Education Abroad

Comunidad Connect is not-for-profit social enterprise facilitating service-learning education abroad trips to Latin America. 

Community Nursing & Health Promotion

Itinerary objectives: 

  • Provide nursing students and faculty a service learning experience in the Puerto Plata province on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic or in communities in rural Nicaragua.
  • Participate in health-focused community development projects and conduct family health assessments while engaging with local nursing students, healthcare professionals, and community health promoters. 
  • Visit healthcare facilities site visits that will provide students with a broader perspective of the healthcare system, including the health and socioeconomic challenges and priorities faced.
  • See different approaches to address obstacles, and opportunities relating to healthcare access and impact, while also learning about country history through guided cultural experiences and community-based tourism. 
Physical Therapy

Itinerary Objectives:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the health priorities and challenges of personal and community health in rural and urban areas of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic or rural Nicaragua.
  • Train health promoters about basic physical therapy to increase the capacity of care health promoters can provide in their communities.
  • Participate in community development and healthy household projects to improve the overall wellbeing and community health.
  • Visit physical therapy patients in their home environment to provide appropriate treatment plans and therapy.
Community Dental Health

Itinerary Objectives:

  • Dental students and faculty live and serve deep in the heart of coffee country in Northern Nicaragua or northern coast of the Dominican Republic
  • Provide basic dental services and procedures in a public and free clinic.
  • Gain firsthand experience providing services to patients, and also have the opportunity to prepare and present educational presentations about oral hygiene
  • Students will be challenged to understand health care and oral hygiene priorities and challenges in rural communities. 
Together For Health

Itinerary objectives: 

  • Live, work, and volunteer in rural communities in rural coffee growing communities in Jinotega.
  • Participate in appropriate technology, cultural activities, and provide medical attention to special needs patients who participate in Comunidad Connect’s Together for Health program. 
  • Install healthy household projects, participants to better understand different approaches, obstacles, and opportunities relating to healthcare priorities, access and impact.
Sustainable Design

Itinerary Objectives:

  • Sustainable Construction and Architecture students live and learn along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic
  • Experiential learning and hands on service work at an organic permaculture and aquaponics farm. 
  • Visits to various educational sites, such as eco-lodges that use rescued hardwoods and local building materials to cultivate energy efficient and environmentally friendly designs.
  • Visit permaculture and aquaponics demonstration
Alternative Breaks

Itinerary Objectives:

  • Volunteer in the rural communities Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic
  • Participate in Student Health Rotations, community engagement and surveys, and cultural activities. 
  • Participate in a variety of projects, including health education, data collection from residents, and family impact (such as constructing ovens, floors, or mosquito repellent painting) 

“One of my biggest takeaways from this trip was seeing how people in the communities were always helping each other, despite having a lack of tangible resources. It was a very eye-opening experience to visit the Dominican Republic and witness such a different lifestyle from our own. Some of my favorite memories were getting to know the local people of the DR. They were some of the kindest and most welcoming people I have ever met, and I am very grateful to have learned so much from them.

This trip was a great balance of work and play. While we spent time working in the communities, educating community members, and visiting local hospitals/ clinics, we were also able to enjoy the beautiful sights and culture of the Dominican Republic through various activities such as ziplining and visiting a coffee farm.  My advice would be to fully submerge yourself in every experience. Its truly a trip of a lifetime and I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone!”

-Krupa, Kennesaw State Nursing Student

Lily, Kennesaw State Nursing Student

Kennesaw State Nursing Students working on a Family Impact Project in the Dominican Republic.

Fundraising

We understand that participating in an education abroad program can be expensive.

We have fundraising tools available through our website as well as on Facebook. Check out those resources here.

More fundraising ideas:

40 Fundraising Ideas for Study Abroad

15 Little-Known Study Abroad Fundraising Ideas

 

Making the most of your experience

Before departing on your education abroad experience, make sure to read the country handbook. You will find suggested reading content, FAQs, and packing lists to better prepare yourself and enrich the experience. 

