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CIEE Santiago (DR) Liberal Arts Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic year


Santiago de los Cabelleros, Dominican Republic




Overall 2.5 GPA, 4 semesters college level Spanish or equivalent

Application Due:

Spring: 3/1

Fall: 10/1

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

CIEE is offering free flights to Santiago, Dominican Republic to students who participate in this program!

See the Logistics tab for more information.

The Santiago Liberal Arts Program provides students with advanced Spanish skills the opportunity to further their proficiency and explore life in the Dominican Republic. Along with Spanish language classes, students learn about the evolution of society, culture, economics, and politics of Hispaniola and the greater Hispanic Caribbean through liberal arts courses. This program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on behalf of a consortium of which The University of Iowa is a member. Participants join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities. UI students earn resident credit on this program.

Academic Program

students take their courses at CIEE Santiago and the local university, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). Results from the Spanish language proficiency exam at the beginning of the program places students into one of the three advanced language levels, and determines which required language course and electives they a may take. Students in the two most-advnced levels may take a selection of direct enroll classes at PUCMM (prerequisites apply). Courses at PUCMM are offered through their division of Spanish for Foreigners and are open to other international or Dominican students. Those students with very advanced Spanish language proficiency may enroll in regular university courses. Students take the equivalent of 15 semester hours and receive resident credit.

Program Dates

Fall semester runs mid-August to mid-December. Spring semester runs early January to late April.

For More Information

Before initiating an application with CIEE students are required to meet with the Study Abroad Advisor for this program, Kristine Djerf. Please contact the Study Abroad office by stopping by 1111 University Capitol Centre, or calling 319-335-0353, to schedule an appointment. More program details can be found at the CIEE Santiago de los Caballeros Liberal Arts webpage.

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.

CIEE Latin America Flight Voucher Program

All semester participants for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 are eligible for this program. The value of the voucher is $1000. This $1000 does not count towards scholarship/grant awarding caps. Students cannot also receive the GAIN or Open Campus travel voucher. Additional details:

  • Once the Confirmation of Participation is signed students will receive a unique voucher code to use with Student Universe
  • Must be an economy flight; any upgrades or insurance must be paid for by the student
  • It is a one time use for round-trip flights only

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.

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.


Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students who have an active case with the dean of students or who are on academic or disciplinary probation will not be accepted into the program. Students must have a UI and Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 to be considered. Students must have completed four semester of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.

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. 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. See the ‘Withdrawal Policy’ below for more information about the related late withdrawal fees.


Students are charged a Program Fee on their Ubill. This charge covers tuition, housing, optional on-site airport pick-up, multi-day on-site orientation, cultural and/or co-curricular activities, excursions and/or study tours. In addition to the Program Fee, students are assessed a University of Iowa Study Abroad Administrative Fee . Also, on the Ubill will be the mandatory Iowa Regents International CISI insurance .
Other costs include but are not limited to, application fee, round trip airfare to the program site, passport and visa fees, meals, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

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. The Study Abroad office has several scholarship opportunities as well and more information can be found on UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities websites and Non-UI External Awards.

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

How to Apply

Before starting an application, students must meet with the study abroad advisor for the Dominican Republic. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

After meeting with your study abroad advisor, click the following application link to being the UI online application: Link to UI Study Abroad online application.

You will also need to apply on CIEE's website. Click the following application link to being the CIEE online application: Link to CIEE Study Abroad online application.

Application deadline

Fall/Academic Year: March 1

Spring: October 1


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 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 this program and the host country. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Before Traveling

Students must complete certain documents and activities for the University of Iowa and CIEE before leaving for their study abroad experience and these include:

  1. Uploading a copy of the information page of their passport to their UI study abroad application.
  2. Completing and turning in a copy of their Credit Approval Form (CAF).
  3. Registering in MyUI for the appropriate study abroad course.
  4. Completing the ICON Course

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 the Dominican Republic at the beginning of the program.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343