Spanish Language Immersion in Puerto Rico

Language Immersion in San Juan, Puerto Rico

On September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico for 14 hours. Since then, the residents have slowly worked towards recovery. Add an impact to your language immersion experience by collaborating with local groups dedicated to helping people get back on their feet.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Your Spanish language immersion experience on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico is about to begin! Your group will arrive in the capital city of San Juan and go to the location of your homestay. Take this time to meet your hosts and learn about the history and culture of the island and how you can help improve the lives of those devastated by the Hurricane. 

After an early breakfast and some delicious Puerto Rican coffee, you will meet up with your group and head to the ISLA’s facilities. ISLA, or the Institute for Spanish Language Acquisition is in the Hato Rey district of San Juan and is easily accessible through the public transport system. Your lessons begin at 9 a.m. and last until 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. That leaves a lot of space for opportunities to practice what you have learned in class. ISLA offers one tour a week, already included in your tuition package. Your group can choose from a series of activities, such as a walking tour of Old San Juan, a trip to El Yunque Rainforest, visiting Piñones, touring Bacardi & Isla de Cabras, eating in Guavate, visiting the farmer’s market or the Botanical Garden, or a visit to the University of Puerto Rico or the Museum of Art in Santurce. 

If you’re a more hands-on type of person, you can roll up your sleeves and join the Hispanic Federation’s program Unidos por Puerto Rico. This group works closely with grassroots organizations, individuals, businesses and foundations to address the multiple long-term needs of the island’s residents. The recovery from a hurricane as devastating as Maria will take years, but through the fierce spirit of determination that distinguishes Puerto Ricans, and with the help of people like you, it can be done. Unidos por Puerto Rico works with over 110 groups across the 78 municipalities that provide amazing projects centered on creating sustainable and self-sufficient communities. This is also a great opportunity to practice your Spanish with native speakers. 

After a delicious breakfast with your homestay, you will meet up with your group at ISLA’s facilities for your class. After 12, your group will join Unidos por Puerto Rico and work closely with them lending support regarding all their efforts around the island. Once the day’s activities are over, you will return to your homestay to rest up and have some dinner.  

Today your Spanish Language Immersion experience begins with your classes in ISLA’s facilities. After that, your group will go to the nearby campus of the University of Puerto Rico’s historic Río Piedras campus. Founded in 1903, it was the first campus in what would later become the UPR system of universities. You can walk through the original buildings and admire how the campus has grown and developed over the years. In addition, there is a wonderful museum on site with a great emphasis on Puerto Rican art. The culture in Río Piedras is bright and vibrant, thanks to the constant influx of students, so use this opportunity to practice what you have learned in class.

After you leave your homestay in the morning, you will meet up with your group at ISLA’s facilities for your class. After 12, your group will again join Unidos por Puerto Rico to collaborate with them on their different efforts across the island. Once the day’s activities are over, you will return to your homestay to rest up and have some dinner.  

Today your language immersion experience in the wonderful island of Puerto Rico you will head to ISLA’s facilities and attend classes from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. as usual. After that, your group will head to the Puerto Rican Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as MAC  by its initials in Spanish. It is housed in a beautiful Georgian-style building created by the architect Adrian C. Finlayson in 1916. Formerly known as the Rafael M. de Labra School, it now houses a large collection of contemporary and modern art by many Puerto Rican, Caribbean and other Latin American artists. 

After breakfast with your hosts, you will again meet up with your group at ISLA’s facilities for your class. After 12, your group will again join Unidos por Puerto Rico to collaborate with them on their different efforts across the island. A bath and some dinner await you in your homestay after a long day helping rebuild vulnerable and impoverished communities around the island. 

On the final day of your language immersion experience, your group will meet up for one final lesson at ISLA facilities. After the class has finished, your group will go to the municipality of Caguas, in the center of the island. Famous for the abundance of cultural activities, your group will visit the beautiful Caguas Botanical Garden. It first opened its doors in April 2007, on the former ground of the San Jose Hacienda. It served as a sugarcane plantation in the 19th century when the sugar industry was booming on the island. There is a museum, library and lovely waterfall on site, besides the displays of the vintage machines from when the plantation was in operation. Once you have finished your tour, your group will head back to your homestay for a final dinner with your hosts. 

You will wake up bright and early to have one final breakfast with your host family. After saying goodbye, your group will head to ISLA for a final goodbye with your instructor. You will be able to do some last-minute shopping or sightseeing before making the trip back home.

After this language immersion experience in the wonderful island of Puerto Rico, your group will leave with a great sense of gratitude. Your admiration for the resilience of people will grow, and so will your desire to return. The culture and history of the island lives not only in its architecture and places but also in its people. Join us in this one of a kind of adventure in the Isle of Enchantment, while helping the people recover from one of the most devastating events in its history.


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7-12 Day
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7-14 Day
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