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CIEE Santiago Community Public Health

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Santiago, Dominican Republic




Overall 2.5 GPA; 4 semesters of college level Spanish or equivalent; coursework in public health is recommended.

Application Due:

March 1

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This program is not currently being offered by CIEE

The Santiago de los Cabelleros, Dominican Republic Community Public Health Program is an eight-week course for students studying Spanish and any aspect of health care. It offers a unique opportunity by combining classroom course work with fieldwork. This program provides six weeks of language and healthcare courses and a ten-day rural clinical field rotation, and a five-day urban stay. Students get a close look and new perspective on the social and health issues facing one of the Caribbean's fastest-developing countries. The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) administers this program on behalf of a consortium of which The University of Iowa is a member.

Academic Program

Courses are designed and taught, in Spanish, by a top-ranked Dominican Republic university and CIEE's partner school, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), and complemented with immersive co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding. Students participate in a semi-urban community service practicum in an underserved area in Santiago while classes are in session. CIEE Santiago, Dominican Republic Summer Community Public Health Program website.

Students take three courses during the program and they are:

  1. Advanced Spanish Conversation and Grammar
  2. Pre-Professional Helathcare Issues
  3. Community Health Practicum

Cultural Activities

Students complete a ten-day rotation at a semi-rural medical clinic and support the efforts of health promoters in marginalized urban neighborhoods.

Program Dates

This is an eight-week program that runs from mid June until late August.

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with CIEE, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

The University

CIEE Santiago offices and classrooms are conveniently located on the campus of Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). The university was founded in 1962 and dedicated to serving social and economic development of all Dominicans. PUCMM has been ranked ast he best academic institution of higher learning in the Dominican Republic. Just 15 minutes from downtown Santiago, PUCMM's campus has four academic schools: Social Sciences and Administration; Science and Humanities' Engineering Sciences; and Health Studies. With approximately 12,000 students, PUCMM offers the academic resources, support services, and physical facilities of a typical high-caliber Latin American educational institution.

Santiago de los Cabelleros

Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros from Columbus' early expeditions, Santiago is a growing, modern city with a population of more than 800,000 people. Despite its sprawling size, it retains many small-town features. Santiago is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic and is surrounded by mountains and located in the north-central part of the country. Known as La Ciudad Corazón, Santiago is the commercial and cultural center of the fertile Cibao Valley region, which produces much of the country's tobacco, rice, and a great variety of fruits and vegetables. Santiagueros, the people of Santiago, and the others of the Cibao region, maintain a high degree of regional pride for the culture of the north, which distinguishes them from the ret of the country.

Dominican Republic

Christopher Columbus was the first European to see the island of Hispaniola, which today is shared by the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti. The country has the ninth-largest economy in Latin American and it the largest in the Caribbean and Central American region. The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. A geographically diverse nation, it is home to bot the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Durarte, and the Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, moastery, and fotress built in the Americas. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the most popular sport.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Living with a Dominican family is your ticket to immersion into every day Santiago life. Students are placed in Spanish-speaking homestays. Homestays are located within about a 25-30 minute walk from PUCMM campus and the CIEE Center. Three meals a day and laundry is provided by the host family. The composition of families range, a host family may have extended family members living with them, it could be a nuclear family, or a divorced or widowed mother where she is head of the household.


US Citizens

If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for a visa or leaving the United States.

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Travel Arrangements

Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Santiago by a designated date. Specific information will be provided in post-acceptance materials from CIEE.

Local Transportation

Santiago does have a Metro system and a reliable bus system.


This program is open it UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 and four semesters of college-level Spanish
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing - It is the policy of the UI Study Abroad office that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and good disciplinary standing at the time of their application. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will not be allowed to study abroad. Any student who must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.


    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Round trip airfare (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Consular and visa fees (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Textbooks, copyright permission fees, course packets, and other course-related materials (paid upoon arrival to your host country)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Rental or purchase of required cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)

    Cost Sheet

    The cost sheet (forth coming) outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options. Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities.

    CIEE has several scholarships available to University of Iowa students CIEE Scholarships specific to UI students.
    Please visit the CIEE Scholarship web site to find out more about their scholarships.

    How to Apply

    Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

    The application process consists of the following steps:

    • Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee. As part of the UI Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page and a list of courses to take while abroad.

    • Please note that for study abroad programs through Summer 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.

    • Complete the CIEE Online Application.

    Application Deadline

    March 1

    Acceptance & Confirmation Materials

    Coming Soon


    It is highly recommended that students review the following information:

    Health & Safety Planning

  • Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information
  • Health Abroad
  • Safety and Security Abroad
  • Diversity and Identity Abroad

  • Race and Ethnicity Abroad
  • LGBTQ Identity Abroad
  • Students with Disabilities Abroad
  • First-Generationa and Non-Traditional Students Abroad
  • Orientation

    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. In addition to orientations provided UI Study Abroad, CIEE may have other required pre-departure orientations and information. Please see below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to the University of Iowa including, but not limited to, billing, insurance, the Credit Approval Form (CAF), and transcripts. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on the type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    CIEE Orientation

    Students start their study abroad experience before leaving the United States with CIEE’s Online Pre-departure Orientation. Students and the Resident staff meet online to discuss information about the academic program and the city that students will soon be living in. Resident staff also highlight issues that program alumni have said are important and they give students time to ask questions. In addition to this orientation, students will have mandatory orientation sessions conducted in Copenhagen at the beginning of the program.

    There are no photos available for this program yet.

    Phone: (319) 335-0353