Instruction and academic support services are provided at the St. Thomas Aquinas Campus of Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in Santo Domingo, the capital city. It is a branch campus of one of the largest and most respected universities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The program offers students the opportunity to sharpen beginner Spanish language skills or to develop greater proficiency in advanced language skills in a nurturing, safe academic environment.The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola , the second largest island in the Caribbean Sea. Sharing the island with the French-speaking country of Haiti, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the North and the warm waters of the Caribbean to the South. It is a land of extremes, from the rugged mountainous ranges to steep valleys and lowland plains to the beautiful coastal shores. Although it was occupied by native populations related to the South American Arawaks thousands of years before colonization, the island was explored and claimed for Spain by Christopher Columbus in December of 1492. As the European Powers clashed over new world ownership, the country was split into a Spanish and French side.
Although Spain claimed the entire island of Hispaniola, the Spanish relinguished control of the western third of Hispaniola in 1697 under the Treaty of Ryswick. This area was formally ceded to France and became known as Saint-Domingue (today’s Haiti). The remaining Spanish section of the island, today's Dominican Republic, was called Santo Domingo. A revolt, led by François Dominique Toussaint Louverture, ended slavery in Saint-Domingue while France was dealing with the French Revolution(1789-1799). He was able to take control of the island, capturing neighboring Santo Domingo in 1801 and ended slavery there. In 1809 Spain regained control of Santo Domingo until 1821. A year later, the Haitians reclaimed control and held it until Santo Domingo won its independence in 1844 and took the name Republica Dominicana.
Of the Dominican Republic's three major metropolitan areas, Santo Domingo is the largest and second largest city in the Caribbean. Located on the southern coast, it was founded between the years 1496 and 1498 as Nueva Isabela by Bartolomeo Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus. It became the model for other Spanish colonial cities of the New World and the gateway to exploration of other regions in South America and the Caribbean. The most popular tourist site is in the heart of the city, Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone). The old city, located on the western bank of the Río Ozama, maintains its cobblestone streets, historical monuments, and wonderful old-world Spanish architectural structures by the colonial government beginning with Columbus. Today, Santo Domingo is a bustling and cosmopolitan city with over 2.5 million inhabitants and boasts activities for every interest. It is home to several large universities and a thriving tourist center of major hotels, restaurants, casinos and cultural events.
The primary objective of this program is to provide students with the opportunity to develop oral and written Spanish skills, and to learn about Caribbean society and culture. This objective is advanced through university courses, home stays, and a community service program which places students directly within the mainstream of Dominican society. Students with beginning to advanced Spanish language skills can be accommodated. The academic program is seven weeks in length for the summer program.
The summer program is an intensive language and cultural immersion program. Students entering with zero to intermediate level language skills will be enrolled in six credits of Spanish. These students can enroll in one of the three credit hour elective courses taught in English. Students with advanced Spanish language skills have the option of enrolling in regular university courses in their major field or engaging in a internship. All courses are taught on the PUCCM campus in the capital city.
This program is open to students with at least a 2.5 GPA. While no previous Spanish language is required, it is recommended that students enroll in a beginner language course at their home institution.
The International Program for the Summer was created to provide a Spanish cultural immersion experience for students enrolled in colleges and universities outside of the Dominican Republic. Students can enroll in three to nine credit hours of instruction during the summer session. The program offers Spanish language courses from the basic to the advance levels. Students can also enroll in courses focusing on Dominican/Caribbean Culture, Spanish/Caribbean literature or a Directed Individual Study (DIS) in the student's major field. The DIS must be coordinated by the student's home institution department. While the elective courses are taught in English, use of Spanish is encouraged by the professors. International students with demonstrated proficiency and knowledge of Spanish can enroll in a regular university course with Dominican students.
Basic Spanish I, II (4 credits/includes lab)
Linguistic immersion is a main component of this program. Basic I and II levels of Spanish as Second Language prepare the student to develop and acquire the necessary skills by using the Spanish Language in real life situations. Basic I level is designed for students that posses no knowledge of Spanish.
Intermediate Spanish I, II (4 credits/includes lab)
Intermediate I and II levels of Spanish prepares the student for the first public communications and conversation at a normal rhythm. The students also learn how to express their opinions and clearly transmit their needs, preferences, tastes, etc. In the development of oral, written and comprehension skills for this level, the students will read newspaper articles, that will be interpreted by providing information about various themes: economical, political, historical, social, cultural and prepare responses through written commentaries, summaries and brief reports. Structural goals emphasize and focus on areas of great complexity for better understanding and learning (uses and verbal functions, syntactic connectors, sentences, idiomatic expressions and proverbs, etc.)
Advanced Spanish I, II (3 credits)
Advanced I and II levels of Spanish has been designed to teach Spanish at the highest degree for students with a good knowledge and skills of comprehension. Those levels focus on the creative capacity of each student and develop the ability to think in the Spanish language through the use of technical and literary texts, analysis, descriptions and reports. Grammar course for advanced level is included in fall and spring semester.
Dominican and Caribbean Culture (3 credits)
During this course, students will discuss and analyze Dominican and Caribbean cultures which are a complex mix of diverse cultures. Material covered in this class will be from selected works written by Caribbean and other American writers, commercial films with a significant cultural component and educational videos. Topics include an historical overview of social and cultural traditions, intercultural relations, arts, family life, business relations and international affairs. Field visits related to locations where students observe cultural activities help students to better understand the traditions and some of the behaviors they will observe while living in Dominican communities.
Directed Independent Study (1, 2, or 3 credits)
A DIS course in the student's major must be coordinated and graded by the student's department. Assignments are submitted via e-mail according to the deadlines established by the professor of record. Examples of DIS topics include economic development in the Caribbean, the education system, problems of multiculturalism, the background of racial identity issues, gender issues, environmental concerns, and interviews of political or business leaders in Spanish, African influences on Caribbean traditions, Dominican history, and contemporary literature. The individual research can be monitored under the tutelage of an assigned Dominican professor.
Direct Enrollment Program
Students with advanced knowledge of Spanish can enroll in a regular university course with Dominican students for the summer. Courses may be taken in music, Tourism and Hospitality, Dominican History, political science, Computer Sciences, marketing, Industrial engineering and computational engineering.