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Community Public Health, Santiago

Study Abroad Program Overview

​What better way to gain insight into healthcare in the Hispanic Caribbean than to study abroad in the Dominican Republic? This Community Public Health Program combines traditional classroom instruction with field work in both urban and semi-rural communities, providing you an unparalleled opportunity to explore the challenges confronting developing countries.

In this eight-week program, you spend most of your time in Santiago, taking courses at PUCMM and becoming familiar with the local community. There is also a weeklong experience in a clinic in a semi-rural area, and another experience in the city of Santo Domingo. In each location, you will live with a Dominican family to get an even better sense of the local people and continue to practice your Spanish.

The practical clinical experiences in the three locations offer the opportunity to understand different variables in the spectrum of health and illness and also to observe the contrast between different levels of public service. 
Get ready to:
  • Examine a range of pre-professional healthcare issues
  • Engage with local patients and medical staff through a health practica and clinical rotations
  • Improve your Spanish language skills in conversations with local families and patients
Take eight weeks in the summer to study in the Dominican Republic and give back to your host community as you work toward your future.
​This program can fulfill multiple requirements for the UCEAP Peace Corps Prep Program.

Students attend classes with international students.

Language of Instruction


Language Study

 - Advance your conversational Spanish with a focus on mastering medical terminology.


Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.
Summer :  
​Mid-June to early August








Check out the CIEE program blog to read more on past student experiences!


​All students are placed in homestays to immerse you more deeply in Dominican culture and improve your Spanish language skills. CIEE has managed this program for many years and has excellent relations with middle class families close to the host university. Your host family will also provide your meals. For one week of the program, you will live in a semi-rural clinic where you will be able to prepare your own meals or eat out. Click here for more information on housing.

Extracurricular Activities

​There is a lot to do in Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic. The program also includes visits to sites of historical and cultural importance, and a weekend trip to the capital, Santo Domingo.
Picture yourself in the Dominican Republic​​

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. In Santiago, the CIEE Director and on-site staff help students integrate into Chilean culture and provide assistance with academics, housing, safety, and other issues. David Simmons, an award-winning professor of Anthropology and Public Health, has directed the Community Public Health program since 2001. 

​See the CIEE Program Guide Supplement for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing.

Course Opportunities

This program provides the opportunity for focused study on the various dimensions of community public health in the Dominican Republic -- health management, preventative health programs, and availability and impact of health-related community services -- all while gaining proficiency in Spanish.
All courses are designed and taught by instructors from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM).
Three courses are required for all students:


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad.

All three courses are required to reach the program requirement of 13.5 quarter/9.0 semester UC units for the summer term.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

All students participate in community health practica during the program, in both urban and semi-rural settings.
​Due to its short duration, internships and independent research opportunities are not possible on this program.​

Pontifical Catholic University Mother and Teacher

The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) is a private, non-profit institution of higher education. 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 four academic divisions: social sciences and administration, science and humanities, engineering, and health sciences. With an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students, PUCMM offers the academic resources, support services, and physical facilities of a superior-level Latin American educational institution.

Council on International Education Exchange

This UCEAP program is affiliated with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). CIEE was founded in 1947 as a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with the mission "to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world."
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.

These expenses are estimated for 2017-18. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2017-18 payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • UC fees
  • Tuition to the host institution
  • Homestay and all meals for the first 6 weeks
  • Housing and estimated meal expenses for the 7th week
  • Weekend trip to Santo Domingo
  • Guided visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in Santiago
  • On-site Orientation
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Optional airport meet and greet
  • Books and other materials
  • All pre-departure expenses related to visas
  • Automatic transfer of classes and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​

Study abroad scholarships through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
CIEE offers scholarships for students attending CIEE-affiliated UCEAP programs, based on academic merit and/or need-based scholarships. Find out more.


UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​

Language Requirements 

Which UCEAP Spanish Language Requirements Apply to Me?

  • Students studying Spanish as a second language are required to complete the intermediate series of Spanish language courses at the university level, or provide proof of equivalent via AP exam, IB exam, SAT II exam, UC language placement exam, or UC language evaluation.
  • Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with some formal study of Spanish are required to provide proof of completed Spanish course(s) or study, or proof of equivalent via AP exam, IB exam, SAT II exam, or UC language evaluation.
  • Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with no formal study of Spanish are required to complete a minimum of one university level Spanish course for Native/Heritage speakers.


Class Level:

Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 2 years (6 quarters / 4 semesters) with a minimum language GPA of 2.50.


2.50 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by CIEE.

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: