A group of eight Dominican college students arrive to Philadelphia today to participate in the first program this fall of the Global Dominican Academic Exchange Program (GDAE), from September 22-27 at the University of Pennsylvania.
The participants hail from both public and private universities across the Dominican Republic. They will be received at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) by their student hosts who are members of Grupo Quisqueyano, the Dominican student organization on the UPenn campus, with whom they will be lodged, attend classes and participate in an agenda of activities scheduled by the student hosts to go along with the theme Exploring Our History and Moving Forward. The GDAE program has been strategically scheduled during the United States’ Hispanic Heritage Month so that it will coincide with activities and speakers representing and celebrating other Latino cultures. Additional activities will include a tour of the campus and the historic district of Philadelphia, a forum on US immigrant labor issues, a mixer with other student organizations, and discussion forums on topics related to Latino identity in the US.
GDAE is a program that organizes a series of topic-specific events of short (maximum one week) duration in collaboration with the Dominican student organizations at a variety of United States universities throughout the year. The InteRDom staff works closely with student representatives to plan the activities, and then to recruit and bring students from Dominican universities to participate. Hosting events with different thematic concentrations ensures that diverse groups of Dominican students have the opportunity to participate.
The Global Dominican Academic Exchange program, a project of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and its sister organization in the Dominican Republic, Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), an extension of their internship, research and study program, InteRDom, aims to introduce Dominican students to the American style of liberal arts education and encourage dialogue between Dominican students and their Dominican-American counterparts attending these institutions, thereby encouraging and inspiring partnership and entrepreneurship initiatives which will foster innovation and stimulate Dominican economic development and international understanding.