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ISV is making an exciting transformation and this year is focusing on projects in the Dominican Republic!


In every Latin country, ISV offers an incredible Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program that takes place one-week prior to the Volunteer Project.  

My experience with the Alpi Spanish School was amazing. I was fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture and made lifelong friends.

Amanda Granieer Louisiana State University, Baton, United States

Five Reasons Why You Should Join the Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program:

  1. Improve your Spanish Speaking Skills! Fun and professional language lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced-level proficiencies in Spanish are facilitated by our partner Spanish School in Santiago (ALPI), which has over 12 years of experience. By the time you reach your volunteer project, your confidence and ability to converse with the locals will have improved significantly!
  2. Stay with a Host Family! The highlight for most participants is the home stay. Families are experienced, carefully selected for ISV, warm and friendly. Homes are safe and comfortable and located nearby to the Spanish School. Still not sure? Read this blog to gain more insight: 
  3. Learn to Live Like a Dominican! Staying with a local family, discovering Santiago’s attractions, socializing with your fellow ISV volunteers plus included Bachata, Merengue and cooking lessons will give you a great start to learning to live like a Dominican, even before your ISV volunteer project begins! 
  4. Make New Friends! Start the process of making long-lasting ISV friends sooner by sharing this one week experience together; by the time your Volunteer Project begins you’ll already have made close friends and loads of good times together in Santiago. 
  5. 4.8/5 Approval Rating! It’s consistently awesome – each year ISV alumni rate the Program an incredible 4.8/5 for the overall experience! We’ve got thousands of positive testimonies, here’s just a few to get you excited:  

ISV Spanish week was super fun and a great way to be introduced to the Dominican culture and people.

Jessica Esquivel Santa Clara University, United States

What’s included in the Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program?

  • 7 days and 7 nights living with a Dominican host family, including two meals a day in their home (breakfast and dinner)
  • Lunch on the days you are at ALPI undertaking language lessons
  • Orientation Meeting and Santiago Cultural tour
  • Full-day tour to the countryside (Los 7 Charcos)
  • 20 hours of Spanish Language lessons for all levels
  • Latin dance lessons  (two sessions)
  • An authentic Dominican cooking lesson
Arrival & Meeting your Host Family
Arrival & Meeting your Host Family

An outline of your one week Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program is provided below:

Arrival & Meeting your Host Family

Upon your arrival in your host country, you will be picked up at the airport by our Spanish Partner school ALPI and taken to your home stay location. Settle in and meet your new host family and enjoy some of the delicious home-cooked local cuisine.

Orientation & Local Sites Tour

Begin with an orientation meeting at your Spanish School, then get to know your surroundings with a cultural tour of Santiago. At night, explore the local night life or community with your new ISV friends or your host family.


Today you’ll come together with the other ISV volunteers and depart to the countryside to explore El Balneario (swimming spot) at the 7 Charcos de Pedro Garcia. On this full day tour you’ll experience the natural beauty of the area while enjoying a traditional countryside Dominican lunch with your new ISV friends!

Spanish Language, Dance and/or Cooking Classes

Receive 20 hours of professional Spanish language instruction in small class sizes, customized to your level of proficiency level (beginner, intermediate or advanced). In addition, have heaps of fun learning to dance Bachata or Merengue, and cooking a few typical dishes of Dominican cuisine!


On your final day, you will spend only a half day of lessons. After lunch you’ll be picked up and transported to your DR Project location to take part in the Project Orientation Meeting, conducted by ISV staff.

How do I sign up?

Since the vast majority of ISV participants traveling to a Latin American country will participate in the ISV Spanish Language and Culture Program (regardless of their Spanish language skills), ISV assumes your participation and will add the cost of the Spanish Language Program to your ISV invoice. Any ISV participant who chooses to opt out of the Spanish Program (for example, you already speak fluent Spanish) must notify the ISV office via the Travel Options Form (Coming Soon). Beginner, intermediate, and advanced Spanish lessons are available.