Caribbean Culture, Spanish Language & Courses with Locals
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), the country's second best university per the QS World University ratings, enrolls around 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students at the Santiago campus. The PUCMM values academic excellence and features 300 beautifully landscaped acres with 32 buildings including modern classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices, library, computer labs, student center, recreational facilities--including an outdoor swimming pool and a walking/running track that circles the university. The Español para Extranjeros program has accepted international students to study Spanish language and Latin American culture in the Dominican Republic for more than fifteen years. ISA students take culture courses in English, courses in Spanish with locals or Spanish language courses.
Spring 1 2020
Early Jan, 2020 - Mid Apr, 2020
Nov 01, 2019
180 - 225 Contact Hours
2.50 Minimum GPA*
- Apply Now
Designed to increase your knowledge of Caribbean culture and improve your Spanish proficiency, this program allows you to enroll in Caribbean culture courses in English or Spanish with Dominicans, study Spanish language or take courses with locals.
Spanish language courses are available at the beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish language levels. Culture, history and literature courses in Spanish require an intermediate or advanced Spanish level per an on-site placement exam. The Community Service Practicum course provides students theoretical and hands-on experience serving the local community in the areas of education or community health. Students may also study Teaching English as a Second Language which includes practicum hours as well. All courses are taught by host university faculty at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra.
Semester + Semester Programs Available: You can combine the Spring + Fall OR Fall + Spring sessions at a discounted price. For more information about this option, please contact your ISA Dominican Republic Site Specialist.
Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
Comprehensive Advising and Support
Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support
Tuition at the Host University
Meals and Laundry Service
Bridging Cultures Program
Full-Time Resident Staff
On-Site ISA Offices
ISA Discovery Model
Official Transcript from the Host University
Professional Development Toolbox
180 - 225
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
12 - 15
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
18 - 22
- Course Selection
- The courses below reflect the most current list of courses released by the host university. Course availability and contact hours are subject to change. Requests for sample syllabi can be made to the Dominican Republic Site Specialist.
- Course Credit
- According to ISA policy, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program. Credit transfer is ultimately determined by the student’s home university.
- The transcript from the PUCMM will reflect credits for each course listed below. The contact hours for each course will not be reflected on the transcript, but are listed below to assist with credit transfer. Please be in touch with your home university regarding credit transfer for this program.
- Placement Exam
- All students must take a Spanish language placement exam upon arrival in Santiago. Language level will be determined by the on-site placement exam administered by the PUCMM.
- Language Requirements
- Students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of two semesters (three quarters) of college-level Spanish. Few culture courses in English are available but students should be prepared with viable alternates in the event of a cancellation or scheduling conflict.
- Courses with Locals
- Students must test into the Advanced Spanish language level or above in order to enroll in courses with locals instructed in Spanish.
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- Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Support & Funding
Funding Your ISA Program
As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, please visit the Scholarships and Grants page.View all Funding Options
Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the Dominican lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor to the Dominican Republic. With an open-mind and flexibility, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.
We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations, however, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.
Host families are best if you are seeking full linguistic and cultural immersion during your time abroad. Each host family has been carefully selected by ISA's resident staff in order to best accommodate your needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation. Homestays will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and laundry service once a week. While students typically have their own room, you might share a room with another ISA student of the same gender.
You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.
THERE’S MORE TO DISCOVER WITH ISA
27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
Trek through the Dominican jungle and explore 27 limestone waterfalls formed by the Damajagua River. Jump into the naturally formed pools, slide down waterfalls and coast downstream with the current.
Jarabacoa * Optional
Enjoy the temperate climate of the Central Mountain Range and visit Baiguate waterfalls, a coffee plantation and go horseback riding.
Marvel at the artist community Altos de Chavón, observe picture writing by the Taíno indigenous group at the Cave of Wonders, and unwind on the white sand of Isla Saona, known for its clear blue waters inhabited by starfish.
Visit Puerto Plata and the 16th century Fort of San Felipe, relax at Cabarete beach and ride the cable car to the Isabel de Torres Peak for a panoramic view of the city.
Wander down the cobblestone streets of the country's capital, which was the first city in the New World established by European explorers in 1496. Notable pitstops include Catedral Basilica Menor de Santa Maria, Columbus Park, Museum of the Royal Houses, Columbus’ Fortress and the National Pantheon.
Cultural Activities in Santiago
The ISA on-site team encourages you to explore the city and culture of Santiago. The team facilitates this by offering a robust calendar of events that showcases what makes Santiago special.
These activities vary each term, and previous offerings have included dance classes (bachata, merengue, salsa), Concho city tour, learning about Dominican identity and Dominican-Haitian relations, visits to the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes Museum and to the Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración.