Skip to Content
Education Abroad, U.Va.

Education Abroad

A Division of the International Studies Office
  • Explore
  • Experience
  • Engage
  • Excel
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
UVA in the Dominican Republic: Public Health Sciences
Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Restrictions: UVA applicants only
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01-MAR-2018 10-MAR-2018 22-MAY-2018 05-JUN-2018
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, Graduate student Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Housing: Hotel, With program group Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Martha Sadler
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Public Health
Program Description:

Participants in this program will explore some of the basic tenets of community and population health during two weeks in the Dominican Republic. Students will learn about a broad range of topics, including the ethics of international work, culture and health, social determinants of health, community engagement, maternal and child health, nutrition, communicable disease, non-communicable disease, and environmental health. Two preparatory meetings and some course work will be completed prior to departure.

Students will stay in three different regions in the Dominican Republic. Field trips and community service projects in each location are designed to enhance the course material through hands-on learning and service in the local community. Culturally respectful engagement will be emphasized in all interactions with local people and organizations, as well as in the completion of student projects.


Statue of Christopher Columbus,
Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo

Goals and Objectives

  • Enable students to understand the key determinants of health in the Dominican Republic and effective approaches to improving the health of the Dominican population
  • Facilitate student learning about the political, social, environmental and economic systems affecting public health in the Dominican Republic
  • Provide the opportunity for students to apply culture-specific knowledge to think critically and comparatively about public health issues faced by the country and to propose best-practice solutions
  • Through engaging in diverse cultural situations, help students learn to observe while reserving judgment, interpret unfamiliar cultural contexts, and develop sensitivity to Dominican cultural norms and customs
  • Provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish sufficient to effectively interact with Dominicans, as well as culturally appropriate behavior and etiquette

The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. It is the second largest nation (after Cuba) and the most visited destination in the Caribbean. The island has an average temperature of 26 degrees C/79 degrees F and great geographic and biologic diversity.

Students will travel to three locations:

  • Santo Domingo, the capital, which is the oldest city in the New World, home to 2.5 million people, and a World Heritage Site
  • Quisqueya and Juan Dolio, two rural communities in the eastern region of the country
  • Puerto Plata, on the northern coast, where students will have free time to visit local beaches

The  hotel in  offers all modern amenities including internet, in-room safes, and full breakfast. The lodging in Puerto Plata provides simpler accommodations and three daily meals.


Beach near Juan Dolio

A Community Health Experience
(PHS 3818/5818; 3 credits)

This course is open to all rising 3rd and 4th year undergraduates and graduate students. MPH students and Global Studies Global Public Health majors are encouraged to apply. The course satisfies the MPH field placement requirement and is a core course for the GPH program. Some experience with Spanish is recommended but not required.

UVA_PHS_DomRep_ orphanage

Orphanage near town of Juan Dolio

Program costs and payment schedule are listed in the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Health Information
Check the CDC website: Dominican Republic Health info

Program Director Paige P. Hornsby, Ph.D.,, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and directs student field placements and culminating experiences in the Master of Public Health program. She is also the Director of UVa’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program in Public Health. She received her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is in reproductive epidemiology and maternal and child health. She has traveled extensively and has studied and/or worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.


Countryside at La Vega