Haiti and the Dominican Republic Today: Crossing Boundaries

The Department of Africana Studies, along with the College of Advancing and Professional Studies, is pleased to announce the following international program in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Program Highlights

  • Opportunities for service learning projects in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • A three-day eco-excursion to the beautiful, artistic and literary town of Jacmel in southeastern Haiti and historical and cultural field trips to the north in Cap Haitien to visit the Citadel and King Henri Christophe’s Sans-Souci palace ruins in the town of Milot.
  • Experience firsthand what everyday village life is like in the Dominican Republic by living and cooking with host families and participating in community meetings.

About the Program

This year the Haiti Today program is adding the Dominican Republic to its itinerary, and will focus on the understanding of border cultures between two independent nations which share one island, the island of Hispaniola.

The program, one of the first of its kind, will explore the migration history, politics, culture, and the economic and social developments taking place in the two nations from both external and internal perspectives. It will facilitate students’ understanding of Haiti and the Dominican Republic through total immersion into culture, environment, language, and each country’s economic, political and social realities.

In Haiti, students will discover the history of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and analyze how the slaves’ hard fight for independence over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.

In the Dominican Republic, students will analyze how race has been socially constructed in society, and how the country’s troubled history with its neighbor Haiti informs notions about racial classification. Students will be staying with Host Families in a small rural-village bordering Haiti, and will be able to design and implement service-learning projects, benefiting both the Haitian and Dominican communities.

Courses and Credit

Participants have the option to register for one or two courses (three credits each):

  • AFRSTY 480 Haiti: Culture and Politics, 3 credits
  • AFRSTY 478, Independent Study, 3 credits

AFRSTY 478 will be completed after the participants return from Haiti.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded three or six credits by the Africana Studies Department.

By special permission, students may receive credit for independent study from the Political Science Department or the International Relations program.

A non-credit option is available based on space availability.


Marc Prou: Program Director. Professor Prou is Chair of the Africana Studies Department and director of the Haitian Institute. He has considerable travel and study experience in Caribbean countries, and regularly takes study groups abroad to Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.

Jennifer Goode-Sollis: Coordinator. Jennifer is the program assistant for CAPS Study Abroad programs, and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served two years in the Dominican Republic. She is in the final stages of her master’s thesis which is focused on ways in which universities can incorporate service-learning into study abroad programs.


Please note: The above program is subject to change at any time due to circumstances beyond our control; this includes any and all fees, dates, itinerary, and program activities. We will do our reasonable best to inform all applicants of any changes in as timely a manner as possible.

Schedule & Fee

Program runs:
July 7 - August 1, 2014

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3 to 6 credits: TBA

The fee covers instruction, field trips, lodging, most meals, and all local transportation. It does not include airfare. It is recommended that students fly into Port-au-Prince, Haiti and depart from Santiago, Dominican Republic. US residents will need a valid US passport.

To Apply

This program is open to UMass Boston students and welcomes undergraduate and graduate students from other colleges and universities, along with college and K-12 educators.

Application Deadline
May 15, 2014

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More Information

For an application or for more information on applying, please contact:

Jennifer Goode-Sollis

For detailed program and academic information, please contact:

Marc Prou
Associate Professor and Chair

Africana Studies Department
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393