Experience global business culture first hand in the Dominican Republic this summer!
2018 Program dates: 05/13/2018 - 05/27/2018
In cooperation with Universidad Iberoamericana [UNIBE], students will gain an appreciation of the distinctive social and economic factors that drive advertising, marketing, and other business practices in this rapidly growing economy. Students will have an opportunity to engage with business professionals through site visits at advertising and marketing agencies, media outlets, and multinational manufacturing operations, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Young and Rubicam, and Ogilvy. As part of the program, students can enjoy the rich culture and history, as well as the sun and sand, of one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean.
Notes from faculty leaders:
1. This program is designed for undergraduates; if you are an MBA or Graduate student, a different program may be a better fit for you.
2. Dietary restrictions are extremely difficult to accommodate. Flexibility is required for vegetarian and vegan diets. Students with allergies to soy, peanuts, wheat, or seafood must discuss options with the faculty directors.
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Location & Related Considerations
Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. It is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city's Colonial Zone has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Punta Cana is the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. The area is best known for its beaches and balnearios, which face both the Caribbean and Atlantic, and has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970s.
Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students
Safety and Security:
Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about the Dominican Republic, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State Department. If the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security). For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's International Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue.
The following general comments are derived from OSAC: The most common type of crime is drive-by robberies (1-2 (usually male) assailants on a motorcycle, scooter, or even a bicycle). The assailant typically drives up to the potential victim and grabs anything in arm's reach. Often, they stop, one disembarks, and points a handgun at the victim, demanding valuables. Although armed assaults are more frequent during hours of darkness and when victims travel by foot, they can occur while the victim is in a vehicle stopped at a traffic light and often during the day. To avoid becoming a victim of a drive-by robbery, try to avoid outwardly displaying any items of value. Be alert for motorcycles and scooters. If someone approaches, duck into a store or move out of the way. Note that assailants may circle around and try again.
Infrastructure measures, construction safety standards, licensing, and regulatory procedures vary by country. Try to avoid travel in unsafe vehicles on unsafe roads, and exercise caution when using stairways, ramps, and handrails. Take extra precaution when hiking in areas with poor trail geography and infrastructure, especially if guardrails and other safety features are missing or dilapidated. Bring and use bug spray to help protect against insect-borne illnesses, especially from mosquitos and ticks. Protests occur frequently on university campuses and in public spaces; avoid these protests and refrain from engaging with (including photographing) the demonstrations. In addition to consulting the above-mentioned governmental agencies, review the WMU website, especially the section entitled “Health and Safety Abroad
Local driving laws and practices are unlike those in the U.S. WMU Study Abroad strongly discourages students from driving, renting, leasing or owning a motor vehicle while participating on a study abroad program.
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Good academic standing and Reference from Professor (not Faculty Directors).
This course is designed to give students a first-hand experience into the business and culture differences of the Dominican Republic. The trip will increase the student’s awareness of Latin business practices and how they differ from western business practices. Students will understand the general differences and similarities in Latin and American cultures and how these differences shape the business landscape and practices. Students will recognize how businesses in the Dominican Republic compete in the global market. Finally, students will experience the sights and sounds of the Dominican Republic and appreciate the diversity of the global environment.
In preparation for the trip, students will participate in classroom instruction on the culture and language of the Dominican Republic (Spanish language). During the trip, students will participate in numerous experiences and company visits to further their understanding of the impact of culture on business practices.
Participants will earn 3 WMU academic credit hours in BUS 3960 for undergraduate students.
Marketing related majors may be able to use this course as one of their major electives. Please verify with the advising office.
WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.
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Cost & Financial Aid
Program fee for 2017: $4,250 (undergraduate)
. Please find detailed financial aid budget here
The program fee includes:
undergraduate tuition (3 credits) and administrative fees, instructional costs, hotels, some meals in Santo Domingo and all meals in Punta Cana, airport transfers and local program transportation, program-related excursions, and international health and emergency assistance insurance.
