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Encuentro Dominicano

Beach in Dominican Republic

Encuentro Dominicano is a one-semester, intensive, service, and learning program in the Dominican Republic. It focuses on the Jesuit mission of service-learning, promoting justice, and solidarity with the poor. Encuentro centers around service-learning, exploration, and immersion with Dominican people in the rich and vibrant Caribbean culture and environment. 

Loyola students have the opportunity to study abroad in the Dominican Republic through Creighton University—a Jesuit institution from Omaha, Nebraska. The Dominican Republic is the most visited country in the Caribbean. Whether you are interested in nature, hiking, watersports, human services, or just exploring the ocean world adventures, the Dominican Republic has enriched culture and landscape to offer our students. The program combines classroom study with real-world experience. The campus managed by Encuentro Dominicano is gated and very hospitable, and the Academic and Residence Life & Housing director monitors any unexpected occurrences as well as is the first responder in medical and safety situations.

Criteria for Acceptance and How to Apply

  • Group of students in Dominican RepublicSophomores with a cumulative GPA average of 2.75 or better should apply. 
  • Each student must submit an online application and a copy of your passport. 
  • Students who can find courses which fit their Loyola program and allow full-time participation and who are neither on disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems should apply. 
  • Students must submit an application with a course planning form and an application essay by 11:59 p.m. on the second Wednesday after Thanksgiving for fall or spring applicants.


Except for the intensive Spanish course, all courses are taught in English. Students are required to take all three multi-disciplinary courses:

  1. The Dominican Republic in Context - A study of the history, sociology and politics of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, using data from multiple sources. Classroom work is integrated with service-learning and cultural immersion in a context of ethical analyses and reflection. This provides a supervised learning experience in a community learning site and is designed to integrate the knowledge, values, and skills presented in the classroom, as well as the individual research that the students will be performing, with the experiences in the community.
  2. The Power of One: Poverty, Sustainable Development, and Social Justice Discernment - A multi-disciplinary study of social justice issues pertaining to people experiencing material poverty.  This course will combine Theological beliefs to make meaning out of the injustices in our world, with Economics views that address sustainable development ideas to eradicate extreme poverty.  Classroom work is integrated with service-learning and cultural immersion in a context of ethical analyses and reflection.  While addressing many of the social justice issues covered in this course from a global perspective, course work is designed to also bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to the exploration of the cultural, social, economic, political and religious aspects of life in the Dominican Republic. 
  3. Intensive Dominican Spanish - Some background of the Spanish language is recommended, but it is not required to take this class.

In addition to these three required courses, students can choose one to three elective classes: Cuba and the U.S: Revolution and Restitution (this includes seven-day immersion in Cuba), Culture and Society Through Cinema; and a rotating elective course taught by visiting Creighton faculty. These courses are taught in English.

Service in Santiago twice a week. Two immersions in a campo (rural Dominican community); living and working with community members for 10 days (first half of the semester), and 5 days (second half of the semester). 

Students in hammocks in Dominican RepublicResidence Life & Housing trips to beaches, waterfalls, baseball games and more. 

Disclaimer: In case of strikes or unexpected disruption to the academic semester Loyola will work with the host university abroad to provide additional support or other academic arrangements to enable students to complete their coursework in agreement with the rules and regulations of the host university and the laws of the host country.  Loyola University Maryland will not make any changes to its course, grade, or credit transfer policies following such circumstances. 

Costs and Program Benefits

  • Loyola University Maryland Students applying to this program at Creighton University are eligible for consideration for all forms of federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid, except the federal work-study program. Students studying abroad for a semester will forfeit the value of a federal work-study assignment. 
  • All Loyola financial aid applies.
  • Tuition, housing, and fees are paid to Loyola.
  • Students are responsible for all other expenses such as additional trips, departure tax, personal travel and meals.
  • All three meals provided.
  • A round-trip ticket from Baltimore to Santiago, Dominican Republic. 
  • Various cultural and natural excursions and day trips.


  • Students will enjoy tropical experience while living in a safe and comfortable environment at Centro de Educacion para la Salud Integral or ILAC center, based outside of the city of Santiago, the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic. Meals and classes will be held also at this ILAC center. 
  • Students will stay in single-sex dorm rooms (3-5 students per room). Pillow, sheets, towel, and mosquito net will be provided. Each room has a bathroom with a shower, closet space, selves and desks. 

Application Requirements

Students must submit an online application and a Course Planning form by 11:59 p.m. on the second Wednesday after Thanksgiving break of their sophomore year to study abroad in the fall or spring term of junior year. 

All applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday after Thanksgiving break of the sophomore year for both Spring and Fall semesters.

Apply to this Program

*Please keep in mind that study abroad information, dates, benefits, and fees are subject to change without notification. You are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs directly for the most up-to-date information regarding any study abroad programs offered at Loyola.

Contact Information

Fr. Bao Nguyen, S.J., Ph.D.


Contact Us

Phone: 410-617-2910
Office: Humanities 132

Additional contact information


In order to apply, all students must attend a Study Abroad 101 (Powerpoint) session before the application deadline. The application deadline for all Fall, Spring, and year-long opportunities during academic year 2024-25 is December 11, 2024.

The deadline for opportunities taking place during academic year 2025-26 will be announced during the Spring 2024 semester.

Study Abroad 101 (Powerpoint)