Upon your return we can connect you to resources to make the most of your experience abroad both personally and professionally: 

  • Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up do date with current events, impact from the field, and local events in your area.

  • Contact us with questions about how you can become an ambassador for Comunidad Connect, organize your own group, or become a recurring donor 

  • Research your university Department of Career Planning and Development. This office staffs advisers that can assist students and graduates in finding internship and job opportunities. They can also review resumes, cover letters and offer several events throughout the year where individuals can enhance their career-readiness skills and network with several employer.

  • See the links below external resources on utilizing your abroad experience for your professional career.

How to Put Study Abroad on a Résumé, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn

3 Steps to Include Study Abroad on Your Resume

How to Talk About Study Abroad in an Interview

 

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Dominican Republic Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Dominican Republic Safe? Yes, the country is very safe for tourists with petty theft being the biggest risk in larger cities.

Do I need to speak Spanish? Spanish is not required to join a trip. There will be an interpreter for the group at all times. However, we recommend you brush up on your vocabulary because you will be able to immerse yourself in the projects and communities more through Spanish.

What’s the weather like? The Dominican Republic is a great place to visit all year round. Generally, the DR is hot and sunny during the day and can be rainy year round, with the most rainfall in November and December. However, we encourage you to check the weather in anticipation for your trip.

Is it safe to drink the tap water at hotels? No, it is not safe to drink the tap water in the DR, as it is not purified. Always drink bottled water, available in abundance at your resort or in the neighborhood stores and supermarkets.

Will businesses accept American dollars? Businesses in tourist destinations, including restaurants, souvenir shops, and supermarkets tend to accept dollars, though you will receive a less favorable rate than at the banks. That said, most prices in the Dominican Republic are in Dominican pesos.

What are some typical foods I should try? Dominican food is very diverse. In the morning, sample mangú (green plantains, boiled and mashed) with eggs, fried cheese, and fried salami–the traditional Dominican breakfast. At midday, la bandera dominicana (Dominican flag) is the typical lunch plate with rice, red kidney beans, a meat stew, and tostones–mashed and double-fried green plantains. Also popular are chicharrón or pork rinds, locrio de pollo or fried rice with chicken, mofongo–plantain mound with deep fried pork or shrimp, and garlic, fish in coconut sauce, stewed crab and conch, roasted or stewed goat with boiled cassava, and sancocho (a seven-meat stew) accompanied by avocado for dinner.

 

Have a more specific question? Please reach out to your professor leading this trip

Nicaragua Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nicaragua Safe? Nicaragua is considered to be the safest country in Latin America. Western Nicaragua, where our trips take place, is especially safe.

Do I need to speak Spanish? Spanish is not required to join a trip. There will be an interpreter for the group at all times. However, we recommend you brush up on your vocabulary because you will be able to immerse yourself in the projects and communities more through Spanish.

Can I receive community service hours? Yes. We can certify any community service hours completed as part of your itinerary. You must provide us with the appropriate form to complete.

What’s the weather like? Nicaragua has a tropical climate with both a rainy and dry season. During the dry season, there is virtually no rain. Expect rain once or twice a day during the rainy season. Temperatures range from the low-70s to the high-90s for most of the year, with colder evening temperatures in the north.

Have a more specific question? Please reach out to your professor leading this trip

2018 Annual Health Summit in Nicaragua

Past and Present Academic Partners
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Georgia State University
  • University of North Georgia
  • University of Virginia
  • Oregon University
  • Yale University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Upstate Medical University
  • Tufts Dental School
  • Clemson University
  • Cal-Poly
  • New York University- Alternative Breaks
  • University of Colorado
  • Emory University
  • Queen’s College
  • University of Tennessee
  • The Sea State
  • Norte Dame University of Maryland

CONTACT US:

info@comunidadconnect.org

PO Box 1687 Madison, Alabama 35758

Telephone: +1(404) 444-9147

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