First generation Immigrant Research in theDominican Republic

Karla J. Ramos Start Date: May 30, 2018 - End Date: Nov 29, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Dominican Republic

My Travel Story

by: Karla J. Ramos Start Date: May 30, 2018 - End Date: Nov 29, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development

My name is Karla-Julia Ramos and I  study at Marlboro College with a concentration in psychology and theatre. I am trying to study abroad in the Dominican Republic as well as visit my family. 

Why I want to go
Growing up in the United States with Dominican parents made me realize that the way I grew up was very different from the way my American counterparts were raised. Throughout my life I found myself having to explain that I was born in the U.S. but my parents were from the Dominican Republic. I grew up with this in-between identity that I didn’t even know I had until I had arrived at college. I was lucky enough to be born into a family who isn’t ashamed of their culture and to even be surrounded in a neighborhood of kids with the same experiences as my own. 

As a student understanding these issues are important because young first generation Americans often find it difficult to obtain their cultural identity. They don’t feel “American” yet are told by family member that they are not Hispanic enough. By being able to study the complicated adolescent journey that children already go through, but apply it to first generation immigrants we can begin to understand underlying issues as to why first generation immigrants are suffering, in large numbers, from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.

Goals of Academic Study:

My main three goals for my academic study includes:

To learn more about myself as a first generation immigrant and my own adolescent journey.
This goal will be achieved by staying at a home stay and learning about my own culture in the country that I love deeply. 

Learn of the adolescent Journey in the Dominican Republic
Speaking to others and conduct interviews with the help of Tom Tolleno (My psychology teacher and plan sponsor) and Jean O’hara ( My academic advisor and plan sponsor ) will make this goal more plausible.

Improve my already strong Spanish skills
By simply immersing myself in a Spanish speaking country and being exposed constantly to it my skills in the Spanish language will increase significantly.

I am going through the program CIEE and need funds for the following. 

Educational Costs = $9,133 **

Housing = $2,250 ***

Insurance = $167

I have applied to some scholarships as well as looked at loans to cover some of the cost. However these do not cover everything.  Along with donations I am also saving money with my work study job at Marlboro. 

How it will help my education
At the moment my plan consist of three parts/areas of study: Psychology, dance, and theatre. Studying in the Dominican Republic will help me tackle all of those three aspects. Marlboro college does not provide the dance classes that I require for my plan work as they mostly concentrate on modern dance.
At its most basic form my plan is a dance that shows the journey of Adolescence through a first generation immigrant. However there aren’t many studies that consist of studying first generation immigrants so I would have to either be limited to the available sources or create my own study. Of these two options I have decided to go with the latter and take a hand at creating my own study, and what better way than to start with my own home country. I will also be taking several classes here that aren’t available at Marlboro that will significantly help my plan. These include: Dominican Traditional Dance, General Psychology, and introduction to the Dominican reality. For the Theatre aspect I will be interviewing those in the Dominican Republic and record them speaking of the stories they pass down and life their and what they think of when they think about the United States. With these interviews I plan to invite them with a dance while their voice and perhaps imagery plays in the background.

Here is the website for the program I want to attend for more information: 
  • Dominican Republic