Office of Study Abroad

Program Overview

Aerial view of San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Brandeis in Puerto Rico program is an intensive faculty-led summer program in which students can enroll in two environmental studies courses. The program is a culturally and academically immersive, experiential learning opportunity where you will come in direct contact with current environmental issues in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. You will study the ocean, energy, sustainability, plant and aquatic life, and more, both inside the classroom and in person on excursions to the beach, around San Juan, and throughout the island. Integration between the courses and the field trips will provide a holistic understanding of the range of environments in Puerto Rico.

The program is located in the capital city of San Juan and based at the Universidad de Sagrado Corazon (USC). The city is filled with history, new culinary delights, and opportunities to experience the unique culture of Puerto Rico.

The environment in Puerto Rico is exceptionally unique due to its blend of tropical beauty, ecological diversity, and rich cultural significance. Nestled in the Caribbean, the island boasts a tropical climate, nurturing a wealth of lush rainforests, coastal ecosystems, and arid regions within a relatively small landmass. Its exceptional biodiversity is underscored by the presence of endemic species found nowhere else in the world, including the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. This ecological richness is complemented by pristine beaches, mangrove swamps, and diverse marine life in its crystal-clear waters. Moreover, Puerto Rico's environment is interwoven with the island's cultural heritage, with many traditional practices and festivities deeply rooted in the natural world. The commitment to environmental conservation and the protection of vital ecosystems further amplifies the uniqueness of Puerto Rico's environment, making it a captivating destination for nature enthusiasts and a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and culture.

All students will also take a brief Spanish language course.

Academic Partner

The program is a collaborative partnership between Brandeis University and Spanish Studies Abroad, a non-profit study abroad institution established in 1969. The program consists of two courses taught in English — one course taught by a Brandeis faculty member and one course with a local USC professor.