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  • Locations: Oranjestad, Aruba
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Graduate, Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Aruba:
Documentary Film Production


Program OverviewICA Cuba News Article

Drexel is excited to offer its first study abroad opportunity in Aruba! This two week Intermediate Production course is designed to give students the opportunity to study and shoot within a foreign culture, to allow them to experience a world whose socio-economic background is quite distinct from their own, and to provide the challenge of capturing some aspect of it within a documentary film. It will be run in partnership with EICTV (Escuela International de Cine y Television), the pre-eminent film school for all of Latin America. Students will experience Aruba's rich and vibrant cultural history, learn about its history of cinema and produce a documentary film. Besides further developing their production skills, this course also provides students with an opportunity for cultural immersion and intellectual growth. Watch a student's video about this program!

As this is an intermediate course, Documentary Studies (FMVD 250) is a pre-requisite; this can be waived but only with the express permission of the professor. It is assumed that students will have developed the basic skills required to make a meaningful documentary, from research to conception with an understanding of documentary approaches, to field production and post-production. Within this intermediate class, students will work primarily in research, writing, directing and post-production and will work in teams. During production, camera work and sound will be captured by student crews, working with professional Aruban Producers, who are multi-lingual. Importantly, crews will also be comprised of other students from Latin American and the Caribbean, providing a rich multi-cultural learning experience. Prior to the onset of production, all students will have an equal say in terms of research, subject matter and approach.

Drexel makes the news in Aruba! The Spring Break 2019 group was featured is several news sources highlighting the program (image right).


Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for FMVD T280 Aruba Documentary Workshop, 3 credits as part of their spring term course load. Students must leave room for the 3 credits in their credit load when registering or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum.

Pre-requisite: FMVD 220 is offered fall term so students participating in the Aruba program should plan the pre-requisite into their fall term schedule. FMVD 220 may be waived by permission of the instructor.

Faculty Leader: Gerard Hooper, Film and Video Professor,

Program Calendar

Arrival Date: March 19, 2023*
Departure Date: April 2, 2023
*Students must arrange for early winter term exams in order to participate. 

Itinerary Overview

Week 1: Theory and research: Students will have two afternoons to do research. On the morning of the 5th workshop day, all students will pitch their ideas and the 5 most popular will be chosen. Once the projects are chosen, teams will be created based on preference for topic and task to be fulfilled. Each team will consist of 4 students and one local producer. The afternoon of the 5th day the last theory class will be given about production. This way the workshop can be adjusted to the projects that will be produced and the students can ask very specific questions based on their project. The 6th day is for final research and development and in the early evening each team will present a plan for the last phase of development/pre-production in scheduled team meetings with the professor. Sunday, the 7th day, can be filled in as the student’s desire. Venues Classes will be given at a different venue every day. This way students will be in a slightly different environment each day ; this can allow for different observations and points of view of the island during, breaks and lunch. Some of these venues are:• Archeological Museum | Oranjestad - Conference Room • Mascaruba (Acting Company)| Oranjestad - Practice Area • National Library | Oranjestad - Meeting Room • National Library | San Nicolas - Meeting Room • Parke Nacional Arikok | Santa Lucia - Oranjestad

Week 2: Production: Starting with one day of pre-production, each team will run the schedule by the professor. Tuesday to Thursday are three production days. Each evening the media will be transferred to the professor’s hard drive and the student’s media carrier. The last workshop day will be dedicated to post -production; tips will be given as well as the logistics of how these international groups will work post production together - including 3 dates for online feed-back sessions and deadlines for the final documentary of each team. Final completion of the project will take place back at Drexel. Students from each crew will have post-production responsibilities and the entire crew will present the finished film to the instructor. Completed fine cuts are due by the tenth week of the term.

Program Fee - $3,180

Due November 15, 2022 - $600 Advance Payment + $25 application fee

Due January 15, 2023 - $2,580 Final Payment

*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Accommodations
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily
  • On-site transportation
  • Airport transfer in Aruba
  • On Call emergency & medical insurance

Not Included in Program Fee (estimated):

  • Round trip flight to Aruba ($500)
  • Passport ($160)
  • Spending money ($250)
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • A suggested flight itinerary will be provided. Students must book their own flight.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2023 11/30/2022
12/07/2022 03/19/2023 04/01/2023

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.