UMD: A Globally Connected University

Freshmen Abroad: Terrapin Take Off: Dominican Republic: Going Glocal: Service Learning in the Dominican Republic & Reflections on U.S. Identity

Santiago, Dominican Republic
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Freshmen Abroad
Credit Type: 
EA Advisor: 
Language of Instruction: 

This program is not running for the summer 2021 term.

Dominican Republic BSGC

This course is designed to give students real-life, hands-on experience as international community service providers, by applying scholarship to practice and using critical reflection to explore how our experiences and identities inform the ways we approach addressing social inequalities both in the US and abroad (connecting the global and local - “glocal”). By working in teams with community partners in the Dominican Republic and engaging in critical reflection through intergroup dialogue, you will be introduced to existing responses to social problems and will work to formulate our own individual and collective responses.

Your daily service activities may vary based on community needs, but will likely involve physical activity (e.g. building a playground, renovating a community kitchen, etc.). Meaningful reflection and intergroup dialogue is a critical component of service-learning, and will be integrated into all aspects of the course.

In addition, you will have several evening seminars on various aspects of Dominican culture including: Dominican history and traditions, Dominican/Haitian/U.S. relations, gender issues and social advocacy, and a night of dance lessons and activities with local university students. You will take group excursions around Santiago; to the city of Santo Domingo; 27 Charcos, a series of beautiful waterfalls outside Santiago; a visit to a chocolate factory, and other locations such as the beachside town of Cabarete.

On this program participants will learn to:

  • Define and demonstrate a deeper understanding of your service experience in the Dominican Republic.
  • Articulate the relationship between civic engagement and social justice with service, in a global context.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically about social issues in the Dominican Republic.
  • Demonstrate cross-cultural learning and communication skills by engaging in reflective intergroup dialogue with a multicultural group

You must be in good academic and judicial standing. This is interdisciplinary and is sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion (Words of Engagement: Intergroup Dialogue program) and Education Abroad. All students, regardless of their intended major, are encouraged to apply. Due to the program’s interdisciplinary design, it is a great opportunity for students who have an interest in exploring the social sciences and global service.

Students who are not yet 18 by the program start date must travel with a copy of their birth certificate and a notarized letter from their parents/guardians. More details will be given if applicable.

This program is open to students who have been admitted to the University of Maryland as freshmen for the 2020-2021 academic year.

  1. Students do not have to commit to UMD to apply.
  2. Students must create their Directory ID and password to apply.
  3. Once you have created your UID, come back to this brochure and click “Apply Now.”
  4. This will bring you to your MyEA portal page. All of the requirements for your application are listed here. Please note, some requirements can be completed electronically, and some need to be sent to us.
  5. The deadline for applications is April 24th.

Students can also apply for an Education Abroad Scholarship, as part of their application, to help fund their experience. The scholarship application is due April 24th.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD course:

  • EDHI338A: Global Service Abroad: Global Service in the Dominican Republic

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit. This course has been approved for General Education: Diversity/Cultural Competence and as an elective for Global Poverty Minor.

The group will live with host families (at least two students per family), who have been pre-screened and undergo an interview process and home visits. The home-stay component of the program is intended to maximize cross-cultural communication and skill-building opportunities. Our partner program provider, ISA, has an office and field staff who will serve as additional support for program participants and are available on-call during the entire duration of the program. Housing, three meals/day, local transportation, and excursions are included in the program fee.

Costs listed are for summerterm 2020.  

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $45
Tuition $2,255
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $270
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $250
Passport $145
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $1,000
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $150
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Co-Instructor: Jazmin Pichardo, M.Ed., (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D student in the Higher Education program and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Diversity Training and Education in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at UMD.  In this role she provides leadership and support to the campus community in reaching its equity and inclusion goals through trainings, consultations, educational, and co-curricular opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. Jazmin also directs The Words of Engagement Intergroup Dialogue Program (WEIDP), a for-credit social justice education initiative that brings together students of diverse social identity groups for facilitated conversation to enhance their awareness of self, others, and how cultural systems of power impact our lives and relationships. A first-generation graduate and Bronx native, Jazmin received her B.A. in English from Vassar College and completed her Master's in Student Affairs in May 2016. As a Black-Latina, with roots in the Dominican Republic, Jazmin is also passionate about expanding the reach of intergroup dialogue beyond a U.S. context, both through this course and by supporting other national and international organizations in launching their own dialogue initiatives. Jazmin recognizes the transformative power of study abroad experiences, has studied in Spain and Cuba, and is excited about exposing students to new culturally immersive experiences.

Co-Instructor: Malik Blue (he/him/his) is the Managing Advisor in the Education Abroad Office at the University of Maryland. In his role, Malik manages EA’s advising services and oversees Maryland-in program administration and also coordinates the office's Freshmen Abroad programs. Over the years, Malik has facilitated educational travel and service programs with high school students in Dominican Republic, Thailand, and Cuba. Malik studied at Northeastern University in Boston for both his undergraduate degree in International Business and his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. As an International Business student, Malik lived in Madrid, Spain for a year exchange where he studied at Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE) and completed an internship at L’Oreal Spain. 

Malik has always had a curiosity for the world beyond the US and language learning and is excited to inspire a similar sense of curiosity for learning abroad with his students. Malik was introduced to international education during an alternative spring break program to Dominican Republic during college, which was his first time on a plane. Since then, he has been proud to support students in navigating international education experiences, especially those who are first time travelers and traditionally underrepresented in international education.

Come attend one of our information sessions during admitted students open house!

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Engage in Service Learning 
  • Visit to 27 Charcos, a magnificent waterfall
  • Cultural activities 
  • Participate in intergroup dialogues
  • Live with a host family and improve your Spanish

DR Students

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2020 04/24/2020 04/29/2020 06/27/2020 07/11/2020
Application review will take place between the deadline ("last day to apply") and decision date shown above. Admissions notifications will be sent on or after the decision date.This program begins with a required orientation on the UMD campus on the start date shown above, followed by a group departure for the program site abroad.Travel dates and flight booking instructions will be provided to participants in May.