About Student Life
During the first week of the program, students will participate in orientation sessions that will introduce students to life at ILAC and in the Dominican Republic, program rules, cultural norms, building community, health and safety precautions and many more program related details including academic information.
Student life programming provides students with the opportunity to further the process of immersion into Dominican culture and society. Throughout the semester, students will be able to learn about and engage in Dominican social reality through optional participation in cultural excursions and activities such as visiting historical sites and museums, horseback riding to a waterfall, playing in domino tournaments, and taking cooking and dance lessons. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their faith life through spiritual reflections and activities. With a Jesuit priest housed at ILAC, past students have taken advantage of spiritual direction and weekly mass.
The Student Life Director and Academic Director will stay on site during the two ten-day immersions to facilitate the experience. Students may have the opportunity to lead children activities and participate in pastoral service by visiting the sick and the homebound. Past students have milked cows, fished for crab, picked coffee, taught an English lesson in the school, and read at mass. In spirit of the program, students are always encouraged to live in solidarity with their host families and communities, be culturally mindful, be open to group reflection and give their best effort when speaking Spanish.
ILAC Accomodations and Housing
Students will live in dorms that have a maximum capacity of four to six students per room. Each room has its own private bathroom and shower. Students will be supplied bed linens, bath towels and a mosquito net. There is wi-fi, however, internet is not always consistently reliable.
Other ILAC facilities that are available for student use include a library, volleyball court, running track, student lounge, dinning hall, kitchen, a classroom, chapel, laundry room, health clinic, computer labs and several open space areas for studying or resting. As there are other people besides Encuentro Dominicano students that stay at ILAC, students will be expected to live in community not only with each other, but also with other student groups and medical teams.
The Student Life Director lives at ILAC and is the first responder in medical and saftey situations. There are doctors available at ILAC, but should lab work or specialized medical attention be needed, the Student Life Director will accompany the student to the hospital. All medical needs including private transportation to the hospital are at the student's expense. It is required that students purchase iNext student traveler's health insurance prior to departure.