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Haiti: Intersections of Social Justice and Culture
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Winter
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2017 11/09/2016
Rolling Admission 01/01/2017 01/21/2017
Winter 2018 09/15/2017
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Program Name: Haiti: Intersections of Social Justice and Culture- Winter Country: Haiti
Program Type: Faculty-led, Service Learning Region: Caribbean
Term: Wintersession City: Port-au-Prince
Academic Fields Available: Humanities, Interdisciplinary/ Open to all majors, Language and Cultural Studies, Social Sciences
Program Description:

About the Haiti: Intersections of Social Justice and Culture Winter Program 

Haiti, with a rich cultural history, was the first independent Black republic in the world, winning independence from the French during a slave rebellion in 1804. Haitian ethos focus on community responsibility and team work embodied in the practice of tet ansamn(putting our heads together) to solve local and regional difficulties. Despite this, the country has long struggled to move from underdevelopment to a place of economic and social stability.

This three-week course examines the fight for social justice and economic development as one that is intertwined with Haitian history, culture, arts, and politics. Influenced by international donor countries, nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations peace building forces, and a host of political and social forces, efforts to build and rebuild Haiti have proliferated over the years. Some have floundered while others have experienced success.

In partnership with Haitian university students, participants will engage in a substantive research and service learning project developing, implementing, and/or evaluating a project to improve the lives of ordinary Haitians. Academic work will focus on a critical reading original sources in the areas of human rights and development with an eye on application to the unique social justice context of Afro-Caribbean nations.

The program will take place in the Greater Port-au-Prince area, centered in the suburbs on the campus of Enstiti Travay Sosyal ak Syans Sosyal (ETS), the Institute of Social Work and Social Science. Service learning projects may take place in the local area, in the Cannan camp for Internally Displaced Persons, or in the countryside village of Akayè.

We will spend the bulk of our time in the greater Port-au-Prince area. Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, has a population of more than two million with a rich cultural history and strong artisan heritage inspire the colorful crafts found in many Haitian marketplaces. The capital is surrounded by tropical rain forests, pine-covered mountains, deserts, and lush palm-lined beaches. The capital area has "non-touristy" atmosphere and boasts many opportunities for participants to have genuine experiences and build real relationships with local residents.

Your experience in Haiti will:
  • Provide an opportunity to engage with university students who will share with you the opportunities and challenges that exist in this emerging democracy.
  • Learn from local community members and activists about challenges to human rights in the post-earthquake period.
  • Visit community centers, schools, and refugee camps to learn first-hand about the intersections of music, the arts, sports and culture with the struggle for human rights.
  • Engage in a substantive research or service learning project in concert with Haitian students to improve the lives of ordinary people in the community.
  • Learn Haitian Creole and practice your new language skills while learning about the culture and traditions on tours of significant historic sites.
  • Visit the Croix-des-Bouquet artisan village where families of artisans turn recycled oil drums into unique metal sculptures.
For more information, contact the faculty leader: Athena Kolbe,

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Housing and Orientation

You will attend a pre-travel orientation prior to the program to become familiar with classmates, to discuss travel arrangements, and to learn about the course material. A more extensive orientation will take place on arrival in Port-au-Prince where you will meet your Haitian peer mentors in person and you will tour the campus to learn about safety, facility policies, and group guidelines.

One unique component of this program is that every student is assigned a Haitian university student as their peer-mentor. Your peer mentor will speak some English and will likely also be your roommate; this person is a value resource and can help you understand Haitian culture. You may also be housed with other program participants or students from other universities who are studying Haitian Creole on campus, in addition to sharing a dorm room with Haitian students. Dormitories have fans, electricity, wi-fi, and running water, but most do not have air conditioning.

Dormitories are located on the campus of ETS (Institute of Social Work & Social Science) in Bon Repos, a quiet suburb of Port-au-Prince. The campus includes a swimming pool, four sports fields, a gym, dining hall, an outdoor ecology lab, housing for faculty and students, classrooms, a library, a computer lab/library, and a study hall. Your dormitory room has three bunk beds and a bathroom that includes two showers, two toilets and a sink.

The campus has 24-hour a day private security and independent suppliers of electricity, running water, drinking water, and internet. Meals include a variety of American and Haitian dishes eaten in the campus dining hall as well as picnic lunches or dinners while in the field.

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Fees for the Haiti: Intersections of Social Justice and Culture Winter Program

Budget Sheet for the Winter 16/17 Program
$2,037.89 (Est. NYS Resident Cost)
$2,481.89 (Est. Non-NYS Resident Cost)

  • Program Acceptance Fee
  • Tuition (3 Credits)
  • Campus-specific Fees (College Fee and Technology Fee)*
  • SUNY International Health Insurance**
  • Pre-departure Orientation Materials
  • Accommodations in shared university dormitory rooms
  • Most meals
  • Supplies
  • Airport Pickup & Drop-off
  • Haitian Creole language classes
  • Program Transportation within Haiti
  • Program Activities & Excursions
  • Brockport's Study Abroad Office Services

  • Passport
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Additional Meals
  • Personal Expenses
  • Optional excursions and restaurant meals

(The actual amount that you will spend will vary with each individual's personal spending habits, entertainment preferences and travel choices.)

