- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Second semester sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- 4 semesters of college-level Spanish language or equivalent
Raise your strong Spanish language skills to new heights while immersing yourself in the developing Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. Along with Spanish language classes, learn about the evolution of society, culture, economics, and politics of Hispaniola and the greater Hispanic Caribbean through liberal arts courses, in Spanish. Courses are taken at CIEE Santiago and our partner school Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.
Students must enroll in courses that provide a total of 15-18 credits. Full time students may take a maximum of 18 credits at Pontifícia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), including a required advanced Spanish language course and PUCMM elective courses, as well as CIEE elective courses.
Academic Year: Late July-Mid July
Fall: Late July-Early September
Spring: Late February-Mid July
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Founded in 1495 by 30 caballeros from Columbus’ early expeditions, Santiago is a growing, modern city with a population of more than 800,000. Despite its sprawling size, Santiago retains many small-town features. Traditional merchants ride burros loaded with baskets of goods and call out their wares in a musical chant. Street vendors balance large baskets of fruit and vegetables on their heads. People are friendly and crime is scarce. The people of Santiago like to play dominos, listen to merengue and bachata music, and talk about baseball.
Most PUCMM students specialize in a profession such as law, medicine, engineering, architecture, education, or business. Psychology and social communication are the only social science majors. Though PUCCM is the country’s premier private university, it has limited resources compared to most U.S. colleges and universities. U.S. students find striking differences between teaching goals and methods at PUCMM and their home schools. Teaching methods are less formal, employing a mix of tutorials, readings, discussions, reports, and tests, with more emphasis on memorization than analysis. Presentations are often researched and given by individual students or groups, not professors, which requires students to take more initiative for learning.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.
The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
- Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
- Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
- CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
- Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
- MSI Grant
To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of CIEE's website.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.
After the Start of the Program
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.