The primary objective of this program is to provide students with the opportunity to develop oral and written Spanish skills and to learn about Caribbean society and culture. This objective is advanced through university courses, home stays, and a strong internship program which places students directly within the mainstream of Dominican society. Students with beginning to advanced Spanish language skills can be accommodated.
The academic program is 16 weeks in length for both the fall and spring semesters. For students entering with zero to intermediate level language skills, the semester will be split into five weeks of intensive language and culture classes, a one-week break, and ten weeks of internship. Or, students may select 12-15 credits without doing the internship.
Students with advanced Spanish language skills will have a modified program that will allow them to attend a selection of regular university courses over the full semester. Most university courses will be held at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena (UNPHU) which is the host institution for the CCIS program. A smaller selection of courses will also be offered from the Pontifica Universidad Calolica Madrew y Maestra and the Universidad APEC. All three of these private universities are located in the heart of Santo Domingo.
The academic program is supervised by the International Education Resource Center at UNPHU. The IERC is under the supervision of Dr. Raymond Giles, the resident director for the CCIS program. Dr. Giles, a retired, tenured associate professor of education, was also chairman of the department of Afro-American Studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
A selected list of courses from different departments of the cooperating universities will be available for students fluent in Spanish. This list cannot be provided in advance. Students requiring specialized courses to complete a degree may be able to have a Special Topics course designed for them by the IERC using a mentor from the university. These may be taught in English but cannot be guaranteed. Advanced approval of these courses is necessary.
Students will be placed in home stays with families where two meals will be prepared and taken with families. Students have single rooms and often have access to kitchen facilities where they can store food and prepare their own meals.
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