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  • Locations: San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Quarter, Winter & Spring Qrts
  • Program Website: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: DU applicants only
Program Description:

SSA: University of the Sacred Heart--Integrated Studies Program

Is This Program Right for You?    |   Academics    |   Location and Culture    |   Housing and Meals

 Cost and Billing    |   Dates and Deadlines    |   Additional Information    |   DU Nomination Instructions    |   Resources

University of the Sacred Heart

Is This Program Right for You?


Eligibility Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Language: 7-8 quarters Spanish (or its equivalent) prior to studying on this program. SSA also prefers that students study Spanish within a year of their program start date. 

Required OIE Advising: Students are required to have an individual meeting with the Stephanie Roberts before the nomination deadline in order to be considered for nomination. [ Make an appointment with Stephanie Roberts]

Level of Program Support: Medium-High

For this type of program, you are a student who likes to have some guidance to solve issues, but are okay with a variety of challenges.  On this program there are support structures in place, but you will still need to self-advocate and have flexible thinking.  To be successful on this program, you can expect to:  

  • Reach out for assistance when you need help to solve a problem
  • To solve issues, work with your program, which serves as a centralized point of support
  • Read all materials provided to you by your program and complete all requirements (e.g. immigration, housing, course selection, etc.)
  • Deal with some unexpected or ambiguous situations while not letting negative emotions overwhelm you
  • Reach out to program staff and possibly local resources in the event of an emergency (e.g. police, ambulance, fire department, local clinics/hospitals, insurance companies, etc.)
Support 4 - Med-High

Program Structure: Combination

These programs have the most variability in their structure.
  • They could be a combination of a Program Provider and a Direct Enroll, see the level of support continuum for more details on what to expect.
  • Some Direct Enroll programs may be set up more like a Program Provider from within their own institution.
  • Some Program Providers may rely more heavily on the direct relationship with an institution than others.
  • The effects of this can mostly be seen through how the levels of support change from program to program. 

Chance of DU Nomination: Good 

This program has a good chance of placement. Students must choose a program with a very good chance of placement as an alternative option. 


University of the Sacred Heart

Spanish Studies Abroad (SSA) offers the Integrated Studies Program at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon (USC) for students with an advanced level of Spanish, interested in taking classes with local students. Students on this program come from a variety of U.S. universities. Founded in 1880, USC is the oldest private university in Puerto Rico and home to approximately 5,000 students. USC is located in the heart of San Juan on 32 acres. Three of its buildings, the Main Administration Building, the Portico, and Chapel, have also been listed in the National Register of Historical Sites.

All classes are taught by local USC professors and students will be able to choose from a full set of courses with local students (most taught in Spanish, though some may be taught in English) that cover a multitude of disciplines, such as humanities, health, business, political science, hard sciences and many others. Students can also take Spanish for Foreigners at their language level. See the link below for more information.

In total, students can bring back 18 semester credits (27 DU credits) on this program. Interested students can also inquire with SSA about internship, service learning and independent research opportunities. These placements typically involve work with a local non-profit agency and may require additional Spanish ability. These opportunities are typically not for college credit.

Credit & Grade Translations

To see how grades and credits from this program translate back to DU, look at the conversions in the Global Grade & Credit Scales.

Location and Culture

Originally claimed for Spain in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, Puerto Rico remained under Spanish control until it was ceded to the United States in the Spanish-American War of 1898. In 1952 the island became a commonwealth of the United States and remains so to this day. The city of San Juan is the largest capital in the Caribbean and is considered the cultural heart of Puerto Rico. There is always something new and exciting to do-- from Puerto Rico's 300 pristine beaches, to the wide variety of museums, shops and theaters, to the outdoor activities nearby. SSA provides an extensive orientation and helps students navigate Puerto Rico, as well as program excursions to enhance your experience, including visits to Ponce, El Yunque Tropical Rain Forest, and the Bioluminescent Bay in Fajardo. The international student program at USC also offers additional opportunities to get to know the community and local students, while service learning and research opportunities for students with higher Spanish can add even more to that experience.  While International SOS gives Puerto Rico a low travel-risk rating, it gives San Juan a medium travel-risk rating. It is important to know that students can be targeted for muggings and opportunistic crime, however drug-related violent crime is a rising concern in some parts of the city. Students should take note of program orientation and do their own research on safety, beginning with the Department of State. Common sense precautions are advised. 

Housing and Meals

You will live in residencia at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon campus in single sex dorms with USC roommates. Typically students are in double occupancy rooms and have shared bathrooms. Living with local roommates provides additional opportunities for immersion. Many students comment that interaction with locals is one of the best ways to enhance Spanish language skills. The residencia includes common areas, access to a kitchen, computer center, access to a gym, access to laundry services and 24-hour security. The university also has a main cafeteria students can use. 
Students are responsible for their own meals on this program and so will not be charged a Meal Plan.
DU students may not arrange their own housing or choose an independent housing option on this program.

Cost and Billing

Students will be billed the following fees by DU for the DU term(s) they are abroad. These will be billed to you on the same DU billing cycle (i.e. fall programs will be billed to students right before the start of DU's Fall quarter).
  • DU Tuition
  • DU Technology fee
  • DU Housing fee
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while abroad: 
  • Meals
  • Local transportation
  • Books and supplies
  • Start-up costs (i.e. bedding, linens, kitchenware)
  • Entertainment
  • Medical needs
  • Other living costs
  • Flight*
*this is a Cherrington Global Scholar benefit for eligible students.

SSA provides the following information on financial planning for Study Abroad, including links to SSA-specific scholarships.

Dates and Deadlines

All nomination applications are due on the DU Nomination Application Deadline.

DU Terms

Arrival Date

Departure Date

Fall Qtr



Winter & Spring Qtrs


Academic Year *



* By approval only. Interested students must submit a Yearlong Study Abroad Petition to be considered for this program's academic year option.

Additional Information

As Puerto Rico is officially a U.S. territory, U.S. citizens/residents do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico.  However, students will need a legal U.S. ID to board a domestic flight.  Students planning to do any travel outside of Puerto Rico will need to have a passport and check the immigration requirements of those countries.

Students who are not U.S. citizens/residents should be aware that they may need a visa, depending on their country of citizenship, and should inquire with SSA as soon as possible about visa needs and timelines. 

DU Nomination Instructions

To Apply: Students must complete all the requirements and Steps to DU Nomination, including the DU Passport nomination application by the nomination application deadline. See Eligibility Requirements above for additional nomination instructions and chance of DU nomination.

After Nomination:  Students will need to apply directly to SSA: University of the Sacred Heart--Integrated Studies Program. Information on this process will be given once nominated. 
Completing the steps to apply usually takes 2-3 weeks.
The OIE suggests students get started on the process at least one quarter before the nomination deadline.



OIE Website
Gender Relations and Sexual Harassment Abroad
Contact Study Abroad Returnees (contact information found in DU Passport application "Research and Choose Programs" item).

The University of Denver thanks Spanish Studies Abroad for photos and relevant information provided for this brochure.
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