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Dominican Republic: Service Learning in the Dominican Republic

Tentative Dates: March 5-13, 2021

Student with painting
Rosita and students
waterfall group photo

MGT 2354 is an intro to team leadership course with a service-learning component. This international section of the course will conduct our service-learning project with a 9-day program to the Puerto Plata region on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Our project will focus on helping Haitian entrepreneurs with their business plans, marketing, financial records, and other small business needs.

The class will meet every week leading up to our spring break trip. After spring break, we’ll meet every other week for the rest of the semester. These classes cover culture, history, economic development, and small business elements, as well as team leadership skills.

The Dominican Republic borders the country of Haiti. Both countries are developing economies, but Haiti is the poorer of the two. Thus, the DR receives many Haitian immigrants. We will work with Project Esperanza (Hope) which helps these immigrants develop small businesses. We will help these businesses to improve their access to markets, web presence and overall operations.

We will also visit cultural and recreational sites in the Dominican Republic.

Spanish proficiency is not required, but there will be many opportunities to practice Spanish, French or Creole.

STUDENT HOUSING

The hostel is located in a rural setting on a small farm that is located a few miles from downtown and the beaches. This farm is owned and operated by Project Esperanza.

The faculty leader is Dr. Kimberly Carlson, who serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Management Department. Her expertise is organizational leadership, nonprofit management, and community development.

Undergraduate students will receive 3 credits in MGT 2354 Leadership for Managers and Entrepreneurs. It is a Pathways 3 course. It is also the first required course of the Minor in Organizational Leadership (BOLD).

This is a spring semester course, so students do not have to pay additional tuition if already taking 12 credits. Before the spring break trip, the course meets every week for 2 hours at a time that works for all students. After the trip, the class will meet every other week to finish recommendations and final assignments related to the service-learning project in the DR.

Remember, if you will be taking more than 19 credits including this course, you will need to request permission to take a Course Overload.  The experiential portion of the class will take place during spring break (March 5-13, 2021).

Students must keep a journal and write reports during the trip. Participation in all activities of the trip is required. Your grade will be reduced one full letter grade if you miss an activity.

Travel

We will travel as a group to and from Puerto Plata, The Dominican Republic.

Preparing

Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport in Squires Student Center.

You should ensure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through the University’s recommended travel clinic (Intravene), a county health department, or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:

Packing

The weather is tropical, highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Plan your clothes accordingly.

There are stores for most personal products in town.

The beach is about a 10-minute drive away.

Electric Appliances

The Dominican Republic uses 110 volt, 60 HZ electricity like the USA. But there can be power surges and low voltages so bring surge protection for valuable electronics.

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PACKING LIST- Dominican Republic.pdf

The program fee is $1,650. A $500 deposit is required once you are accepted into the program. You will get an email about paying the program fee. The program fee includes roundtrip airfare from Washington DC airport to Puerto Plata, lodging, some meals, and local transportation.

Deadline for Applications: December 1. Apply Early!! Acceptance is on a first come basis. Maximum participants: 15

The balance of the program fee is due on January 10th.

Cost Summary (estimated)

 

 

Pre-trip Personal Costs:

 In-State

 Out-of-State

VT GEO Application fee

$50

$50

VT GEO Participation fee

$50

$50

Books and materials they will purchase

N/A

N/A

Passport

$145

$145

Visa and baggage fees

$45

$45

Pamplin billing:

$1,650

$1,650

Lodging

Included

Included

Airfare if included in program fee

Included

Included

Required Group Travel

Included

Included

Medical Insurance

Included

Included

 

 

 

VT tuition & fees-if a full-time Spring VT student

 $75.00

 $75.00

 

 

 

Funds required during program:

 

 

Personal Expenses

$50

$50

Meals not provided

$175

$175

 

 

 

Total Estimated Costs

$2,340

$2,340

Note: Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Your financial aid eligibility can apply to this program. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University Financial Aid Office.  In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the Global Education Office at the International Afffairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.  The form can be found on the Global Education Financial Aid page.

Due to prepayment on items such as air and lodging, billing may not be in sync with financial aid payouts. Please be prepared to pay costs in advance, and be reimbursed with any payouts later.

Acceptance is on a first-come-first-served basis. There are 15 seats available for the program. This program is open to any Virginia Tech students.

Application Deadline: December 1

A $500 deposit is required upon acceptance into the program. You may make the payment to your student account, then call the Bursar’s office at 540-231-6277 and designate the payment for your Study Abroad trip.

Go to the VT Education Abroad site and complete the application process. Click the "Apply Now" button and follow the instructions. There are a couple steps in the process. Be sure to complete Online Submissions, Material Submissions, Signature Documents.