Global and Community Health Service Learning
The University at Albany, SUNY continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus pandemic. All Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 education abroad programs worldwide are suspended, and Fall 2021 remains uncertain. While there are no definite answers on when education abroad programming will resume, programs abroad are not expected to all re-open at the same time. Instead, when education abroad relaunches only a limited number of programs and destinations will be available, evaluated based on global travel conditions, health and safety guidelines, SUNY System Administration re-opening protocols, and UAlbany priorities. Therefore at this time, students cannot apply for any UAlbany education abroad programs for Fall 2021 or any future term, as we await guidance and approval from SUNY System Administration. The process of review and approval to re-open programs and destinations will be ongoing. As you plan now for your global future, our dedicated Education Abroad team remains ready and available to assist and guide you! Join our virtual events throughout the Spring 2021 semester and check out our credit bearing virtual options for Summer 2021.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health and an orientation to the culture and history of this island nation set context for the service experience, located the rural communities near the interior city of El Seibo. This is an area of sugar plantations and of the small communities, or “bateyes,” where the workers, primarily those from Haiti and descendants of Haitians, live. Service projects focus on basic needs such as water, sanitation, nutrition, and youth empowerment. Past projects have included installation and training on use of bios and water filtration systems, planting of community gardens and health education on improved nutrition, as well as the building of latrines in low-income communities.
*Program is subject to minimum enrollment.
Please refer to the 2020 Draft Syllabus for additional course information.
The program includes two to three days in the capital city of Santo Domingo, to gain an overview of the Dominican health system, followed by four to five days carrying out work projects in the rural communities near the city of El Seibo, located in the interior of the country. The final day will be spent relaxing on one of the country’s beautiful beaches.
This program counts as a 1-credit, service learning course for undergraduate students.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
This course is taught by Professor John Justino. Prof. Justino has worked for more than 20 years in international development and global public health. This includes over 15 years leading and consulting on social behavior change communications programs in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere around the world focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria prevention and treatment, adolescent reproductive health, family planning, maternal and child health, and improved hygiene and sanitation. He is Director of UAlbany’s Center for Global Health and he administers the School of Public Health’s Graduate Certificate in Global Health Studies, as well as the School’s International Internship Program.
This program includes several types of accommodations. When in Santo Domingo you will stay with a family in a homestay. When working in the Bateyes in Hato Mayor you will reside in a hotel.
Information about meals is forthcoming.
Estimate of Costs
For reference review the Spring Break 2020 Estimate of Costs.
While some knowledge of Spanish is helpful, there is no language requirement to participate. Students must be in good academic and judicial standing to apply; applications are welcome from students in all majors who have a completed at least one semester in college. A willingness to engage in physical labor is a must.
Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions* to important and influential sites, so you will have the opportunity to experience the country and culture of the Dominican Republic to its fullest.
*Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability.
**Schedule is tentative and subject to change
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
About the City
A valid passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a permanent resident or international student, a visa may be required. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring Break programs: December
03/14/2020 to 03/22/2020
Please review the tentative Program Schedule 2020. Please note that it is subject to change.
More information regarding flights is available upon acceptance.
This program is organized in conjunction with Community Service Alliance, a not-for-profit Dominican organization founded and run by a UAlbany School of Public Health alumnus Axelrod Scholar. Community Service Alliance (CSA) was born out of the belief in the power and strength of local leaders who have a vision for the transformation of their community. As a registered non-profit organization, based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, CSA works by coming alongside local communities to empower them with the resources and know-how to realize positive change. CSA works to build capacity and channel resources to benefit grassroots organizations and their respective projects, focusing on health, education and income generation. Through institutional strengthening, accompaniment and the channeling of skills and resources from volunteers and institutional partners, CSA aims to efficiently utilize resources to bring local projects to fruition.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The spring break pre-departure orientation is typically conducted in late November/early December.
You will also have an on-site orientation upon arrival to your host country.
Your Faculty Leader is responsible for guiding all aspects of the program and will be available throughout the on-site portion of the course to manage any concerns or questions you may have while abroad. The faculty accompany you on all program activities and outings.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.