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Puerto Rico uses territory status to attract students

With two official languages- Spanish and English- and US level accredited degrees, Puerto Rico is looking to leverage its status as a tropical US territory to become an attractive study destination.

"We’ve got the opportunity to become the top academic destination of the Americas"

The government has recently launched its campaign Campus Puerto Rico in collaboration with education, public and private institutions in the country to promote the island to potential students.

“The average cost of credits in Puerto Rico is almost a quarter of the cost in the United States and meets the same quality standards”

The initiative is taking advantage of Puerto Rico’s relationship to the US to attract students with statements on the website like: “The average cost of credits in Puerto Rico is almost a quarter of the cost in the United States and meets the same quality standards,” alongside “All our institutions of higher education are governed by the same standards that universities in the United States.”

The country has more than 50 universities and colleges. As a US territory, it processes visas under the same system allowing free flow of students between the two countries.

A recent study carried out by the Foundation for Puerto Rico, surveyed current international students about their experience and motivations to study in the country.

Not surprisingly, the study showed that most students are from the US, Cuba and Mexico. Three quarters of survey respondents said they chose to study there for a bilingual experience and more than half said it was the same or less expensive than studying in their own country.

Almost 85% of students said they would recommend studying in Puerto Rico to a friend.

However, accessibility to quality housing and reliable transport were among the themes students said did not meet their expectations.

“We need to be better prepared as a country to ensure that these students have the best experience at every level,” commented Denisse Rodríguez Colón, director of programmes at Foundation for Puerto Rico.

“We realise there are areas where we can improve and, with the right information, those can be maximised. We’ve got the opportunity to become the top academic destination of the Americas.”

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