Study In Puerto Rico - Requirements,Tuition Fees,Cost of Living & Universities

This is a comprehensive guide on studying in Puerto Rico as an international student. This detailed post will give you all the necessary information you will need about studying in Puerto Rico as an international student. It will answer most frequently asked questions such as


How to study in Puerto Rico

Why study in Puerto Rico

Cost of studying in Puerto Rico

Universities in Puerto Rico for international students

Cost of living in Puerto Rico for international students

How to get a visa to study in Puerto Rico

How to apply and study in Puerto Rico

Tuition fees to study in Puerto Rico

Applying to study in Puerto Rico


US students need not apply for a visa to study in Puerto Rico, as it is part of the American commonwealth. Students from elsewhere will need to apply for a student visa and provide prospective universities with evidence of sufficient funds to cover their expenses in Puerto Rico during the first year, including written letters from relatives testifying that they will provide financial support if needed or grants from their country of origin.

International students tend to be few in Puerto Rican universities; at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, for example, only 0.06% of students are foreign. However, there are a number of exchange programs, such as that run between New York University and the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón.

Courses in Puerto Rico tend to run from August until May, with the first semester ending in December, and the second semester starting in January.  Typical entry requirements include SAT scores and a Spanish language proficiency test. While an odd course here and there might be taught in English and quite a lot of the reading be done in English, you will need to be bilingual, as most of the teaching is in Spanish.

Applying to universities in Puerto Rico


Selecting Universities:

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.

Requesting Application Forms:

There are two ways to get application forms:

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Application Requirements:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :

1. Schools that seem to match your requirements

2. Schools that are not suited to your needs

3. Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories

Recommendation letters:

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

School records/Academic transcript:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.


Tuition fees and cost of studying in Puerto Rico for international students


The cost of studying in Puerto Rico actually depends on the specific school you want to attend, all the universities and colleges in Puerto Rico have different tuition fees.


The average tuition fees in Puerto Rico is about USD 15000 per year for international students. Although the fees might vary among universities and colleges. Also courses such as medicine, dentistry and engineering will be more expensive than other courses.


The cost of living in Puerto Rico is about USD 1000 per month and this also depends on the spending habit and lifestyle of a student.


Cost of living in Puerto Rico according to expatistan


Peurto rico


            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area        $1,434

            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area            $857

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat     $233

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area        $848

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area            $509

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio      $142

            Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)        $51

            40” flat screen TV        $409

            Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)            $167

            Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)         $10

            Hourly rate for cleaning help      $9


            1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)     $55

            1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) $65

            1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands)         $108

            1 pair of men’s leather business shoes   $115


            Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new $29,519

            1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas           $0.65

            Monthly ticket public transport $42

Personal Care  

            Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)      $7

            1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) $18

            Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes)          $48

            1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...)             $8

            Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.)      $4.60

            Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)             $5.34

            4 rolls of toilet paper     $3.45

            Tube of toothpaste        $3.18

            Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city $15


            Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub    $59

            2 tickets to the movies $18

            2 tickets to the theater (best available seats)      $109

            Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert             $83

            1 cocktail drink in downtown club         $11

            Cappuccino in expat area of the city      $4.44

            1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.)    $3.19

            iPad Air 2, 64GB          -

            1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)    -

            1 month of gym membership in business district $45


Visa to study in Puerto Rico


To study in Puerto Rico as an international student, you require a visa. Below are the requirements and process of getting a Puerto Rico visa.


What documents will be required?

Enforced compliance of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) requirement for VWP travelers is in place. Therefore, VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.

A valid ESTA approval is required for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Authorizations will be valid for multiple entries into the United States. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans.

2 completed application forms

A passport valid for travel to Puerto Rico, with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay

1 photograph (1in x 1.5in)

Evidence of sufficient funds

Postal or drop-box applications:

(a) Completed visa application form DS-156.

(b) Passport (valid through 6 months after entry).

(c) 1 passport-size colour photo (5x5 cm, head size 2,5 - 3,5 cm, front view, light background, max. 6 months old).

(d) Copy of Embassy's red paying-in slip.

(e) Supporting documents: DS-158 (male between 16 and 45 also need a DS-157).

(f) Stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Applications through travel agent:

In addition to mentioned above applicants should contact the travel agent for details on paying the visa fee.

Further documentation may be required to substantiate details such as the purpose of visit plus proof of intention to return to country of residence.


(a) For nationals of countries under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, passports must be valid for at least 90 days from date of entry (except for nationals of Andorra, Brunei, San Marino and Slovenia, who must hold passports valid for 6 months from date of departure).

(b) For all other nationals, passports must be valid for 6 months from date of entry.

Interns: When doing an internship in Puerto Rico, a J1 visa is required. For the application you need the DS-2016 form (former IAP66). Usually the company or the organization arranges that. Male applicants aged 16-45 need to fill in the DS-157 form additionally. All persons who apply for F, J and M Visa have to fill in DS-158 (Information on contact persons and the business background) additional.

Time required to issue a visa:

3-4 weeks, average

How do I apply?

Contact your nearest  Puerto Rico Embassy or consulate.

What is the cost of a visa?

Each applicant for a visa must pay a non-refundable US$100 application fee, regardless of whether the visa is denied or issued and regardless of the duration of the visa or entries required.The fee will not fall away should the application be denied.

Nationals of Mexico will not be charged the application fee.

The embassy will provide a paying-in slip.

