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  • Locations: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Program Terms: Winter Intersession
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA Required: 2.5 Housing Options: Hotel
Program Term: Winter Language of Instruction: English
Program Provider: RWU Areas of Study: History, Journalism, Latin American Studies
Program Location: Dominican Republic Global Engagement Opportunities: Community Engagement, Research
Scholarship Eligibility: Short Term Only
Program Description:
D.R. Banner
Program Description | Eligibility | Academic Details | Housing
Program Dates | Financial Details | More Information


Program Description

In this intensive faculty-led study abroad experience, the instructor will guide students in an exploration of the easternmost region of the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. This program takes seriously the importance of placing global and national debates—about social justice, development, and the conduct of democracy—in local context, and telling unique stories from such a local vantage that might then speak to larger concerns. Students will grasp the main tenets of analyzing the relationship between historical context and social inequality; they will begin to apply these analytical tools while acquiring the technical, ethical, and procedural experience 
required to produce journalism in a global context.

The  course  asks:  How  can  one  report  on  social  issues  in  a  way  that  ethically  and accurately represents  all  points  of  view?  How  does  one  identify  credible  sources?  How does  one  gain  entry, build trust and create rapport with individuals in communities outside our own?

The theme that bridges the coursework in LALS and Journalism is social justice in Hispaniola. Students will receive instruction from the faculty in Bristol and later abroad, where they will hear  from local experts, visit field sites, and experience first-hand the lived experiences of communities that amplify & place in context course lectures and readings about issues related to social and environmental justice on the island. Classwork in Bristol and subsequent field visits followed by  group discussion, reflections, newswriting and reporting exercises will enable students to identify and explain local social and environmental justice challenges in feature stories that incorporate diverse viewpoints. In their preparatory studies, students will discover how social factors such as race/ nationality, gender, class, and regional histories affect how communities gain access to or control over economic resources (land, water, agricultural properties, culturally significant landscapes, etc.)

In this program, RWU students will gain a first-hand understanding of how the confluence of socio- economic and historical dynamics manifests in present day Hispaniola.Students will relay their newfound understanding by representing social dilemmas in an ethical, contextual, and powerful manner. Our principal local partner, the Fundación Ecológica Grupo Punta Cana, has an established collaboration as a virtual campus for RWU. Their facilities and staff facilitate the logistical, academic, and student activities in Punta Cana providing access to classrooms and local experts

Since 2015, the Fundación Ecológica Grupo Punta Cana has supported our faculty-led study abroad program. In addition, since 2016 their team partnered with the RWU Office of Advancement and Marine Biology faculty to establish a fish hatchery in the ecological preserve. This collaboration makes it possible for students to directly witness coastal environmental and sustainability projects that impact the local community. These interactions provide the basis for reflective group discussion 
and student reporting on the topics of social justice, sustainability, cultural history, and global citizenship.

Lectures and workshops by Dr. Prado will provide the scaffolding for the academic coursework in this program, and the so-called “supplemental” activities will prove just as important. Beyond readings and in-class work, students will hear from nearly a dozen local experts at cultural and historical sites, coastal natural resource areas, luxury tourist resorts.  and local rural communities. Throughout the site visits, the professor and local bilingual aides will help navigate RWU students through linguistic and cultural barriers, as they model best practices in ethical study and news gathering.

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Open to All Majors


  • JOUR 490 Junior standing or consent of instructor
  • LALS 100 consent of instructor
  • Good academic and judicial standing

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Academic Details

Courses Offered: 

  • JOUR 490 Cultures in Contact:  Social Justice in Hispaniola - This  course  focuses  on  news  reporting about  matters  related to social  and environmental  justice in the Dominican Republic. Students will gain valuable insights into local communities that will allow them to contextualize issues of inequality that affect the Caribbean nation. The course asks: How can one report on social issues in a way that ethically and accurately represents all points of view? How does one identify credible sources? How does one gain entry, build trust and create rapport with individuals in communities outside our own?
  • LALS 299 Topics in Latin American & Latino Studies: Social Justice in Hispaniola - This course focuses on social and environmental justice in the Dominican Republic. Students will gain valuable insights into local communities that will allow them to contextualize issues of inequality that affect the Caribbean nation. The course asks: How can one report on social issues in a way that ethically and accurately represents all points of view? How does one identify credible sources? How does one gain entry, build trust and create rapport with individuals in communities outside our own?

Application Deadline: October 15th 


Student accommodations will consist of shared rooms in family-style hotel chains.

Program Dates

January 2, 2020 - January 18, 2020  (Travel Dates: January 8 - January 18, 2020)

Finanial Details

Program Fee: $ 2,520
  • Includes Tuition, museum & tour fees, ground transport, shared accommodations at hotel plus daily breakfast & lunch while abroad
  • Does not include airfare, dinner, incidentals (toiletries, medications, snacks, entertainment, unscheduled tours or extra-curricular activities beyond those outlined in the course syllabus)

Payment Deadlines:
October 15:  $500 NON-REFUNDABLE Deposit
November 30: Remaining Balance

Financial Aid and Scholarships

RWU students applying to RWU-sponsored short term study abroad programs are not eligible for financial aid, however, they may apply to one or both of the scholarships listed below.  Students apply for the scholarship(s) at the same time they submit their application for a short-term program abroad. In order to be considered for the Global Engagement Scholarship, they must submit their application by stated program application deadline.

The Bridging the World Scholarship:
Scholarship awards based on academic merit only
Scholarships awards based on financial need and academic merit 

The Global Engagement Scholarship:
Scholarship awards based on financial need only (limited funds available)

More Information


Professor Paola Prado, Department of Communication
Office: GHH 326

Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Ame Lambert
Office:  Administration Building

Health & Safety Abroad:
Students should review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for complete information regarding the health concerns and vaccine recommendations specific to Dominican Republic. Students should also review the U.S. State Department’s consular information website for complete information on safety and security.

All information subject to change - Roger Williams University reserves the right to cancel any faculty-led program offered during the academic year for insufficient enrollment or for any other reason. These reasons may include safety and security concerns at the program location. Should it prove necessary to do so, the School will promptly notify all registrants.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.