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Dominican Republic: International Development Initiative™

Dominican Republic: International Development Initiative™

Go behind the scenes of international development and learn from passionate leaders about how to tackle global issues.


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  • Through fieldwork and discussions, examine global challenges and innovative ways of solving them
  • Shadow leaders of international development organizations
  • Assist a local NGO with running community surveys
  • Learn to evaluate NGOs based on their ethics, effectiveness and sustainability
  • Gain exposure to career paths in global development and human rights
  • Live in a rustic ecolodge, steps from a Caribbean beach

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Designed for students who have an interest in global development and human rights, this program gives a behind-the-scenes look at organizations working to solve the world’s most complex issues. Examine the systems in place, and ask yourself: Whom do they actually serve? Through shadowing local NGOs, you’ll gain a toolkit for addressing these social issues while developing lifelong skills for leadership and community development. Meet inspiring leaders and peers, and challenge yourself to convert your passion into sustainable action.

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Community Service

In the Dominican Republic, you’ll go beyond typical community service activities and support NGOs with both volunteering and fieldwork. Support ongoing development initiatives led by organizations currently working to innovate clean water access, food security, public health, environmental protection, education, small business support, women’s empowerment or microfinance. You’ll be expected to interact with Dominican communities and conduct several community diagnostics—an important step in identifying and planning for needs before taking action. Follow models developed by the Peace Corps, United Nations, 7Elements and more.

Hands-On Learning

Explore various topics in sustainable development: Through service work and nightly seminars, learn how crucial environmental conservation and resource management are to the survival of humanity. Witness firsthand how goals to eradicate poverty and discrimination can either come to fruition or be challenged by social systems. Discuss your experiences in depth, and compare what you see to preconceptions you might have had about the developing world. You’ll also explore vibrant Dominican culture through music, dance and food.

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Understand your local community by playing where they play—in the natural reserves and national parks of this beautiful island nation. Visit the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua, where you can take a thrilling plunge into the pools below. Explore a complex of caves, blue lagoons and lush tropical vegetation in Los Tres Ojos National Park. You’ll also explore the “Colonial Zone,” Santo Domingo’s historic central neighborhood, and participate in a chocolate-making workshop. No matter how you experience it, the Dominican Republic is a stunning home that deserves your protection.


Home Base is a rustic ecolodge built from local materials in the style of the Taíno people. The beach is just a short walk away, and students have access to a swimming pool onsite. Students will share rooms with roommates, and have shared bathrooms with cold-water showers. Food will be healthy and locally sourced, including meats, beans, rice, vegetables and fresh fruit.

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Dates & Tuition

Dominican Republic: International Development Initiative™ 21-Day Program Flagship
2019 Dates
Jul 9 - Jul 29, 2019
Duration: 21 days
Tuition: $5,199
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 45
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for families and friends.

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