Culture Class

Did you know that the most typical Dominican dish is called “the flag”? That Dominican coffee ranks among the best coffees in the world? That the Dominican Republic has the second highest number of baseball players in US Major League Baseball? That it is a Dominican tradition to eat habichuela con dulce (sweet beans) on Easter? And that Puerto Plata was given its name by Christopher Columbus? It is said that he was so dazzled by the beauty of the shining ocean that he named the bay “silver harbor”.

This program is right for you if:

  • You like to learn more about Dominican culture, traditions, and history
  • You are curious to know what is típico dominicano
  • You like to experience Dominican hospitality
  • You want to combine classroom knowledge with real life language practice

The Culture Class

Private Culture Class 1:1

The add-on Culture Class 1:1 provides an explicit understanding of the Dominican culture. The teacher will share plenty of stories, anecdotes, and surprising local customs with you to show you the “real DR”. Dominicanism (words and expressions used in local daily Spanish) are also part of the class. It can cover various cultural topics, tailor-made to your areas of interest.

Possible topics: Dominican daily life, Colonial & modern history, Dominican cuisine, Merengue and Bachata music and dance, traditions & superstition, carnival, baseball, Dominican & Haitian relations, “the Mariposas”: local heroes & heroines, art & literature, the game of Domino, and everything you won’t find in a travel guide.

The add-on Culture Class 1:1 can be booked in addition to your Spanish course, starting from 1 lesson (45 minutes) on. It is carried out in the afternoon as private tuition 1:1 with a minimum of 1 lesson (45 minutes).

Classes will usually be taught at the IIC school. With a minimum of 3 Culture Classes booked, you can also go with your teacher onto a so-called salída pedagógica to experience every day Dominican culture first-hand and practice your Spanish skills amongst the people on the street.

Group Activity “Típico Dominicano”

If you are interest in a “salída pedagógica” only, you can also book the culture activity “Típico Dominicano” in addition to your Spanish course. The teacher will take you and other IIC students interested onto this educational tour outside the classroom; it is a conversational immersion training for everyday situations among local Spanish speakers.

The add-on Culture Activity “Típico Dominicano” can be booked in addition to your Spanish course. Maximum group size is 10 students. It takes 2,5 hours and will be arranged during one afternoon.

Salídas pedagógicas (examples):

  • You will go to a market, learn about local fruits and vegetables, practice to ask for a certain product, and learn how to negotiate prices.
  • Or you will visit a local restaurant and learn how to order a meal.
  • You might also go with your teacher to a pharmacy and practice how to describe an illness and ask for medication.
  • Or you will meet representatives of different professions and lead interviews about their job and their professional background.

 

THE COURSE PLACES

Santo Domingo

With a population of more than 2.5 million inhabitants Santo Domingo is a vibrant and lively Caribbean metropolis. It is the oldest city in the New World where the colonial settlement of the Americas began. Its Old Town Zona Colonial was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990. In 2010, the city was the American Capital of Culture.

Students there have plenty of opportunities to follow the traces of Christopher Columbus, explore the modernity of the city through its architecture, galleries and art museums, and dip into a bustling night-life with lots of music and dancing.

IIC Santo Domingo is situated in Zona Universitaria and faces the UASD (Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo), the largest university of the country. From there it is easy to explore the city or to meet with local students in nearby cafes and bars.

Sosua

Sosua is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic in a typical rural environment, only 10 min driving from the Inter­national Airport of Puerto Plata. The small coastal town, home to 12,000 inhabitants, is known for its beautiful beaches and water sports facilities. 15 min east of Sosua lies surfer’s paradise Cabarete, one of the best wind- and kite surfing spots in the world.

Due to its central location be­tween the mountain range of the Cordillera Septentrional and the Atlantic Ocean, Sosua is the ideal starting point to explore Dominican country life. It is also a unique place to learn more about Jewish heritage in the DR.

IIC Sosua is situated in the district of El Batey within a stone’s throw of the city center and just a 5-min walk from the main beach. The school building, sheltered by impressive old trees and lush vegetation, offers the ideal ambiance for concentrated learning in a tropical surrounding.

Besides classes, the IIC student facilitators organize weekly cultural and social activities and excursions on the weekends.

Accommodation in Santo Domingo and Sosua can be booked through IIC as well:

  • Students’ Residence (shared apartment or private studio)
  • Guest family (Santo Domingo only)
  • Economy or Mid-range Hotel

For prices of the culture add-ons, please see our price list.