Puerto Rico Summer Program

Application Information!

San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, has a population of 3,690,923 habitants and is the second oldest European-established city in the Americas. The island was founded in 1493 and became a commonwealth of the United States in 1952. The city of San Juan is the largest capital in the Caribbean and the cultural heart of Puerto Rico. Immerse yourself in the unique culture of the island, stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, relax on over 300 Caribbean beaches, or explore the many natural wonders of this island, like the tropical rainforest right outside the city.


Students study at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in the heart of the city. The University of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1888 and is a Catholic, independent, co-educational and non-profit institution. The Universidad del Sagrado Corazon is based on the teachings and guidance in ecumenical mission of the Catholic Church, encourages and facilitates spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and physical integral development of their students. Click HERE for more country-specific information.


Program of Study

Students choose to study for a year, fall semester, spring semester, or during the summer. The regular fall academic program in San Juan begins in mid-August and ends by late-December. The spring semester runs from late-January- late May. The Summer Program in Puerto Rico offers intensive Spanish language courses for all language levels. The short-term programs consists of two four-week summer sessions. Students may choose to enroll in one or both of these terms. During this time, you take an intensive language and culture course or regular offerings in various subject areas such as Humanities, Communication, Education, Natural Sciences, and Business Administration. All courses are taught in Spanish. Summer term 1 begins in late May and ends in late June, while summer term 2 begins in late June and ends in late July.

Spanish Studies Abroad organizes various excursions, study visitis and other activities throughout the semester or summer. Study visits include: Ponce, El Yunque, Tropical Rain Forest, and Bioluminscent Bay in Fajardo.

Travel and Orientation

Students arrive in San Juan on their own and are met by the director of the San Juan program. Our students participate in the program provided by the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon. During the first week on campus, students engage in an orientation program with their advisor and professor.


Students are housed in residencias, on-campus dormitories. Dorms include: facilities that allow student interaction, double occupancy rooms equipped with beds, air conditioning, desks with chairs, closets, a fridge and a telephone, shared bathrooms and cooking facilities, shared kitchens with freezers, stove, and microwave ovens, computer centers, access to gym, pool, basketball, tennis, and beach volleyball courts, and laundry facilities.

Cost and Financial Aid

Students pay Saint Mary's College summer tuition and a short-term program fee. Financial aid from Saint Mary's will not apply to the summer session. Information on the Saint Mary's College summer student travel grant can be found by clicking HERE. To learn more about this program and associated costs, click the Application Information button and navigate to the program specific budget sheet.


Saint Mary's College provides international health insurance to all students abroad through GeoBlue insurance company. Students on any Saint Mary's study abroad program are automatically enrolled and the fee is included in the cost of the program.

Eligibility and Requirements

Saint Mary's students wishing to study in the San Juan program must have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of their application. Students applying to the integrated studies program must have completion of one semester of advanced college-level Spanish or the equivalent, or native/near-native speakers of Spanish. Students applying to the international studies program or summer terms must have one semester of college level Spanish or the equivalent completed. It is important that participating students are positive representatives of Saint Mary's College while abroad. Therefore, a successful candidate is expected to have an exemplary disciplinary record, emotional maturity, and an openness to new experiences and other cultures.

Application Information!

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Zachman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair,
Department of Modern Languages & Cultures
Faculty Coordinator of Study Abroad Programs