Over the past few decades, the Dominican Republic has developed an extensive tourism industry. Located in the Caribbean, it has strong global ties through its resorts and golf courses. Baseball is the country’s most popular sport, and it is home to the most major league baseball players after the United States. Students will learn about these key elements to the country’s society and culture as well as recovery efforts being made to minimize the lasting effects of COVID-19 to the tourism industry.
Using the Dominican Republic as a case study on the Latin American business environment, this program is designed to enhance a student’s knowledge and capability of working in a variety of environments throughout the world. Getting practical experience in a culture and society provides insight for adapting to a variety of cultures. Having an understanding of that culture, as well as the skills for working with international citizens in a wide range of situations, provides UNI students an advantage when seeking career opportunities.
Daniel Bumblauskas, AssociateProfessor, Hamilton/ESP International Fellow
Campus Address: CBB 262
Dan has been working and traveling abroad for decades having now led study abroad programs for over 10 years. He has taken students to Ireland and Italy while also having taught extensively across China. Dan and his family love exploring the world and have visited many different countries on six of seven continents. He believes that when students travel and work abroad, they develop personal and professional skills that are difficult to replicate domestically on campus leading to life-changing experiences and developmental growth.
CAP 3154: Global Skills Capstone (3 credit hours)
This is a first-half spring 2022 course and will be part of students' spring 2022 semester course load. Students will be enrolled into the course by Study Abroad Center staff.
Students will study the Latin American business environment, including the current state of affairs in the Dominican Republic and historical context of the country in the global economy. A discussion of the colonial occupancy, the struggles for independence of the country, American / Dominican foreign relations, and more will be covered. Students will learn how to conduct business in the Latin American region as well as cultural important aspects of Dominican life.
The programming abroad is designed to provide students with multiple opportunities to observe challenges facing business and investment, interact with both formal and informal sectors with their peers in the Dominican Republic, and learn about opportunities for sustainable growth through innovation and entrepreneurship.
All majors welcome. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing. To view the tentative course syllabus, click HERE.
- In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date. Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
- Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
- Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
Tentative Program Dates: Tuesday, January 4 (depart) to Friday, January 14, 2022 (return)
Sample itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1: Arrival to Santo Domingo, welcome dinner and orientation session.
Day 2: Overview session on the Dominican Republic (DR)'s history, culture, and social development, followed by a walking tour of the Colonial Zone. Visit to youth entrepreneurship in “barrio." Spanish and/or academic sessions in the evening.
Day 3: Visits to Industrial Installation (DIESCO-PolyPlas in Villas Agricolas) and their corporate social responsibility programs in order to understand both the business and social challenges facing large scale industrial operations in the DR. Spanish and/or academic sessions in the evening.
Day 4: Visit to the Free Zone PIISA Industrial park near Haina in order to understand the dynamics and impact of industrial frees zone parks in the DR and share experiences with Dominican youth in the area regarding employment and entrepreneurship.
Day 5: Departure to Boca Chica/Juan Dolio. En route, visit rural small businesses and visit an orphanage. Spanish and/or academic sessions in the evening.
Day 6: Combination beach day and community service in nearby community of Guayacanes or Los Conucos. We will learn about the development challenges facing this community as we carry out some type of community service or sports exchange with local youth. Spanish and/or academic sessions in the evening.
Day 7: Day in Punta Cana; visit to Ecological Foundation, Punta Cana Community Foundation activities in surrounding poor communities; session with young DR female tourism executive. We will experience the impact of tourism in this tourism hot spot, see how the Punta Cana group has incorporated sustainable environmental practices, observe the contrast with surrounding marginalized communities, learn about the different Punta Cana Foundation initiatives with these vulnerable populations, and have an interchange with young Dominican tourism executives.
Day 8: Day in Boca Chica, observing DP Word Caucedo port management and corporate social responsibility programs in the community of Boca Chica. We will learn about the challenges facing a large port operator in its effort to recruit and train skilled personnel from the local community.
Day 9: Visit to Banco BHD Leon for presentation of MLB Partnership program followed by visit to nearby baseball academy (Mets or Twins) in order to gain insight into the impact of the “baseball industry” in the DR, the unique alliance between MLB and the Banco BHDLeon (which has both social and business objectives), and the challenges of operating a large scale player development academy in the DR.
Day 10: Visit a dance studio in La Caleta with Yocasta to see how a young Dominican entrepreneur has developed this business and learn merengue and bachata at the same time!
Day 11: Departure
To offer this program, UNI is partnering with Entrena, a Dominican Republic social entrepreneurship company founded in 1982 specializing in solutions for sustainable development focusing on education, youth development, and private/public sector partnerships. Entrena works in bi-lingual and multi-cultural environments and is very cognizant of the importance of cultural underpinnings on today’s globalized world. Entrena's clients and partners include international development and volunteer agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities, and private sector entities pursuing innovative corporate social responsibility programs.
Housing & Meals
Students will stay in hotels or hostels arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Breakfast is built into the program cost. Students will purchase other meals out-of-pocket while abroad. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.
Dates & Deadlines
The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:
- Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
- If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
- Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
- Must be over the age of 18 years old
- Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
- Must be in good standing with the University
- UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
- Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
- All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
- Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.