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Survey: PR meets academic expectations of int’l students

Foundation for Puerto Rico Chairman Jon Borschow.

Foundation for Puerto Rico Chairman Jon Borschow.

Puerto Rico is an attractive academic destination for international students who confirmed in a recent survey commissioned by the Foundation for Puerto Rico that their expectations are met.

The survey conducted between October and November 2015 reflects the feelings of students in relation to their previous expectations upon arrival to Puerto Rico. Students surveyed represent 23 countries with greater representation of countries like the U.S. mainland (57 percent), followed by the Dominican Republic (7.5 percent), Spain (7.5 percent) and Colombia (5.9 percent). Notably, the vast majority of students from the U.S. mainland were born in Cuba (44.3 percent), the Dominican Republic (11.3 percent) and Puerto Rico (10.4 percent.)

In response to questions, students said Puerto Rico’s educational experience bested their prior expectations upon arrival in areas such as: university life (89 percent), quality of education (86 percent), teachers (92 percent), facilities university (83 percent) and cultural/social (92 percent) experience.

In all aspects, the highest percentage responded that Puerto Rico met their expectations, followed by the option that it exceeded their expectations. Below expectations was mentioned by only a small number of students.

“Puerto Rico has the potential to be the destination that the world wants to visit, whether for cultural, historical, gastronomical, or ecological tourism, to study or work. Our island has all the attributes necessary to become a destination for the world and we are supporting to make it so,” said Jon Borschow, chairman of the Foundation for Puerto Rico.

This is the second edition of this survey, which the Foundation completed in collaboration with Sandra Levy, a strategic volunteer for the nonprofit who worked for 15 years at the Argentina Institute of Statistics.

The students surveyed are pursuing undergraduate (35 percent), graduate (29 percent), and professional-associate degrees (19 percent), while 17 percent is in Puerto Rico participating in an exchanged program. Interviewed students are enrolled in 18 universities on the island.

“A point that attracts attention throughout the survey is the role of friends, as 45 percent learned of the academic offerings of the college they attend through their family/friends, 21 percent got housing through a recommendation from a friend, and 40 percent said that a friend recommended them to study in Puerto Rico. This is proof that the experience we offer, both to international students, as any visitor, is key to the development of the visitor economy in Puerto Rico,” Levy said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

1 Comment

  1. Balfour April 13, 2016

    Are they really foreign students? 66 % of the US students are either Cuban, Dominicans or of PR families, and the rest of the ‘foreign’ students are from the same place.


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