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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo

Semester: Fall/Spring
Offered: Fall 2017 and Spring 2018
Estimated Dates: Fall: late July to early December, Spring: early January to early May
Program Focus: Language Intensive


Successful previous participation on the Dominican Republic: Santiago program or completion of Spanish 321. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA in Spanish course study are required.                                                            
 Campus Contacts:

Matthieu Raillard
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7472

Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7425

Freddy Vilches
Assistant Professor of Spanish Language & Literature, 503-768-7431

Program Design

In cooperation with the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), Lewis & Clark offers this study program that focuses on the language, history, culture, and current socioeconomic and political issues in the Dominican Republic. The CIEE Santo Domingo program includes a week-long orientation that introduces students to the culture of the Dominican Republic and academic program at CIEE, and provides practical information about living in Santo Domingo. The program also features a practicum in which students are placed in field settings to gain exposure to development issues and to participate in social service programs. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the study abroad program.

On this program, students explore the rich history of the Dominican Republic through fascinating courses, an internship with a grassroots organization, and volunteer opportunities. Students also learn about important topics like slavery and endangered mangroves, both in class and out in the real world. Students take their Spanish skills to the next level by studying the language and living with native speakers. All students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Dominican society.

Santo Domingo, capital city of the Dominican Republic and often called “the first city of the New World,” is steeped in historical significance. With a population of over two million, it is considered to be the main economic and political center of the country. The 16th Century Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Santo Domingo boasts the first street, cathedral, university, and hospital in the Americas, but it is also a modern city; with a population close to three million, Santo Domingo is considered to be the main economic and political center of the country. It is a city of contrasts, where one can observe both rapid economic growth and challenges to human development.

Onsite Staff: The Resident Director of the CIEE Santo Domingo Study Center is Tian Song. Tian is responsible for the successful program administration of all semester, summer, and special programs in Santo Domingo. She teaches the Development Internship and Intercultural Communication and Leadership courses during the academic year. She earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and completed an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Santo Domingo team in 2014, Tian served as Manager of Student Services for the CIEE Shanghai Study Center where she enhanced and strengthened the overall academic, cultural, and residential life program offerings at the growing center. Before CIEE, Tian worked in the Global Education Office at Vanderbilt University as a Study Abroad Advisor and oversaw the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Exchange Student Program.


Requirements Fulfilled: This program fulfills the two course international studies requirement and the overseas study requirements for the Hispanic Studies major, the World Languages Major with Spanish as the primary language, and the Latin American Studies minor.

Credits: All students take a total of 15-18 credits.

Curriculum: During orientation, students receive academic advising and instructions about registering for classes at the universities to help them select appropriate courses. Following orientation, students are able to enroll into courses at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, and the Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó (El Bonó). In addition to taking courses in the social sciences and humanities, students will participate in an internship with a local grassroots development project. All courses are taught in Spanish. A sampling of the courses and course descriptions are available on the CIEE Courses webpage for the program.

Depending upon the results of a Spanish language exam, students may be required to take Advanced Spanish I or II, or enroll in the Language and Culture in the Dominican Republic course at CIEE. Some students may test out of all language courses, though they may still choose to enroll in the Language and Culture in the Dominican Republic course if they wish. Students who are required to take Spanish may take up to two additional CIEE courses and two direct enrollment courses at El Bonó or INTEC. Those students not required to take Spanish may enroll in a maximum of two CIEE courses and three direct enrollment courses at El Bonó or INTEC.

Excursions: Students experience the Dominican Republic’s culture, history, current economic realities, and natural environment firsthand through various program-wide excursions and activities. Past excursions have included the following: exploring ruins of colonial ingenios (sugar plantations) in Engombe, learning about how the history of sugar and slavery went hand in hand in Boca de Nigua, and replanting endangered mangroves and visiting caves with Taino pictographs in Los Haitises National Park in Caño Hondo. Over the course of the semester, students enjoy various daylong and one overnight excursion of cultural, ecological, and/or historical interest. The program also incorporates cultural activities like attendance at local theater performances, baseball games, and trips to an outdoor market.

Internships: Internships give students the opportunity to gain professional, international experience while giving back to the host community. Through the CIEE Development Internship course, past students have assisted in union activities and outreach projects for the Alta Gracia Clothing Factory; participated in education and community outreach alongside future superstars with Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner in Santo Domingo; and created entrepreneurial empowerment programs for people living with HIV/AIDS with the Community Service Alliance.

Student Life

Housing: Students live in Dominican homestays in middle-class neighborhoods throughout Santo Domingo and receive three meals a day with their host family. Housing and meals are included in the program fee. Weekly laundry and linen service is also provided. The homestay is essential to the student’s learning process and integration into life in Santo Domingo. The opportunity to live with a Dominican family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, but it also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses.


Fee Breakdown:

Total Fee (includes Tuition & Program Fee): $32,334

Tuition: $25,287

Program Fee: $7,047*

*Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, field trips, administrative fees, and supplemental health insurance. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to STI): $1,000 - $1,400

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $200 - $250

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,275.50*

*All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding Health Insurance Information & Overseas Programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Students must first submit a Lewis & Clark Overseas program application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to CIEE.  Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these again to CIEE. Please note that this secondary application process can take place in the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into Cibao International airport (STI), where they are met by CIEE Santo Domingo staff and transported to the program orientation.  

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to the Dominican Republic.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Dominican Republic page.

Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo

18.487582; -69.95808