The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. The diversity of the geography includes tropical rain forests, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, whitewater rivers, waterfalls, impressive mountain ranges, deserts, saltwater lakes, and miles of white sand beaches. Both the highest and lowest points in the Caribbean are located in the country, with Pico Duarte at 10,319 feet, and the saltwater Lake Enriquillo at 139 feet below sea level.
Study abroad students will be enchanted with the varied architecture, colonial museums, vast natural areas,and varied ecosystems. Whether visiting the Samaná Bay humpback whale breeding ground, exploring ruins over 500 years old, or watching the national sport of baseball, students will have numerous opportunities to experience Dominican culture while on their study abroad program.
Santiago (1,000,000) is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic and the economic center of the fertile Cibao Valley. The Septentrional mountain range is visible from most points of the city. The Yaque River flows through the city en route to the Atlantic Ocean, a mere one hour bus ride to the north. Santiago has a relaxed and refined atmosphere and the most vibrant Carnival in the country.
The ISA program at the Pontifical Catholic University has a Caribbean and Dominican focus and is for students at the intermediate and advanced levels of Spanish. Students are able to select classes from a variety of subjects including, history, film, literature and culture. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in a community service program. All classes are taken with other international students and are taught at the Pontifical Catholic University by Dominican professors.
The ISA office in Santiago is near the PUCMM campus, just short walk from any university building. The resident staff is available to students at all times and is committed to making your experience in Santiago as rewarding as possible. They provide support during the enrollment process and assist with housing and travel advice.