With all due respect to all the "non-3rd worlders" studying in the DR....perhaps you are coming into this country expecting a little too much. I'm Kenyan (east africa)...studying at Intec....so apart from the "loco-ness" of the Dominicans....the country's problems parallel pretty much every country in the developing world. I did my pre-med in Canada....and I really can understand when a country's system works and when it doesnt quite make it.
Alot of us came from finishing a pre-med degree in the US or Canada where the average prof walks away with 80,000 + a year, a school campus with 9 libraries (each with 6 floors worth of books), government funding, dozens and dozens of student organizations, a faculty office at your beck and call...resources to help you figure out what you wanted to do after graduation...etc. If anyone came to the DR with the notion that there would be a university with even half the resources of a medium sized university in North America....comical isnt really the word.
You are in a country where 25% of the population is living under the poverty line....far better than most countries in Africa...but not quite the USA or Canada. People are hungry in this country...literally hungry...but also hungry for money...hungry for a better life....and in my opinion bordering obsession with the idea of the american dream! The Dominicans in Unibe are the 10% of the country enjoying 40% of the wealth in the country....so definitely not the average Dominican. So when the average Dominican or even above average Dominican (e.g a prof, administrator etc) sees americanos and/or dominicanos ..half their age....driving cars that cost more than they can even dream of spending on a house...what do you expect??! It's called human nature...to want what the other guy has...and if you can't ...it's your right as a human being to be jealous and envious. I am not justifying the actions of some of the profs in our Dominican universities...God knows there is one in INTEC that will send me to therapy.....but I can definitely see where they are coming from.
My thoughts are....come here when you have....how can I put this...."de-technologized"....dare i say "de-northamericanized" yourself. Because just like back home in Kenya...there are annoying power cuts, water shortages...potholes on the roads....barely organized public transport system...the list goes on and on. But that is how they live here and that's how I live in my country. Despite all these problems....people live...and prosper in their own small ways...and I can say for sure that deep down they live happier lives than their immigrant counterparts in the developed world.
The only thing I had to cope with here was just a little culture clash. The Dominicans are more like West Africans (ancestors..slavery etc)....so they are loud....tell you exactly what they think....money, like many people have mentioned on this forum is extremely important to them. We East africans are a little more quiet. So I can imagine the north american way of life and the dominican way of life are close to polar opposites.
There are many things I dont agree with at my university. Cheating at this huge scale is something I have never seen. And the non-chalant attitudes most profs have towards it is even more alarming. But its a matter of getting a bunch of students behind the cause...and taking it to the administration, because alot of the Dominican students dont like the situation either.
I have read alot of the complaints about UNIBE and they are all about profs who can't teach....profs who dont give a poop...and basically having to teach yourself medicine. We have a couple of profs at INTEC with these problems too. But the majority are good teachers, who have the students best interest in mind and really are trying to the best educators they can be. But you have to remember that this aren't full time profs...they are surgeons, oncologists etc before they are anatomy or pathology profs...because that's what puts food on the table. And that's the root of absentee and "I dont care" profs. In a perfect world you would get educators who were profs first...and doctors second....but DR and alot of places on the planet are not quite perfect..(yet!!). He is going to take care of himself and his family first ...by being a successful doctor...before he can worry about the extranjeros he teaches for 2 hours on monday and wednesday!
In summary...dont waste your money in the caribbean (because they all look the same....seriously...been to 3 so far...and apart from the people and culture....you cant tell infrastructure apart:P) if you are not going to ACCEPT that its the caribbean and NOT home. You are better off going to Eastern Europe (if money is a factor) or Ireland, Australia (if you want a whole bunch of debt). My advice is live like a Dominican. Not only learn the language....but the lingo too. "Shake off the "gringo-ness"! Live with Dominicans....take guaguas....eat at the "sketchy" pica pollos...and laugh with them about the shortcomings of their country. Because that is all I and they can do...because that is our reality. If you put on your "developing world" glasses....DR is an incredible place to live...and UNIBE, INTEC, etc...despite their shortcomings are good universities for serious students. Dominicanos and extranjeros before us and after us will bust their butts...and get their degree. Sure it's hard work...and definitely harder than for those in Xville, USA. But one thing alot of us forget when we get here is....for some reason...we didnt quite make the cut for those schools...beit for financial reasons...or too much partying in first year pre-med! So if you are in the Caribbean...you're the "B" team...doesn't mean you won't get to play....just means you have to bust your hump harder to get onto the field Yes there will always be the one or two profs who hate the gringos...or hate the extranjeros...or hate well off dominicans....what can you do about it? Just study your butt off....and pass his or her course with a C and move on! In the end...the guy will just be a funny story you can tell the non-IMG resident during a graveyard shift...in Xville University Hospital, USA! Suck it up americanos ....canadienses....forget Nueva York....Boston..Toronto...Montreal....Miami.....yo u're in SD now....where the big boys and girls play!