About Student Life
The mission of Student Life in Encuentro Dominicano is to enhance the students' academic learning with the purpose of creating a safe and healthy environment as well as an encompassing experience that cultivates a profound sense of self-awareness, cultural mindfulness, meaningful spirituality, and a reflective understanding of social responsibility.
During the first week of the program, students will participate in orientation sessions that introduce them to life at ILAC and in the Dominican Republic. Orientation sessions will address program rules, cultural norms, living in community, and health and safety precautions, and will urge students to begin exploring their deepest selves and their roles in a global community.
Throughout the semester, the Creighton-ILAC staff serves as a resource for students in all areas of Student Life - understanding cultural differences, handling physical and emotional stresses and mediating community needs. Creighton-ILAC staff accompanies students on all academic trips and campo immersions in order to ensure health and safety and also help process and understand these experiences within their cultural context. Creighton-ILAC staff also serve to link resources in Santiago and back at Creighton, and through these connections is able to connect students with whatever support they may need while in the Dominican Republic.
Before returning home upon the end of the program, students participate in a Re-orientation Week to prepare for the adjustment back to life in their home communities. The goal of these events is to give Encuentro Students the understanding necessary to return as a part of a larger community that will continue to push and support them.
Health and Safety
All students studying abroad must be prepared for differences in their health that may occur throughout the semester. Encuentro students are extremely lucky for their relationship with the ILAC/CESI Center, and therefore for their access to some of the best physicians in the Dominican Republic.
Students are given a full orientation about health and safety, and are often reminded of precautions they can take to stay healthy in Santiago and during campo immersions. Creighton-ILAC has created a Health and Safety Guide for students and parents to help prepare for a healthy time abroad and a healthy return.
The vast majority of Encuentro students stay healthy and happy throughout the duration of their time in the DR. However, in the case that a student does become sick, Creighton-ILAC staff will assist the student in finding the appropriate care and accompany the student to any medical consults or laboratory analyses. In the case of an emergency, the student will be taken by a staff member to HOMS Hospital - a first class private hospital located in Santiago.
Student Life Excursions
In order to help students fully immerse into Dominican culture, Creighton-ILAC Student Life provides optional free excursions throughout the semester program. In the past, cultural activities have included:
- Baseball games to see the local professional team, Las Aguilas Cibaenas
- Tours of the historical museum Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal
- Hikes to ancient caves with traditional Taino wall art
- Tours of local cigar factories and coffee plantations
- Trips to the mountains or the beach