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Women's Empowerment in the Dominican Republic

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Winter

Location:

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Credit:

Resident

Eligibility:

• Clear interest and commitment

• Demonstrated preparedness/maturity

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible depending on specific circumstances)

• Completion of at least one semester of college-level study at the time the program begins

• Faculty approval

• Participation in orientation programming

• No Language Experience Required

Application Due:

• September 20

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Academic Program

This multidisciplinary elective course is designed to prepare students to understand and address the complex issues associated with working with micro-enterprises, healthcare systems, cross-culture issues, and marginalized and at-risk groups. Students will engage with non-profit organizations, visit local government offices and clinics, and explore the geographic and sociocultural context in which healthcare, migration, entrepreneurship, and social justice take place. Students will experience and be exposed to the most respected organizations throughout The Dominican Republic.

Students earn 3 s.h. of resident credit.

Group pic

Students will gain hands-on experience and will visit, participate with, and learn village development which includes the inner growth of people as well as the outer development of the community.

Course Description

Objectives and Goals

  • Reflection- connect to experience
  • Application of knowledge- practice, test, and apply
  • Leadership- community building, team dynamics
  • Civic Identity- how your abilities help development
  • Cultural Identity- understanding of self
  • Social Justice- sources of power and community assets
  • Values Clarification- clarify own ideals and values

Faculty Directors

Led by Professor Mo Haskins in Social Work and Professor Bob Walker in Business, this section will focus on social entrepreneurship and immigration, engaging government agencies, nonprofits, and youth in the DR. 

Program Dates

Program dates vary by session. Dates for future sessions are expected to be similar to previous sessions, and will be finalized be early spring.

Dates for the Winter 2019 - 2020 session were January 1-17, 2020.

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application for this program, 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
Email: study-abroad@uiowa.edu

Where You Will Study

Your host and partner in the Dominican Republic is a renowned social entrepreneurship firm in the Dominican Republic specializing in social development, sustainability, education and training since 1982. With a portfolio of high profile clients from governments, private sector, NGOs and international organizations, Entrena has implemented projects in eight countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

More information about Entrena can be found on their website

Santo Domingo

gate in santa domingo

Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and it prides itself in being the first European city in the New World. Founded by Christopher Columbus's brother Bartolome Columbus in 1496, it is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial empire in the New World. For this reason, the city of Santo Domingo has a really rich historic and cultural heritage that makes any visit extremely worthwhile. Nowadays, it remains one of the most populous cities in the Central America-Caribbean area, and the main economic and commercial center of this region.

Dominican Republic

Truck with bananas in back

The country’s roller-coaster past is writ large in the physical design of its towns and cities. Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial exudes romance with its beautifully restored monasteries and cobblestone streets along which conquistadors once roamed. The crumbling gingerbread homes of Puerto Plata and Santiago remain from more prosperous eras, and scars from decades of misrule are marked by monuments where today people gather to celebrate. New communities have arisen only a few kilometers from the ruins where Christopher Columbus strode and where the indigenous Taíno people left traces of their presence carved onto rock walls.

Beyond the capital, much of the DR is distinctly rural: driving through the vast fertile interior, you’ll see cows and horses grazing alongside the roads, and trucks and burros loaded down with fresh produce. Further inland you’ll encounter vistas reminiscent of the European Alps, rivers carving their way through lush jungle and stunning waterfalls. Four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean rise above the fertile lowlands surrounding Santiago, and remote deserts stretch through the southwest, giving the DR a physical and cultural complexity not found on other islands.

Hike

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.

town square

Living Arrangements

Students will stay together as a group with the Faculty Directors in hotels, a hostel, and a house. All program-related housing and transportation in the Dominican Republic is included in the cost of the program.

Passport

All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. 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.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew 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 the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements (Flights)

coconuts being cut open

UI Study Abroad will designate a suggested group flight by mid-fall. Participants will make their own travel arrangements to the Dominican Republic with guidance from UI Study Abroad. All students are strongly encouraged to book the same flights as the program director and late participants will be penalized for missing course content.

The cost of travel is not included in the course fee.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from UI Study Abroad.

Eligibility

This program is open to students attending US institutions, and who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment: This program is open to students of all academic backgrounds. Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa, or at another US college or university where the applicant is enrolled in a degree program. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.
  • Completion of at least one semester of college-level study: First-year student applicants should be prepared to provide at least two academic references when submitting their application materials.
  • Approval By faculty directors and UI Study Abroad: Applications will be reviewed by the program’s faculty directors, and students will be accepted based on their eligibility, and application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming: Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming.
  • No Language Experience Required: This course is taught in English. No previous language experience is required. Applicants with Spanish/Creole and French experience (any level) will be able to utilize their language skills throughout the program.
Hawkeyes

Costs

Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid 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.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

PDFMigration and Social Entrepreneurship- Cost Sheet- 2019-2020 (UI Students)

PDFMigration and Social Entrepreneurship- Cost Sheet- 2019-2020 (Non-UI Students)

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel during your free time during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $300 to as much as $2,000 or more per session.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

  • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Course Fees (Includes tuition, housing, meals, and program-related transportation and tours (charged shortly before departure)
  • Study Abroad Fees (charged shortly before departure)
  • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

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

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs.

CDE offers a scholarship specifically for this program. Learn more on the CDE Dominican Republic Winter Scholarship website.

You can learn more about financial aid options available during the winter on the Winter Financial Aid website.

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc., on UI Study Abroad’s Finances page.

How to Apply

Students Attending the University of Iowa

  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss how this program might fit your graduation plans, and to ensure that it meets your academic and personal goals.
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that this program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 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.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • The faculty directors and UI Study Abroad will review your application materials and, if you meet the requirements for the program, you will be contacted with your acceptance status within 2 -3 weeks.
  • Please note that for Fall 2021, Winter 2021 - 2022, and Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until their travel abroad takes place. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to departure due to COVID-19 concerns, the application fee will not be charged.

Students Attending Other Universities

  • Contact the study abroad office at your home institution and ensure you follow all of the policies and procedures required for you to participate in this program.
  • Contact UI study abroad advisor Cory Petersen by email at cory-petersen@uiowa.edu to request an application for the program.
  • Complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your University of Iowa U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • The faculty director and your study abroad advisor will review your application materials and, if you meet the requirements for the program, you will be contacted with your acceptance status within several weeks.

All Students- Required Application Materials

  • Completed online application with short essay describing why you chose this program.
  • Statement of Purpose following the short answer prompts given in the application.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • A copy of the information page of your passport (if you are applying for a passport, please indicate this on the application and you can bypass this requirement temporarily).

Application Deadline

Applications are be due by September 20.

Health & Safety Planning

Students should carefully review the following materials starting at least two months prior to departure:

Prepare for Departure

Health and Safety

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Airport

Immigration/Visa

All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.

Orientation

In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" 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 safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your UI study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.