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Community Public Health, Santiago

- Summer

 
Dear Participants,
 
Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program. We hope that you will have an amazing experience abroad and will look back on it as a highlight of your UC education. For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. Be aware of these differences and understand your responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad. You are concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE abroad. This means that the grades you earn while abroad will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit; that unlike other students in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE; and that you have UCEAP Travel Insurance, which will be your primary insurance policy while abroad.
 
Review and read the CIEE materials carefully. Follow all CIEE pre-departure and onsite information and instructions; for example, arrival dates and visa instructions. Write down the CIEE contact information and keep it with your passport in case of an emergency. 
 
Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts at UCEAP. The details of the separate and unique UCEAP elements of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Be familiar with them before departure.

 

Disclaimer
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.


Click a heading below to see section content.
Contacts

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
 

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
 
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
 
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
 
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
 
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
 

CIEE

Your first point of contact while abroad will be the on-site CIEE Resident Staff in Santiago.  Please refer to your CIEE Program Handbook for contact information.
 

YOUR UCEAP NETWORK

While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff, you will also need to keep a list of contacts on hand for the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. As a participant in this program, you will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
 

Contact Information

 
Program Advisor
Rebecca Kim
Phone: (805) 893-4138, Email: rkim@eap.ucop.edu
 
International Program Specialist
Ann Rotlisberger
Phone: (805) 893-4138, Email: arotlisberger@eap.ucop.edu
 
International Academic Staff
Monica Rocha
 
Rachel Ogletree
Email:
rogletree@eap.ucop.edu

Phone: (805) 893-2712
Student Finance Accountant
Karen Quintana
Phone: (805) 893-4812, Email: stufinance@eap.ucop.edu
 
Academics & Your UC Registration
Academics
As a dual UCEAP and CIEE student, make sure you understand all of your academic resources as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE or Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) regulations and rules, you must also meet UCEAP requirements.
 
Read through the following guides to see what types of information is available in each and know how to access them easily when you have questions later. Note that you will be held accountable for the information detailed in both guides:
  • The Academic chapter includes UCEAP academic regulations on unit requirements, information on taking fewer units than the program requirement, instructions on the MyEAP Study List registration process, grades, and more.
     
  • CIEE Program Handbook (available in your MyCIEE account "Readings section)
    The Academics section in the CIEE Program Handbook outlines your CIEE academic program.
The most important thing to understand is that you will be concurrently enrolled in your courses both through CIEE, and through UCEAP’s MyEAP Study List. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript.  See the “Credit and Registration” section below.
 
The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
 
Who Should I Ask About...?
The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
 
  • UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List UCEAP:
  • Conflicts or confusion between UCEAP and CIEE general academic policies:
  • CIEE and/or PUCMM course specifics and concerns: 
    • CIEE Resident Coordinator in Santiago, Ryan Bowen (refer to your CIEE Program Handbook for contact info)
  • Home UC college or department requirements:
    • Your UC departmental advisor and/or campus EAP advisor
Credit & Registration
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be enrolled concurrently with CIEE and UCEAP.

Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses

  • Neither CIEE nor UCEAP can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements. You will need to contact your home UC department advisor.

Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List

  • All courses will be prepopulated in your MyEAP Study List before you arrive in the Dominican Republic.
     
  • In the first month of the program, you’ll receive a message from UCEAP Systemwide Staff instructing you how to select a course for pass/no pass credit (if you wish to do so), and submit your MyEAP Study List for processing.
      
    Note: It is critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process!
  • The way courses, units, and grade options are displayed on your MyEAP Study List is the same way the information will be reported to the UC Registrar so be sure to review everything carefully!

Program Requirements

Three courses are required for all students:
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
 
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
 
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
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Your MyEAP Account & Budget
 
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.

 

Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
 
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing or recreational travel abroad.
 
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
 
Instructions:
  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.
​​​​

 

​​

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

 
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
 
​​​​​

 

Airfare

​Travel

The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
 
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.

 

Pre-Departure Withdrawal Fees
Diversity at UCEAP
LGBTIQ Students
There is cultural discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the Dominican Republic and the government does not legally recognize same-sex unions. There is no current anti-discrimination legislation specifically protecting the LGBT community, but the community receives some protection from general anti-discrimination legislation.

​For more information,
 
Students with Disabilities
While in the Dominican Republic, students with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. The law provides for physical access for persons with disabilities to all new public and private buildings, but the authorities do not enforce this provision.
 

