SANTIAGO: CIEE – Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

Santiago, Dominican Republic

Program Website Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Fall Semester - Mid August - Mid December
  • Spring Semester - Early January - Late April

Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester - March 15
  • Spring Semester - October 1


Study Abroad Coordinator: Lane Marder (

Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, is surrounded by mountains. Places of historical, cultural, and ecological interest are nearby and easy to get to, and it is just a little over an hour's drive to the Atlantic Coast. Known as La Ciudad Corazon (City of the Heart), Santiago is the commercial and cultural center of the fertile Cibao Valley region. Although it is a growing city with a population exceeding 700,000, Santiago retains many features of a small town, and Santiaguero hospitality is known far and wide.


Liberal Arts The program is designed for students who have taken two years of college-level Spanish and would like to pursue training in advanced conversation and grammar. All participants must take a minimum of fifteen credit hours worth of courses during the semester. Students take a required language course, the CIEE core course, and two or three Caribbean or Latin American area studies courses, TESL or community service, and courses in dance, art, and sports. At the start of the semester, all CIEE students are tested to ascertain their oral and written Spanish level. Students are then placed in one of three distinct academic tracks (Advanced Level I, II, or III) according to their language proficiency, each with a different configuration of both required and elective courses available. Courses All participants must enroll in a Spanish language course, the CIEE core course Contemporary Dominican Republic: Political and Socioeconomic Processes, and three elective courses. Elective course offerings vary depending on the language level into which students have placed. According to the results of an on-site language proficiency examination at the beginning of the program, students are placed into one of three levels which determine the required core course and electives they may take. Service-Learning CIEE has engaged in fulfilling its mission "to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. The Service-Learning program serves this mission by providing a framework for students to fulfill their educational and personal goals while bridging relationships in the communities in which their learning takes place. In this sense, Service-Learning takes theory to practice to meet the challenges of social problems and closes the circle on an experiential learning cycle, while providing benefits to all those who are involved with the program. Students are required to draw upon learned and new knowledge and reflect on these experiences through the analytic scope of research and observation methods drawn upon from the core course. Likewise, the language coursework is framed on the foundations of Spanish grammar, but focuses heavily on expanding everyday vocabulary and communication skills with regard to issues in community development and service work in order for students to better communicate and understand the community in which they work. Courses All students take the three-part core course in poverty and development, research and investigative methods, and community management and practicum, a Spanish course at their level, and a capstone project that draws upon all other elements of the program.

View Evaluated Courses

If you are interested in enrolling in a course not in our database, please send this course for evaluation.

Policies and Process for Evaluations

Host University

The Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) is a private, non-profit institution of higher education dedicated to superior teaching. Founded in 1962, PUCMM has been ranked by the Inter-American Development Bank as the best academic institution of higher learning in the Dominican Republic. It has three academic divisions: social sciences and humanities, engineering sciences, and health sciences. With a population of approximately 10,000 students and more than 700 faculty members, PUCMM offers the academic resources, support services, and physical facilities of a typical Latin American educational institution.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 2 completed terms at NU, one of which may be a summer term
  • GPA of at least 2.75 (Liberal Arts)
  • GPA of at least 3.0 (Service Learning)
  • Transfer students and spring admits, please contact OISP for eligibility

Application Procedure

    • Completed online OISP application
    • Completed CIEE online application - be sure to complete all requirements listed in the CIEE online application
    • Home School Nomination forms will be completed online (Completed by your OISP advisors).
    • One evaluation. If a program has a language prerequisite, the evaluation must be a language evaluation. The CIEE online application will prompt students and will send an email to their evaluator to assess

      Please submit the following directly to OISP:

    • Official transcript
    • Photocopy of Passport ID Page
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Fall 2015 or Spring 2016: $22,660

Includes: Northeastern University (NU) tuition for 16 NU credits ($22,310), and International Security and Emergency Support ($350). Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.


Housing and all meals are included in the program fee paid directly to CIEE by the student. Students live in Dominican private homes, and meals are taken at the place of residence. Housing assignments are based on questionnaires that students submit to CIEE and are made by the Office of International Students at PUCMM. The families live within walking distance of PUCMM. Students and their families are asked to speak only Spanish.