Dominican Republic - UTM290H5S Launching Your Research: Across the Atlantic and Back

Dominican Republic

Applications are now closed!

The Course: UTM290H5S

This 200-level utmONE Scholars seminar offers an engaging and interactive way to build upon the research skills developed in a first-year utmONE Scholars seminar. You will gain hands-on experience collecting and analyzing data, while also earning a 0.5 credit that counts toward your distribution requirements. There is also an opportunity to participate in an international field-study experience during the February reading week. 

Before 1492, no one in Europe ate tomatoes, no one in South America herded cattle, no one in Asia cooked with chili peppers, and no one in North America fell sick with influenza. The exchange of plants, animals, and microbes between the Americas and Afro-Eurasia in the wake of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage across the Atlantic forever changed the world’s histories and ecologies. In this course we will examine these changes, which created global systems and ecological challenges that continue to shape our world today.

Prerequisites: Preference will be given to students who have previously completed a utmONE Scholars seminar. 

​Please Note: In addition to your UTM Abroad application for the international component, students must submit an application to the Centre for Student Engagement in addition to the UTM Abroad application and payment.

The Trip: Dominican Republic Winter Reading Week

Spend eight days with classmates, Professor Mairi Cowan of the history department, and Professor Christoph Richter of the biology department observing the impacts of early modern globalization on the island of Hispaniola. Explore the Columbian Exchange in the city of Santo Domingo through touring museums like the Museo Alcázar de Colón, the oldest viceregal residence in the Americas, and historic sites like the Catedral de Santa María la Menor, one of the oldest Christian churches in the Americas. Then, during your ecological exploration, get out of the city and explore marine areas and parks. Examine how native and invasive species interact in the present day ecosystems. Consider which species were brought intentionally and which were brought over by accident, and how both have come to shape the current system. Have the opportunity to reflect with your faculty members on the relationships between history, ecology and diasporic exchange, both in your observations from the Dominican Republic and as you relate it back to your learning within the course.

Why Participate

  • Observe and appreciate the multi-faceted and multi-directional links between historical and ecological impacts of the Columbian Exchange;
  • Foster a better sense of historical and environmental stewardship;
  • Connect with the history, culture, and ecology of the Dominican Republic;
  • Establish connections with fellow students and your professor;
  • Add international travel experience to your resume.


Estimated cost of International Component 2019-2020: CAD$2600-2900

*The amount posted is currently under review by the University Business Board. Approved amounts will be confirmed in March 2019. 

What is Included: Flights, transportation, accommodation, meals and in-country activities associated with the course. Funding Available!

What is NOT Included: Course fees, fees associated with travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance, additional optional tours/activities while abroad, visa applications, medical exams, vaccinations, and any other additional costs.

Funding 2019-2020

  • This experience is offered with the generous support of the Office of the Dean, which means; bursaries will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need (not linked to OSAP) as shown in your funding request in your UTM Abroad application.
  • Read more about funding here!

Please Note: You will receive payment due dates at the time of acceptance. 



First Instalment (Due with Application)                   


Second Instalment Due


Third Instalment Due


Fourth Instalment Due


Fifth Instalment Due will be announced in January 2020

Need To Know

  • The cost and itinerary are subject to change.
  • Applicants must submit an application for admission into the course to the Centre for Student Engagement and will be required to abide by the corresponding UTM Abroad application requirements and deadlines to participate in the international experience.
  • Fees must be paid in full by the required deadlines.
  • To prepare for the trip, students attending will participate in a mandatory pre-departure and safety abroad sessions.