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The Dominican Republic is an ideal place to study abroad in high school, with its cultural diversity, beautiful tropical weather, and natural wonders. You’ll be sure to find welcoming people with a great sense of humor who are happy to share all the things they consider to be muy dominicano. Discover the highest mountain and deepest valley in the Caribbean, as well as rainforests, deserts, and white sand beaches when you study abroad in the Dominican Republic.

During your time abroad, you’ll notice that Dominicans are very fond of dancing to merengue and bachata. Merengue is the musical genre most often associated with the Dominican Republic and has been part of the Dominican musical repertoire since the mid-19th century. Dominicans often go out to dance or organize parties in their homes, where dancing is the main activity. Be prepared to embrace this fun cultural tradition with people of all ages!

Eligibility Requirements


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range 15yrs,  months to
18yrs, 5 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare

Your Journey to the Dominican Republic

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience. 

AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Dominican Republic will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff, volunteers and meet your fellow AFSers from around the world. Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Dominican culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Your High School

High school in the Dominican Republic is in session from August to June, 7:45 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. You will be attending a public or private school. Dominican students are required to wear uniform.

The subjects established for each of the grade levels are the following:

2nd Year (10th Grade) Spanish Grammar; Logic, Algebra and Geometry; English and French as a second language; Physics and Biology; Latin American History and Geography; Civics; Art; Religion; Electricity; Computer Science; Physical Education, and Guidance Counselling.

Santo Domingo waterfront, shoreline and shyline – Dominican Repu

3rd Year (11th Grade) Spanish Literature; Trigonometry; English and French as a second Language; Chemistry and Biology; Dominican History and Geography; Civics; Art; Religion; Agriculture; Computer Science; Physical Education, and Guidance Counselling.

4th Year (12th Grade) Latin American Literature; Pre-Calculus, English and French as a second language; Physics and Chemistry; Dominican Sociology and Economics; Civics, Art; Religion; Commercial Education; Computer Science; Physical Education, and Guidance Counselling.

The extracurricular activities in each school vary, but you are likely to find sports, music, dance, and theatre. AFS encourages you to take an active part in any extracurricular activities that interest you – they’re a great way to make friends at school and engage with your host community.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Your Accommodations While Studying Abroad in the Dominican Republic

All exchange students will live with host families in different cities located all over the country: countryside, on the mountains, near the beaches, in small towns or in bigger cities like the capital. Families may seem more conservative than you’re used to in the U.S., but you can expect your family to be extremely caring and protective of you and your host siblings! Dominican families are often tight-knit, so your social life will likely be centered on family or a small group of your host siblings’ friends. It’s common to find multiple generations living in the same home and showing respect for elders is important.

Fruits shop on tropical marketplace

Host families tend to think that if a student eats a lot, they will be happy. When you arrive, you may be served first at meals as a gesture of hospitality. You can expect to share lots of meals of rice, beans, plantains, and many other delicious local foods prepared by your host family.

Available Scholarships

AFS-USA scholarships are made possible by the generosity of numerous donors who all have a deep connection with AFS and value intercultural exchanges as necessary for the promotion of peace and justice in the world. Upon submission, applications will be reviewed and matched with the most applicable scholarship, if available. All scholarships are partial, and scholarship award amounts will be determined based on program length. For additional funding resources, check out our Fundraising page. You can view all available national and local scholarships on our Scholarships page. 

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Dominican Republic? YES. Visa + Residence Permit
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country) In-person
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex) Average
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$)
Frequently Asked Visa Questions Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in the Dominican Republic. Our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.