Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
• 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
• September 20
Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.
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.
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.
Objectives and Goals
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 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.
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This program is open to students attending US institutions, and who fulfill the following requirements:
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.
The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:
Cost sheets do not include the following optional 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.
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.
Applications are be due by September 20.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.