Puerto Rico: Culture Around Every Corner

Puerto Rico: San Juan - Culture Around Every Corner



March 30 - April 7, 2019  

Program Description 

Immerse yourself in Puerto Rico’s rich culture through art, music, food, and nature. Explore San Juan and Fajardo, wander art galleries in Loiza, relax by Gozalandia Waterfall, and engage in service learning throughout the week. Whether you’re learning about sustainability as you hike through El Yunque Forest, enjoying a tasting at a chocolate factory, volunteering at a local garden in San Juan, or learning to drum and salsa dance, you will discover Puerto Rico’s unique and authentic character wherever you go. Gain a new perspective of the U.S. and join us as we adventure the island!

Examples of activities include (subject to change):

  • Excursions to natural pools and waterfalls (Charco Azul, Gozalandia Natural Pool and Waterfalls)
  • Travel to nearby cities and areas (Fajardo, Loiza, and Piñones)
  • Tour a coffee plantation and chocolate factory (and of course have a taste!)
  • Engage in service learning activities with local gardens and organizations
  • Visit art galleries and meet the artists
  • Bomba drum, salsa dance, traditional Puerto Rican cooking, and painting workshops
  • Hike in national forests (Bosque Estatal de Carite, El Yunque Forest)
  • Meet local students during a tour of the University of Puerto Rico
  • Free time to enjoy nearby beaches and explore the island

Program Leader

Julie Lucas

Program Leader: Julie Lucas
Julie Lucas is a Study Abroad Coordinator at SJSU. She works closely with outbound study abroad students, inbound exchange students, and collaborates with faculty and international partners to develop new programs. Julie is also a proud Chicago native! She studied abroad in Granada, Spain her junior year of college and earned a B.S. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, she moved to Salamanca, Spain where she taught English and worked with students studying abroad in Spain. She then completed her M.A. in International Education Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Before moving back to California, she worked with outbound study abroad students at a nonprofit organization in Chicago. 


Email: julie.lucas@sjsu.edu   


Aaron WaldronProgram Leader: Aaron Waldron

The newest member of the GEI team, Aaron has just returned from 4 years living abroad in sunny Scotland. Working on faculty led programs, Summer School Abroad, and other duties as assigned, Aaron is excited to help provide options to the Spartan community that will expand their world view and provide them the opportunity to experience the adventure of traveling. Licensed to drive on the wrong side of the road and a master of roundabouts, he was able to put 11,000+ miles on his Peugeot 107 traveling the UK and fill his passport using budget airlines during his time off for good behavior at the University of Edinburgh. While in Scotland he also started a Lord of the Rings themed snack food empire.

Aaron has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from University of South Florida and a MEd in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University. Working on his PhD at the University of Glasgow researching Educational Meritocracy and Higher Education funding he soon realized that some questions are better left unanswered and returned to the U.S. to continue his passion for working with students and continue his travels.

Email: aaron.waldron@sjsu.edu   


It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

Total Program Cost: $1,855 

Included: lodging, some group meals, scheduled program-related activities and excursions
Not Included: airfare, meals, and personal expenses   


Check out these additional resources for your program.

  • Itinerary - coming soon!


Information Sessions!

January 29     Puerto Rico; Clark 547, 3:00pm-3:30pm

January 31     ASBs; 7th Street Plaza, 11:00am-1:00pm

February 1     ASB Info Session; Clark 547, 1:30pm-2:30pm

February 6     ASBs; 7th Street Plaza, 11:00am-1:00pm

February 8     Puerto Rico Info Session; Clark 547, 1:30pm-2:00pm