For more information:
​​
Insurance
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before You Go

 
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
 
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Inform yourself before seeking care. Your UCEAP Travel Insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations. Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. You will be financially responsible for any charges for medical services that are not included benefits in the policy and for any charges over an above the “maximum allowable amount”. Your travel insurance policy number is ADD N04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
 
The travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. There is no deductible or co-insurance. You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim process or about non-medical claims.
 
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance. Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
 
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.
 

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits, and Claims Status

Contact ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com.

 
Be advised that your UCEAP insurance is your primary insurance while participating on the program. Carry a copy of your UCEAP insurance card at all times

CIEE Insurance

Know Before you Go

In addition to the UCEAP Travel Insurance policy (your primary coverage anywhere in the world), you will also be covered by the CIEE supplemental insurance (your secondary coverage) while abroad. 
 
If you have questions about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, benefits, and claims, contact, ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com
 
If you have questions about the CIEE insurance policy, visit their website.  Or refer to your MyCIEE/Polaris account under the “Readings” section.
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
​Medical care is generally good but it varies in quality, particularly in remote areas, and it may not meet U.S. standards outside the major cities. Payment for services, in cash, is expected at the time of the appointment. U.S. insurance plans are not accepted as payment. If sick or injured you must submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance company for a refund consideration.
Physical Health

Know Before You Go

Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
 
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
 
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
 

Tips

Good basic personal hygiene and hand washing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
     
  • Bring a good multivitamin to last the duration of the program.
     
  • Do not consume tap water, fountain drinks, or ice cubes. Drink only boiled water or beverages in sealed containers.
     
  • Avoid undercooked food, dairy products, and food from street vendors.
     
  • Avoid handling all animals. Wash any bites or scratches right away with soap and water and immediately seek medical attention.
Prescription Medications
 

PLAN AHEAD

  • While on UCEAP you are covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.  Inform yourself, UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor. US prescriptions are not valid in other countries. You must travel with a letter from your prescribing physician explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 

    Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance; your campus or private insurance plan may cover it. 
  •  
  • If you need to find out if an appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com. For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  •  
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

BEFORE DEPARTURE

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program). Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  •  
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  •  
  • If traveling with a prescription containing controlled substances, check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal or unlicensed in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  •  
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
        
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician, on letterhead, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

TRAVELING WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill or solid form. For more information, particularly if your medication is a liquid, consult the US Transportation Security Administration, Traveling with Medications.
  •  
  • Carry copies of all original US prescriptions.
     
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.

Why is a letter from your treating physician necessary? 

If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.

Consult with ACI about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage for prescriptions, intlassist@acitpa.com. Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.​​​​

Mental Health

PLAN AHEAD

If you are currently in treatment in the US, discuss all program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. Carry a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating condition, treatment history, and medication regimen, so a local physician can assess your needs.

Consider the country where you will be living and studying. Many countries do not have adequate resources. How will you manage your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition? 

If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for the length of your stay. Traveling through customs with medications for personal use can be problematic in countries where those medications are prohibited. Stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, may be problematic, along with narcotics. What substances are prohibited in any given country varies. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.​

Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.

WHILE ABROAD

  • Do not try to manage alone. Reach out to local staff.
  • The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com.

 
Health Risks
​Tap water is unsafe to drink. Avoid it. Bottled water and beverages are considered safe.
 
Seafood Ciguater Poisoning: Ciguatera poisoning occurs and results from eating reef fish such as grouper, snapper, amberjack, and barracuda. The toxin remains even when fish is well cooked. People who have ciguatera may experience nausea, vomiting, and neurologic symptoms such as tingling fingers or toes. They also may find that cold things feel hot and hot things feel cold. Ciguatera has no cure. Symptoms usually go away in days or weeks but can last for years. People who have ciguatera can be treated for their symptoms.
 
 
Food Allergies
Air Quality
Staying Safe
 
In addition to reading this guide, read the CIEE Program Handbook for important information to prepare for a safe experience abroad. Important topics about remaining safe locally will be addressed during onsite orientation. Read more information about Safety and Security in the US Department of State, Travelers page.
 
Minimize Risk

Safety is our concern but it is your responsibility. Be proactive in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Have an action plan.

With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Observe and assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
 

Terrorism

Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.
 
Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.

Report anything suspicious to local authorities.  Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff.  Schedule direct flights, if possible.  Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area.  Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency.  If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible.  Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
 

Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety

  • Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.
  •  
  • Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel.
     
