Students of political science and nursing at the University of Rhode Island were greeted by InterDom staff upon their arrival in the Dominican Republic on Monday, January 7, and provided with two days of orientation and introduction activities before departing for their respective service learning programs in rural areas of the country.
Both groups will spend a week working on their respective service learning projects before returning to Santo Domingo.
The group of 11 nursing students, accompanied by two professors, learned about the history and political formation of the country on a guided tour of the Colonial Zone on the morning of January 7, before departing early on January 8 to perform medical service in the rural border community of Las Matas de Farfán.
On Monday they also received a tour of the headquarters of one of InteRDom’s parent institutions, Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), and an orientation session on in-country health and safety practices, together with the political science group.
In addition to these activities, the10 students of political science and their two professors received an additional workshop on Tuesday morning, during which they learned about: the pedagogy behind service learning; the history and mission of Yspaniola, InteRDom’s partner organization which will host the students while conducting their service project in the area of literacy in Batey Libertad; and the importance of meaningful action and reflection in service learning projects.
Cesareo Guillermo, an expert in civil society and public initiatives as well as the design and implementation of economic and social projects, gave a special presentation on the historical evolution of the batey in relation to the sugar industry and inter-country relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Both groups will spend a week working on their respective service learning projects before returning to Santo Domingo for an intensive program of lectures, field trips and tours to introduce them to important political, cultural and medical facets of Dominican life and culture.
The internship program, InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), is the premier internship, research and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. It offers international students the opportunity to research important topics at the forefront of the United Nations agenda, obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their fields of study and/or earn academic credits by taking courses and seminars at a local university.