5 Fun Facts about the Dominican Republic

Thinking of studying abroad in Dominican Republic with ISA? Here are five fun facts to convince you to plan your semester abroad in this Caribbean country!

coconut monkey

(Photo by ISA student Kristen Connors)

  1. Baseball is more than the country’s national sport – It is a national obsession.

When you picture sports in Latin America, the first image that pops into your mind is probably a soccer ball.  However if you make your way to the Dominican Republic, you’ll find that you’re much more likely to encounter a sandy diamond than a grassy field. The MLB has definitely taken notice: all 30 MLB teams currently have training academies in the Dominican Republic. Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, and Pedro Martínez are just a few of the famous names that have come from the country. With more than 500 Dominican players making it to the Major Leagues since 1956, it’s no wonder the game is so popular.

Study abroad with ISA and you can experience baseball in Dominican Republic firsthand! ISA offers a baseball course with locals, which allows students to learn and play the game and understand its history in the DR and worldwide. No trip to the island nation would be complete without taking in a game, so be sure to join in on the included ISA cultural outing to the Santiago stadium to watch the local Águilas Cibaeñas play ball.

  1. Home to the highest and lowest points in the Caribbean

Despite the DR’s small size, the country is home to the highest peak and the lowest point in the Caribbean. The tallest mountain in the West Indies is Pico Duarte, and it stretches skyward 10,164 feet. The trek to the top and back takes at least three days, but the views from the peak are sure to make it worthwhile. Just 53 miles south-west, lies Lake Enriquillo. The lake’s surface is the lowest point in the West Indies at 144 feet below sea level. Visitors head out to this remote location to take in the serene scenery and watch the flocks of pink flamingos.

While studying abroad with ISA in the Dominican Republic, you will travel to the mountain community of Jarabacoa. This included excursion will give you a glimpse of some of the highest peaks on the island!

cannons

  1. Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial is a UNESCO World Heritage site

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue; and soon after, Santo Domingo was founded. Due to the rich history of the city and its grand influence on the New World, the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first permanent establishment by Europeans in the Americas, Santo Domingo is home to the first cathedral, monastery, hospital, university, and court of law in the Western Hemisphere. Although Spain would disagree, Dominicans claim that the remains of Christopher Columbus rest in Santo Domingo.  Visitors to Santo Domingo can visit the monument and lighthouse built to commemorate the famous explorer as well as explore his son Diego’s castle, which has stood in the city for over 500 years.

Travel to Santo Domingo with ISA during an included excursion to the city. There you can explore this historic town and take in the amazing history and architecture!

statue

  1. The #1 destination for golf in Latin America

Boasting a warm, tropical climate, Dominican Republic offers golfers the ability to play the game year round. In total, the country has 26 golf courses and currently is the number one destination for golf in Latin America. One of the most famous courses in the Dominican Republic is Teeth of the Dog which is located in La Romana. Currently this course is ranked by Golf Magazine as number one in the Caribbean and 43rd in the top 100 courses worldwide.  With world renowned courses and beautiful seaside views, Dominican Republic makes a great destination for avid golfers.

If golf is your game, then Dominican Republic is the tropical destination for you! Students studying abroad with ISA in Santiago can play at the local golf course, Las Aromas, for less than $5 a round.

 

beach

  1. The birthplace of bachata and merengue

The Dominican Republic can be thanked for giving the world bachata and merengue, two of the most famous types of Latin music and dance. In fact, merengue is the national dance on the island! The older of the two, the merengue dance is done by holding the partner in a closed position and slightly bending the knees left and right to make the hips move side to side in unison. Bachata, a very authentic dance from the Dominican, consists of three steps then a tap step. The tap is usually done with an exaggerated hip pop with the opposite foot of the last step.

Make sure to take advantage of the dance class available to ISA students in the Dominican Republic!  Even if your hips don’t lie, the class is a great way for dancers of all levels to brush up on their merengue skills.

parrot


So what are you waiting for?

Head off to the Dominican Republic with ISA and you can move your feet to the rhythm of the Latin beat and swing a bat at a speeding baseball all while in class.  From the tallest peaks and lowest lakes to historic cities and breathtaking beaches, studying abroad in Dominican Republic with ISA is sure to be an unforgettable and diverse adventure abroad.

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(Photo by ISA student Nicole Karlesky)

 

 

 

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