbean region as a whole, especially issues of underdevelopment, through both academic and internship activities.

What You'll Learn
The goals of the Liberal Arts program are to provide advanced Spanish language students an opportunity to significantly improve their Spanish language skills in a local context through specially designed Spanish language courses, while gaining a critical appreciation of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean from a social sciences perspective. These goals are achieved through coursework and the opportunity to work in a structured internship, along with non-credit volunteer opportunities, cultural activities, and the chance to live with a Dominican family.

Program Snapshot

  • Significantly improve your Spanish skills through language courses of varying levels
  • Work with local non-profit organizations on an optional development internship
  • Focus on a Caribbean Studies track
  • Visit sites of cultural importance, including the colonial zone, anthropological museums, ecological preserves, and overnight trips on CIEE excursions
  • Enhance your semester with a CIEE independent study option, non-credit volunteer opportunities, and peer advisors

Subject Areas

  • Anthropology
  • Caribbean Studies
  • History
  • Independent Study
  • Internship
  • Latin American Studies
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language
  • Theology

Eligibility Requirements

  • Overall GPA 2.75
  • 5 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent
  • Spanish language course within the past year recommended

Academic Program

The CIEE Study Center, established in 1998, gives students the opportunity to enroll in classes at Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó (El Bonó), Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), and Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC). In addition, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) offers specially designed courses for CIEE students in Spanish language and cultural, literary, artistic, political, and social aspects of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean as a whole. Students generally enroll in one Spanish language course and a variety of CIEE-FLACSO content courses, as well as in courses at the other host institutions. This arrangement permits students to combine the specialized, more personalized "think tank" atmosphere of FLACSO with courses offered through INTEC, UASD, and El Bonó.

The program is suitable for advanced undergraduate students with strong language skills and a background in the social sciences or in Latin American studies.

Caribbean Studies
For those students who have an interest in focusing their academic studies on the Caribbean region, the CIEE Study Center offers participants an opportunity to pursue a Caribbean Studies track of study. Students who pursue this track must enroll in the required core course taught at FLACSO, Social and Ethnocultural Identity of the Contemporary Caribbean; up to two elective courses taught at FLACSO; and up to three elective courses at CIEE-affiliated universities in Santo Domingo. These latter courses must focus on the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean region.

Academic Culture

Academic culture in Dominican universities is different from that of universities and colleges in the United States. Direct enrollment in Dominican universities is one of the richest opportunities not only for academic learning, but also for immersing oneself in the language, for meeting Dominicans, and for learning about Dominican culture and society. However, it also brings many challenges, which include adapting to and learning in a more formal academic culture and dealing with limited or hard-to-find materials.

CIEE students enrolling at INTEC can choose classes from the Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities, with a smaller number of classes selected from the Faculties of Business and Natural Sciences. Students at INTEC tend to be middle- and upper-middle class women and men from Santo Domingo. Classes range in size from 30 to 40.

Most of the 100 students at El Bonó are young men studying philosophy on scholarship as part of their training to become priests. The classes are small (20–30) and lecture-based.
The UASD, a large public university, has an undergraduate population of 160,000 on its main campus in Santo Domingo. Classes tend to be very large and resources and infrastructure may vary from department to department.

At FLACSO, students will find that class content and structure is closer to U.S. universities, and that the atmosphere is more intimate and relaxed. Class size is from six to 18 students. A tutor is available at FLACSO to assist participants. At each institution, students can expect three to four contact hours per week for each class and should dedicate an hour of preparation for each hour of class.

Students are expected to rely on the advice of the Resident Director for their final course registrations during orientation, and any communication with home institutions is the responsibility of the student. The add/drop period varies from institution to institution. Students need to keep track of each institution's deadlines because after the deadline, course selections are final. There is a three-week break between the spring and fall semesters.

Where You'll Study:

Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-Dominican Republic)

FLACSO is linked to other research and teaching centers throughout Latin America and was founded by UNESCO, the UN agency dedicated to education, culture, and science. Its internationally known faculty is also associated
with one or more universities in Santo Domingo.

Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó (El Bonó)

El Bonó is a Jesuit institute of higher learning
specializing in philosophy and social sciences.

Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC)

INTEC is a private university founded by a group of professionals and businessmen in the 1980s to promote academic excellence in the areas of social sciences, humanities, medicine, business, and engineering.

Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD)

With 160,000 students, UASD is the largest university in the Dominican Republic--and it the oldest, having been founded in 1538. This public university offers CIEE students courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Program Requirements

All students take a total of five courses. Based upon the results of a Spanish language exam, students may be required to take Advanced Spanish I or II. Students who are required to take Spanish may take up to two additional CIEE-FLACSO courses and two direct enrollment courses at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC. Those students not required to take Spanish may enroll in a maximum of two CIEE-FLACSO courses and three direct enrollment courses at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC. Students choosing the Caribbean Studies Track may take up to three CIEE-FLACSO courses, including the Social and Ethnocultural Identity of the Contemporary Caribbean and Spanish language (if required based on language exam), and up to three elective courses through direct enrollment at El Bonó, UASD, or INTEC, for a total of five courses.

Recommended Credit

semester: 15-17 semester/22.5-25.5 quarter hours
academic year: 30-32 semester/45-48quarter hours

CIEE Fees - Check the CIEE website for current fees.
The CIEE fee includes tuition, housing, all meals, optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, field trips, access to university libraries, admission fees to host university events, immersion activities including Dominican peer advisors, comprehensive student handbook, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.

Online Pre-Departure and On-Site Orientations
Students begin their study abroad experience in Santo Domingo before even leaving home--by participating in a CIEE Online Pre-Departure Orientation. Meeting with students online, the Resident Director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving students time to ask any questions before leaving home. The online orientation allows students to connect with others in the group, reflect on what they want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. The CIEE goal for the pre-departure orientation is simple: to help students understand more about the program and site, as well as their goals for the program, so that they arrive to the program
well-informed and return home having made significant progress toward their goals.

The program begins with a mandatory oneweek orientation on site that introduces students to the culture of the Dominican Republic and the academic program at FLACSO, and provides practical information about living in Santo Domingo. During the orientation, students receive academic advising and instructions for registration in classes at the universities to ensure the most appropriate course selection. Students are aided by peer counselors and are given information about local activities with Dominicans. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

Housing & Meals

Students live in Dominican homestays in middle-class neighborhoods throughout Santo Domingo. Housing and meals are included in the program fee. (All students receive three meals per day with their host family.) Weekly laundry and linen service is also provided.


CIEE has a limited number of computers available to students for academic purposes and has wireless Internet access at the CIEE Study Center office. In addition, there are numerous Internet cafés in Santo Domingo that CIEE participants can use for checking personal email, so it is recommended that students bring a wireless-enabled laptop.

Cultural Activities

Each semester, two overnight excursions of cultural, ecological, and/or historical interest are taken. Educational excursions in the past have included an overnight to Caño Hondo in Los Haitises National Park to observe the humpback whales, to Jarabacoa to visit the Mirabal Sisters Museum, and to the Centro León in Santiago.

A trip to a market along the Dominican/ Haitian border is also included as part of the coursework. One-day excursions are also offered to national heritage sites, such as a colonial sugar mill; a religious syncretic altar; and caves with Taíno pictographs. Cultural activities in the city have included theater performances, classical music concerts, and visits to museums and baseball games.

Immersion in the local culture is a priority at CIEE Study Centers around the world.CIEE participants make the most of their program through CIEE-guided excursions, field study and internship programs, volunteering, conversation exchanges, homestays, and special events. The opportunities will vary depending on location.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2018-2019 05/01/2018 ** Varies TBA TBA
NOTE: Please check the partner program website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above is the date when UMass materials, signature documents, and questionnaires need to be handed in or completed. If the program start and end dates read "TBA," consult the program's website or your IPO advisor.
Fall 2018 05/01/2018 ** Varies TBA TBA
NOTE: Please check the partner program website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above is the date when UMass materials, signature documents, and questionnaires need to be handed in or completed. If the program start and end dates read "TBA," consult the program's website or your IPO advisor.
Spring 2019 10/01/2018 10/01/2018 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.