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Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available: English Max credits offered: 03
Program Type: VT faculty-led Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Areas of Study: Environmental Conservation and Society, Environmental Science, Forestry, Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation, Wildlife Conservation College Sponsor: *Open to All Majors, CNRE
Program Description:


Dominican Republic Map

Program Information 
CNRE-FREC_DR_study abroad_2018.pdf
Syllabus_FREC 3954_Study abroad DR.pdf 

Additional Information

Virginia Tech course, VT faculty led, VT credit (3 cr.)

Students will explore the effects of a changing climate through field trips, hands-on experience, meetings, lectures, and readings.

Cities to visit:  Santo Domingo, Jarabacoa, Constanza, Santiago Rodriguez, Restauracion, Monte Cristi, San Francisco de Macoris, Sanchez, Samana, and  Las Terrenas. 

Check out the video


Dominican Republic
Mutiple Cities
Summer II, 2019 (July 29 - August 10)

Climate Change Impacts and Policy in the Dominican Republic

This study abroad course will use the Dominican Republic as a case study to introduce students to the impacts of climate change on key natural resources (e.g., forests, water, and biodiversity) as well as on key ecosystems (e.g., coastal areas). The impacts of climate change on agricultural production and people’s livelihoods will also be reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on the development and implementation of climate change policies. In this course, students will learn about mitigation and adaptation strategies to decrease GHG emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change. Students will meet with climate change government officials, environmental NGOs, and scientists. Students will explore the direct and indirect effects of a changing climate through field trips, hands-on experience, meetings, lectures, and readings. 

DR Places to Visit

The island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is located in the Caribbean Sea, between the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba. It is the second largest island in the archipelago of the Greater Antilles. It is the only Caribbean island divided between two nations. The island has an extension of 77,914 km2. The Dominican Republic occupies 48,442 km2, which represents two-thirds of the island, and has a population of 10.4 million people.

The Dominican Republic (DR) is considered among the most vulnerable countries in the world according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2016. The DR has been ranked the eleventh country most affected by climate change in the world between 1995-2015. The country is considered a "hot spot" because of the high levels of physical, socioeconomic, environmental, and institutional vulnerabilities to climate change. Furthermore, vulnerability studies on climate change have shown that the Dominican Republic will be affected by changes in rainfall, increases in minimum and maximum temperature, sea level rise (which can already be seen in the Samana Peninsula), increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, increased incidence of vector diseases, among others.



Freshmen through Seniors, and Graduate Students. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.8. Contact faculty program leader for exceptions.


Undergraduates will receive credit for FREC 3954 Study Abroad.
Click here to view the proposed syllabus: FREC Syllabus

This program is applicable to all natural resources and environmental majors and minors, engineering, meteorology, geography, agriculture, international public policy, international studies, international relations, and Spanish.

This course will be an elective for the new Pathways minor in CNRE and also fits with the Global Systems Science Destination Area. 

Cascade in DR
Forest in DR


Students are expected to complete all assigned background readings and attend all course-related activities. During the trip, there will be short meetings every morning, before each site visit, to introduce the main issues that will be discussed throughout the day. there We will also be a meeting shortly at the end of the day to go over the main points and take-home messages learned.
  1. Participation: students are expected to actively participate and discuss the readings and issues presented throughout the course. [30%]
  2. Electronic journal: Students are required to keep a day-by-day journal. The journal will provide students the opportunity to reflect on their learning experience (including social and cultural) and record and describe their daily observations, field visits, and activities. [40%]
  3. Final Assignment: Work in small groups to develop an online portfolio for the class, that will include: pictures, videos, interviews, entries from the journals, etc., to synthesize what you learned during the course (more guidance and information will be provided before departure). [30%]


Click here to view the proposed itinerary: Itinerary

Students will have several meals with different people from communities, government institutions, and NGOs. Some of these will be in peoples houses and will be home- made food and, in some cases, using food from their own farms. They will also learn from locals how climate change is affecting their livelihoods.  Students will also participate in ecotourism activities developed by communities that are looking for new options and alternatives to decrease the negative impacts of human activities and climate change on natural resources and at the same time improve their livelihood.




Estimated program cost is $2710 and includes airfare, group ground transportation, visa, meals and lodging expenses.

* Tuition is a separate payment from the program fee.

* The program fee may be lowered depending on the number of program participants.

University Tuition & Fees

Tuition and university fees are billed separately from the program fee according to University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term:


Click the "Apply Now" to being the application process.

Contact Information

Dr. Carol Franco
311A Cheatham Hall

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer Session 2 2019 04/30/2019 ** Rolling Admission 07/29/2019 08/10/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be notified of acceptance into this program within a few weeks of submission. Please allow time for review.