The program fee does not include:
airfare, some local transportation, some meals, passport processing, and miscellaneous expenses. Costs not included in the program fee are estimates and may vary according to individual needs and preferences. This budget does not include activities which are not part of the academic program, such as personal travel, entertainment, shopping, etc.
For tax purposes, the university requires the program fee billing to be divided into qualified fees (tuition) and non-qualified fees (non-tuition costs). The total program fee equals the study abroad commitment fee plus qualified fees and non-qualified fees added together.
+ Qualified fees (tuition)
+ Non-qualified fees (other costs)
= Total program fee
This is a portion of the program fee which is billed after the student clicks the "Commit" button to secure their place in the program. The remainder of the program fee is billed to the WMU student account for the semester of enrollment in study abroad credits. The program commitment fee is due within 30 days once charged to the WMU student account. After 30 days, per university accounts policy, holds will be placed on past-due balances.
** Contact WMU Study Abroad office if you have any questions.
WMU students applying for this program may be eligible for the Haenicke Institute for Global Education Study Abroad Scholarship
, which offers both merit and financial need-based awards. (Please note that this scholarship is suspended for spring, summer I, and summer II 2018 programs. Funding is expected to be available again in fall 2018). Business majors (PBA, BBA, MSA, or MBA) are eligible for the HCOB Study Abroad Scholarship. Please note that students may receive either a merit award from the Haenicke Institute or the HCOB Scholarship, not both
. Additionally, applicants may be considered for a financial need-based award from the Haenicke Institute.
Students are encouraged to apply for the scholarship at the same time they submit their application for the program. To access the online scholarship application, click here
Lee Honors College Study Abroad and Research and Creative Activities Support.
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, he/she must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid
to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). *Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad so plan ahead. Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to financial aid disbursement for the semester, such as the commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable). These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.
Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.
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Students will be housed in hotels (double occupancy) in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Students will responsible for their own food apart from three group lunches, one group dinner, and meals at the weekend resort that will be included in the program cost.
The Embajador Hotel
Ave.Tiradentes #32 Silver Sun, Santo Domingo, 10119, Dominican Republic
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
Hotel Grand Oasis, Carretera Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 1, Dominican Republic
Occidental El Embajador
Calle Embajador 65, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
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2018 Itinerary - TENTATIVE:
Sunday, May 13, 2018: Leave Kalamazoo on morning flight; arrive Santo Domingo
Monday, May 14, 2018: Meet UNIBE representatives; activity and group lunch at UNIBE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018: Cultural Tour of Santo Domingo: National Palace, Colonial Zone, First Cathedral of the Americas, Calle Las Damas, Alcázar de Colón, Fortaleza Ozama; lunch and shopping in Colonial Zone
Wednesday, May 16, 2018: Business Tours
Thursday, May 17, 2018: Service learning project
Friday, May 18, 2018: Travel to Punta Cana
Saturday-Sunday, May 19-20, 2018: Tourist-type activities at resort including snorkeling
Monday, May 21, 2018: Travel back to Santo Domingo; Cultural tour of Faro a Colon and Los Tres Ojos
Tuesday, May 22, 2018: Baseball activity day
Wednesday, May 23, 2018: Business Tours
Thursday, May 24, 2018: Group activity with students and professors at UNIBE
Friday, May 25, 2018: Business Tours
Saturday, May 26, 2018: Student free day; Dinner with UNIBE students and professors
Sunday, May 27, 2018: Travel home to Kalamazoo
Note: Participants must attend all scheduled classes and participate in all activities during official program time, which is determined by the faculty director. Before making any side plans, students should first confirm them with the director. In particular, applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to the Statement of Responsibility included within the application which further details this requirement.
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Dr. Karen M. Lancendorfer, Faculty Director
Haworth College of Business, Schneider 3221
Tel: (269) 387-5996
Study Abroad Specialist:
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
Location: 3306 Faunce
Host Institution Information (external links)
Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) Homepage
Demographic Information (external links)
Country Specific Information - Dominican Republic
Culture Gram - Dominican Republic
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