The Academic Service Learning program in Spanish and Culture is made up to two full weeks designed to give you a intensive Spanish language learning experience 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 Spanish classes, history and culture workshops, and field trips guided by native Spanish speakers and experienced teachers. You'll have 20 hours of classroom time in small groups which are tailored to the specific strengths and needs of you as a Spanish student. During this week, there is also the option of living with Dominican family in homestays.
The week's activities covered include:
• 20 hours of Spanish Language Instruction, max class size of 5 students
• Dominican Culture and Subculture
• Dominican History
• Tour of the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Exchange activities with local university students
• Tour of a cocoa (chocolate) plantation
• Youth at Risk in the Dominican Republic
• Dance class exploring local traditions
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 Dominican community. You’ll work directly with the local people, doing activities such as teaching special classes, interacting one-on-one with kids, and helping to improve the physical infrastructure through the construction of latrines, gardens or a community center.
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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