  • Assess your surroundings. Observe and learn to recognize danger.
  •  
  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your feelings; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  •  
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.
  •  
  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
  •  
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the US. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
  •  
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety. This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other. Choose your buddy wisely. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  •  
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call locally if you are in an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
 

Registration with the local US Embassy or Consulate

Register online with the US embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service for US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
 

Registration with the UCEAP Security Provider

You will be automatically registered with iJET International, the University of California security provider. You will receive important security and informational messages about local conditions for your program country.
 
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, for more information. Access the US Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention
The Dominican Republic is friendly and welcoming, but has a high crime rate, ranging from opportunistic crime like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing, to violent crime.
 
Take precautions to avoid becoming a target. Criminals may have weapons and are likely to use them if they meet resistance. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be wary of strangers, especially those who seek you out at celebrations or nightspots. Do not walk alone at night. Travel with a partner or in a group if possible.
 
Individuals have reported robberies by criminals on mopeds (often coasting with the engine turned off not to draw attention). The driver approaches a pedestrian, grabs his or her cell phone, purse or backpack, and then speeds away. This type of robbery is particularly dangerous because the motorcyclist reaches the intended victim at 15–20 miles per hour and often knocks the victim to the ground.
 
Be alert for motorcycles and scooters approaching from any direction. If someone is approaching, simply move out of the way. If the assailant cannot get close enough, he will not stop, although he may circle around and try again later. Armed assaults are becoming more frequent during hours of darkness and when victims travel alone.
 
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
The Dominican Republic has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. Do not drive.  Many public transportation vehicles are unsafe, especially the route taxis or "carros publicos" in urban areas. Urban buses (“guaguas”) are only marginally better. U.S. citizens have been robbed by motococho (motorcycle taxi) operators. The U.S. Embassy cautions its staff not to use these modes of transportation.
 
Radiotaxis provide the most secure transportation in the Dominican Republic. Some drivers may attempt to overcharge; insist on knowing the price before entering the vehicle.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way even at intersections with traffic lights or police presence.

  • Be predictable.
     
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking or crossing streets.
     
  • Use sidewalks where provided. Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
     
  • Cross or enter streets at designated crosswalks.  Make it easy for drivers to see you - dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material. Carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
     
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
     
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
     
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely.
     
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.
     
  • Be careful at intersections where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
Travel to Haiti
Do not consider overland travel to Haiti.  There is a US Department of State Travel Advisory, Level 3, Reconsider Travel  to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest.
 
Hurricanes
The Dominican Republic is situated in an area of the Caribbean prone to hurricanes, the Antillean artchipelago. It places the island in the pathway of severe weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, and other natural disasters. Many buildings may not be in compliance with U.S. hurricane and seismic codes.
 
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30, which on average encompasses over 97 percent of reported tropical activity in the Atlantic basin.he Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30, which on average encompasses over 97 percent of reported tropical activity in the Atlantic basin.
 
In the event of a hurricane alert, a notice will be posted on the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo's website. Further information can be obtained from the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center. General information about natural disaster preparation is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
 
UCEAP strongly encourages you to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the U.S. Embassy.
Credit Card Fraud

Scams

Fraud schemes, particularly credit card fraud, continue to occur.
 
Be alert to a scam which targets elderly citizens in the United States. The perpetrator contacts a grandparent on the telephone pretending to be a law enforcement official, an attorney, or a U.S. Embassy official and informs them that a loved one has been arrested overseas. The caller instructs the victim to wire cash through a money transfer service to pay fines or secure bail. In some instances, impersonators are used to portray the role of the scared grandchild, effectively perpetuating the fraud.
 
If you choose to use your credit or debit cards, pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others during payment. Pay close attention to credit card account activity and bills following time spent in the Dominican Republic. There have been reports of fraudulent charges appearing months after card usage in the Dominican Republic. Victims of credit card fraud should contact the bank that issued the credit card immediately.
 
Use ATMs only at secure, indoor locations with a security presence, such as a large bank. Be cautious when using automated banking machines, and only do so to withdraw money during business hours inside a bank.  Use credit and ATM cards judiciously. Check your transactions periodically.  Save receipts of all your purchases.
 
Contact your financial institution before departure to provide them with your dates and locations of your visit and limit the amount of money that can be withdrawn.
Fire Safety
Most college-related fires in the US are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
     
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
     
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
     
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
     
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
     
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
     
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
     
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
     
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
     
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
 
Fire - Dial 911
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the US Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security providers, US Embassy, US Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on US government-arranged flights, that require US citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
 

If you are in the US

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
     
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
 
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