The Academic Service Learning program in Education is made up to two full weeks designed to give you a multifaceted picture of the education system in the Dominican Republic, and then put that new knowledge to use in a local community through service learning. You’ll be able to experience Dominican culture firsthand, by eating local foods, exploring beautiful tropical beaches, and building unique friendships with local teachers and kids.
The first week is composed of a series of workshops, classes, and field trips guided by local experts in education, such as school administrators, officials from the National Department of Education, and experienced educators.
Through visits to both private and public elementary schools and universities you’ll see firsthand the reality of the Dominican education, and come to understand the challenges that a teacher faces in the developing world context.
The topics covered include:
• Dominican Culture and Subculture
• Dominican History
• Introduction to the Educational System
• Role of the educators and challenges in a Developing Country
• Youth at Risk in the Dominican Republic
• Rural Education
• Tour of the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Your group can also choose to add in optional Spanish classes to your schedule.
In your second week, you’ll use what you learned the previous work and put it to work as part of a dynamic service project in a local Dominican community.
You’ll work directly with a local school, doing such things as helping the teachers improve their teaching methods (rural teachers often have very little formal training in education), teaching special classes, interacting one-on-one with kids, and helping to improve the school’s physical infrastructure.
All the work that CSA volunteers and students take part in is a piece of a larger initiative, ensuring that that time you invest in the community will be sustainable and have a long-term impact.
And relaxation! You will have lots of lots of fun and adventure in your two weeks. Dance classes, visits to the historical center, see a professional baseball game or throw a few pitches yourself, swim in a lazy river with local kids, horseback ride on a cacao plantation, or wander down a tropical island beach are all things you might get to do during your trip.
The Dominican Republic has much beauty, both cultural and natural, to explore. So come, eat a tree-ripe mango, cheer at a wild baseball game, and soak in the gorgeous sunshine!
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