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UF in the Dominican Republic

UF-in-the-DR is the University of Florida’s first-ever international service learning study abroad program.
2016 carnaval


Do you have a heart for service? Are you ready for a challenge?

Spanish and Portuguese Studies offers students the opportunity to earn 6 credits in UF’s first international service learning program. Students will experience an enhanced cultural immersion through home stays and community service.

Participants have two options for working in the community. The most challenging option is with Acción Callejera, our community partner, a local organization that does intervention work with street kids and prevention work in the communities they come from. Program participants help out in learning centers with children and adolescents, organizing lessons, doing literacy work and recreation, and helping the teachers, all in Spanish! This is an opportunity to address a real need in the community and collaborate in a project that has been successful for over 25 years. Both before and during the program we offer support and guidance for this work, which takes a lot of initiative, flexibility, and commitment on the part of the student. For participants planning to work in the health fields there are also opportunities to shadow doctors, dentists, and physical therapists.

All participants earn 3 UF credits for SPN 3948: International Service Learning. They also earn 3 UF credits in Accelerated Intermediate Spanish (SPN2471), an intensive language course that covers one year of intermediate Spanish in only six weeks, or in Cultura Dominicana (SPN/LAS3930), a course for students with more advanced proficiency in Spanish.


  • Service learning through community service. Click here to view reflection from past students.
  • SPN 2271: One whole year of Intermediate Spanish in only six weeks. Successful completion fulfills the pre-requisite for SPN 2240, the first course that counts toward a major or minor in Spanish. Accelerated Intermediate Spanish is only offered on this program, not on the UF campus.
  • SPN 3930/LAS3930: Cultura Dominicana: a chance to learn about the history, the economy, the art, literature, popular culture and music through study, dialogue with local experts, and visits to local cultural sites.


  • Santo Domingo, the history-filled capital of the Dominican Republic and the first city in the New World established by Europeans. We will spend two days exploring the city.
  • 27 Charcos: The Damajagua River cuts through the tropical forest and has eroded the limestone bedrock to form 27 pristine waterfalls. A destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • One-day excursion to the Casa Museo de las Hermanas Mirabal, where we will learn about Dominican resistance to the Trujillo dictatorship. We will then visit the Reserva Cientifica Loma Quita Espuelas, to see sustainable management of primal forest and go for a dip in the waterfall.
  • We will also visit
    • the Fábrica de Muñecas sin Rostro, where they make the famous symbols of Dominican ethnicity
    • the Centro León in Santiago, a local world-class arts center
    • Las Cuevas de Pomier in San Cristobal, where we’ll explore a cave with 5,000 pre-Colombian drawings
    • the workshop of an artisan who makes masks and costumes for the annual Carnaval

    Course Offerings

    • Taught by UF Faculty for UF GPA Credit
    • SPN  2271: Accelerated Intermediate Spanish (3 credit hours)
    • SPN 3930/LAS3930: Cultura Dominicana (3 credit hours)
    • SPN 3948: International Service Learning (3 credit hours)


    • Undergraduate Program Fee = $TBA
    • Deposit required = $375


    • Tuition for 6 UF credits
    • Housing with local families
    • 3 meals a day plus laundry service weekly
    • Transportation to and  from Santiago Airport
    • Excursions listed above
    • Guided tours and entrance fees
    • Health insurance

    Not included

    • Airfare
    • Passport
    • Personal spending money (activities, toiletries, snacks, etc.)



    • Successful completion of one year of college Spanish or equivalent test score (AP, IB, AICE, SAT2); or permission of the director.
    • Minimum 2.5 GPA
    • Interview with Program Director
    • Students from any major may apply

    Student Financial Aid

    Bright Futures recipients may be eligible to use Bright Futures funding for summer study abroad! Click here and/or speak to your financial aid adviser for more information.

    See your assigned financial aid advisor. Non-UF students need to apply to their respective institutions. For information and applications for scholarships, visit UFIC

    Also, consider looking into these financial aid options:

    Academic Credits

    As this is a UF program, credit from courses taken can satisfy major, minor, elective, and university requirements.