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.
Mandatory OIE Advising: Students are required to have an individualmeeting with Stephanie Roberts about this program before the application deadline in order to be considered for nomination. [ Make an appointment with Stephanie Roberts]
Level of Program Support: Medium
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. You will need a mid-level degree of self-advocacy and flexible thinking. To be successful on this program, you can expect to:
Reach out for assistance when you need help to solve a problem
Deal with some unexpected or ambiguous situations with limited guidance while not letting negative emotions overwhelm you
Read and complete all requirements (e.g., immigration status, housing, course selection, etc.) with limited guidance
Contact your (in-country) program staff and know how to use in-country resources in the event of an emergency (e.g. police, ambulance, fire department, local clinics/hospitals, insurance companies, etc.)
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.
This program has a good chance of placement. Students must choose a program with a very good chance of placement as an alternative option.
Disciplinary Record: Students’ disciplinary records are reviewed as part of the nomination process. A significant disciplinary record may result in not being nominated to this program. See your OIE Advisor if you have questions or concerns.
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.
Academic System: As Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, this program is somewhat based on the U.S. academic system. However, instructors are likely local and may have different teaching styles. Academics are influenced by the wider Latin American academic system. See What Academic Style Best Fits Your Needs? in the Study Abroad Handbook for more information on those possible differences.
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.
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.
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 Technology fee
DU Housing fee
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while abroad:
Immigration: 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.