The Dominican Republic’s characteristic Caribbean lure includes alluring sandy-white beaches, vibrant music and dance, and exotic food. From scuba diving to kitesurfing to riverboat fishing, you’re sure to get the blood running here — not to mention from running bases when you play baseball with the locals! Its stunning mountain scenery, picturesque villages, Spanish-speaking citizens, and striking colonial architecture makes your decision to study abroad in the Dominican Republic a true learning experience amid some of Latin America’s wildest natural beauty.
Where to Study in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is a rather small country that shares Hispaniola with Haiti. Its geographical area is only a little more than twice the size of New Hampshire, but it offers diverse countrysides that will win your heart wherever you study here. Even so, we recommend your heart chooses one of the best places to study abroad in Dominican Republic — listed below.
Santo Domingo. The nation’s capital on the coast in the southeastern region is the oldest permanent settlement in the Western Hemisphere. Ogle at the Ozama fortress, snap pics of La Catedral Primada de América, and stroll through the National Botanical Garden. This commercial, financial, and cultural hub offers a plethora of Spanish classes and being the largest city in the Dominican Republic, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice with the locals.
Santiago. The second-largest city in the Dominican Republic lies in the north-central area of the country. Watch a baseball game, tour Museo del Tabaco, and marvel at the Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración. Home to several universities, you’ll find programs from business to liberal arts to the sciences that fills your schedule and earns you credits.
Punta Cana. You’ll find this small city of 50,000 on the east coast of the Dominican Republic. It’s a popular tourist destination thanks to its famous rum cocktails and glimmering beaches. You’ll feel like you’re on holiday when you study abroad here! The water attractions here are plenty, from swimming with the dolphins to whale watching to reef exploring to racing speedboats.
Popular Subjects to Study
Trying to decide which study abroad Dominican Republic program is right for you? It can be a muy difícil decision, but lucky for you, this little country offers a range of options to help suit your degree needs. Here are the most popular subjects to study in Dominican Republic.
Spanish. Becoming bilingual in one of the top languages spoken in the world definitely won’t look too shabby to employers. With smaller class sizes, helpful instructors, and intensive language classes, you’re well on your way to becoming fluent. Not to mention you’ll win favor with the locals by trying to speak as much Spanish as you can.
Service Learning. With the Dominican Republic being a developing country, you can count on several opportunities to volunteer for the community. You’ll learn more about the history and politics that make up the country in the classroom and in person when you tour different areas and meet the citizens on an interpersonal level.
Business. Learn more about trade liberalization and privatization of markets as you visit free-trade zones with a study abroad Dominican Republic business program. You’ll learn more about how the culture shapes businesses there and its business relations with other Caribbean countries.
Costs in the Dominican Republic
Compared to other Caribbean countries, when you study abroad in Dominican Republic, you’ll love how affordable it is. You can find meals around $7 and a beer for around $2, but if you go to more touristy parts in urban areas, expect to pay a bit more than rural areas. The program fee will carry the largest price tag — programs usually cover the cost of tuition, housing, food, and a few excursions. Start saving early, apply for scholarships, and raise dinero through FundMyTravel to help cover the hefty expenses.
Student Housing Options
Where you’ll fluff your pillow at night depends on the program and placement, but in nearly every case, you’ll most likely be staying with a host family. A homestay placement will allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture as you gain fluency in Spanish and practice the customs of the country. Some programs also offer apartment/flat options, and you would most likely be rooming with other international students.
The visa requirements depend on the length of stay and citizenship, but you’ll most likely need to obtain a student visa. You’ll need a passport, passport-sized photos, letter of acceptance, proof of sufficient funds, medical clearance, a background check, and a visa application form to apply for a student visa. The requirements may change, so discuss them with your Dominican Republic study abroad advisor and check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more assistance.
GoAbroad's Insider Tips
Today, the Dominican Republic is a mix of African, Caucasian and multiracial ethnicities. Unfortunately, a class system (casta system) continues to characterize Dominican Republic today as does residual tension with neighboring Haiti.
When you study abroad in Dominican Republic, it will absolutely take you out of the classroom. Visit the Columbus Lighthouse, and get to know the Dominican Republic’s original inhabitants, the Taino people, by visiting the Museo del Hombre Dominicano.
From dancing the merengue to windsurfing at the Cabarate, you’ll never forget your study abroad Dominican Republic adventure!