Financial aid applies towards fees.

*Varies depending on the SUNY campus at which the participant pays tuition.
**The SUNY International Health Insurance is mandatory and will be included on the student's Brockport invoice.

The cost (and items included in the cost) as listed on the website are subject to change and should be considered estimates. Final budget sheet will be mailed to the student prior to departure and usually upon acceptance. 

Course Content

The course consists of three phases. The first planning phase requires students to prepare for field work in Haiti by completing a series of readings, watching films, and engaging in online discussions. Students will be paired with a Haitian peer mentor. Using the online Schoolgy platform, students will engage in a series of discussions with their peer mentor and classmates regarding the readings and films. This phase of the class is designed to prepare students for field work in Haiti.

The second phase is a hands-on field experience in Haiti.  During a three-week long trip students will participate in a range of challenging academic, cultural, and social activities with their Haitian peers. Structured team building activities, community service projects, recreational excursions, language classes, and cultural experiences are combined to give students an opportunity to engage in meaningful cultural exchange and dialogue with their Haitian peers. Daily journals entries are required during this phase, as students reflect on and contextualize their experiences.

The final phase of the class is a reflection on the learning experience as it relates to the student’s discipline of study. Students will engage in discipline-specific online discussion and then prepare a relevant project. This might be an oral presentation, a written essay, a video, or some other product that communicates the student’s unique take on their experience in Haiti. The paper/project is due at the end of the semester.

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Sample itinerary for Winter 2017 (subject to change):

Sunday, January 01, 2017: Travel to Haiti, transport to campus, orientation, welcome dinner, safety talk, free time

Monday, January 02, 2017: Breakfast, class, teambuilding activities, lunch, Creole language instruction, community walk, dinner, free time

Tuesday, January 03, 2017: Breakfast, class, field trip to local market, lunch, Creole language instruction, free time, group activity, dinner, soccer game with Haitian students

Wednesday, January 04, 2017: Breakfast, visit to Croix des Bouquet artisans village, group activity, picnic lunch, Creole language instruction, free time, dinner, class

Thursday, January 05, 2017: Breakfast, visit to the Tomozo lake, picnic lunch, meeting with human rights activists, free time, dinner, Haitian dance class

Friday, January 06, 2017: Breakfast, visit to a local school, soccer game with schoolchildren, lunch, service project, free time, dinner, guest speaker on Haitian history

Saturday, January 07, 2017: Breakfast, class, free time for  lunch off campus with student mentors, dinner on campus, Haitian dance class, optional visit to a voodoo church ceremony

Sunday, January 8, 2017: Breakfast, field trip to catholic church, lunch off campus with activists from the pro-democracy Ti-Legliz movement, transport back to campus, free time, Creole language class, dinner, free time

Monday, January 9, 2017: Early morning walk, breakfast, class, lunch, service project, dinner, guest lecture from women's rights group

Tuesday, January 10, 2017: Breakfast, class, free time, lunch with United Nations official,  team building activity, service project, dinner, free time

Wednesday, January 11, 2017: Breakfast, travel to SOPUDEP school, meeting with students and teachers, lunch with high school students, walk to Petionville, tour of Petionville, dinner at a local restaurant, transportation to campus, free time

Thursday, January 12, 2017: Early morning yoga, Breakfast, class, guest speaker from an NGO, lunch, free time, Haitian drumming class, dinner, free time

Friday, January 13, 2017: Breakfast, class, soccer game with school children, lunch with students from the IDP camp school, cultural conversations activity and service project, dinner, Creole language class

Saturday, January 14, 2017: Breakfast, Baptist Mission museum and zoo tour, picnic lunch at the Baptist Mission, visit to Fort Jacques, mountain hike, dinner at the Fermathe market, transportation back to campus

Sunday, January 15, 2017: Breakfast, free time and lunch off campus with student mentors, free time, dinner on campus, free time

Monday, January 16, 2017: Breakfast, visit to community center and meeting with human rights activists, class, picnic lunch, transportation back to campus, free time, dinner, service learning project

Tuesday, January 17, 2017: Early morning hike, breakfast, visit to the national museum, visit to Artis Resistans, picnic lunch, tour of the National Palace area, visit to the iron market, transportation back to campus, dinner, free time

Wednesday, January 18, 2017: Breakfast, service project, lunch, class, creole language instruction, free time, dinner, cultural conversations activity, Haitian drumming class

Thursday, January 19, 2017: Breakfast, class, lunch with guest speaker, Creole language class, guest lecture and Haitian painting workshop, dinner, free time

Friday, January 20, 2017: Early morning transport to the Thomassin area, Hike to the natural springs with breakfast and lunch on the trail, visit with local farmers, transport back to campus, free time, BBQ dinner party, time to pack

Saturday, January 21, 2017: Breakfast, transportation to airport, lunch at the airport

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Winter 2017: January 1st, 2017 - January 21st, 2017 (est.)

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This program is currently not accepting applications.