The fee must be paid in cash at a bank prior to submitting a visa application to the Puerto Rico Embassy.

How long is the visa valid for?

10 years. Some visas are valid for multiple entries.

The length of stay in the Puerto Rico is determined by immigration officials at the time of entry, but is generally 6 months.

When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in America. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in Puerto Rico before departure:

F-1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the Puerto Rico or to transfer to another school.

M-1 student - An additional 30 days to depart Puerto Rico (Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year). The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted as long as the student maintained a full course of study and maintained status. An M student may receive extensions up to three years for the total program.

Other information:

Entry restrictions:

The following will be refused entry to Puerto Rico unless a 'waiver of ineligibility' has first been obtained:

(a) people afflicted with certain serious communicable diseases;

(b) anyone with a criminal record;

(c) narcotics addicts or abusers and drug traffickers;

(d) anyone who has been deported from or denied admission to Puerto Rico within the previous 5 years


List and ranking of all the universities in Puerto Rico


This is the list and ranking of all the universities in Peurto Rico. The ranking is based on the quality of education each of the university provides and also the available academic and social facilities in the university. So below is the list of the of all the universities in Peurto Rico and their ranking




Rank    University         Location

1          Universidad de Puerto Rico

San Juan ...

2          Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Mayagüez


3          Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico

San Germán ...

4          Universidad Del Este


5          University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

San Juan

6          Universidad del Sagrado Corazon


7          Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico

Ponce ...

8          Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico

San Juan ...

9          Universidad del Turabo


10        Carlos Albizu University

San Juan ...

11        Universidad Metropolitana

San Juan

12        Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo


13        University of Puerto Rico-Humacao


14        National Universicty College-Bayamon


15        Universidad Central de Bayamón


16        American University of Puerto Rico


17        Caribbean University

Bayamón ...

18        Universidad Adventista de las Antillas

Mayagüez ...

19        Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico

San Juan

20        Ponce Health Sciences University


21        Universidad Central del Caribe


22        University of Puerto Rico-Aguadilla


23        EDP University

Hato Rey

24        Escuela de Artes Plasticas y Diseno de Puerto Rico

San Juan

25        University of Puerto Rico-Utuado


26        San Juan Bautista School of Medicine


27        University of Puerto Rico-Ponce


28        University of Puerto Rico-Carolina


29        Columbia Central University-Caguas


30        Colegio Universitario de San Juan

San Juan

Courses you can study at universities in Puerto Rico

Accounting and Finance

Aeronautical engineering

Manufacturing engineering






Art and Design

Oral science


Biological sciences


Business management

Chemical engineering


Civil engineering

Ancient history

Mass communication

Computer science


Creative writing






Electrical engineering


Film making

Food science


General engineering






Material technology


Mechanical engineering

Medical technology












Veterinary medicine


Items to pack while going to study in Puerto Rico


In your carry-on bag

           Cell phone and charger

           Boarding pass(es)

           Cash (bring American dollars and the currency of your host location or money you can exchange for it—enough to use in case of an emergency, but not more money than you can afford to lose)

           Copy of birth certificate

           Copy of Social Security card

           Credit card (notify your bank that you’ll be abroad before you leave to avoid your account being frozen)

           Debit card


           E-reader or book

           Emergency contact list

           Face wipes


           Hand sanitizer


           Health insurance card


           Prescription medication(s) you usually take (make sure you bring enough refills to last your entire trip—but future prescriptions can go in your checked luggage)

           School ID

           Spare outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)

           State ID

           Student visa

           Travel itinerary

           Travel pillow

           Travel tickets (if you’re taking a train or other transport after your plane lands)



           Acne medication/cream

           Face lotion/moisturizer


           Mini shampoo & conditioner (until you get the chance to get full-sized bottles in your new country)

           Mouthwash (small)

           Soap (mini bottle if you're using body wash)





           Bobby pins


           Contacts, solution and case (again, make sure you have all the contacts you'll need for your time abroad)

           Glasses and glasses case

           Hair ties



           Nail clipper




           Tampons and pads



You will likely have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, and you'll be able to purchase detergent in your host country.

           Downy Wrinkle Release spray

           Linens/towels (if your housing doesn’t have them)

           Portable stain remover pen

           Travel sheet (for hostels)


           Athletic sneakers (1)

           Bathing suits (1-2)

           Boots (1-2)

           Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)

           Casual dresses (2)

           Everyday comfortable shoes (1-2)

           Flats (1)

           Flip-flops (1)

           Formal outfit (1-2)

           Gloves (1, if weather appropriate)

           Going-out outfit (3-5)

           Hat (1)

           Heavier coat for colder climates (1)

           Heels (1-2)

           Jacket (2; a light one and one for colder weather, if applicable)

           Jeans (2, one black & one blue)

           Jewelry (remember that bringing jewelry to another country is always a risk; don’t bring anything too valuable!)

           Leggings (1-3)

           Long-sleeve shirts (3-5)

           Pajamas (2-3)

           Pants (1-2 nice pairs)

           Purse (1-2)

           Raincoat (1)

           Scarf (1)

           Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)

           Shorts (2-4, if weather appropriate)

           Skirts (1-2)

           Socks (14)

           Sweaters (3-5)

           Sweatshirt (2)

           T-shirts (3-5)

           Tank tops (3-5)

           Underwear (14)

           Watch (1)

           Workout clothes (2-5)


Remember that most of your electronic items will need an outlet converter in order to work!

           Camera (remember your case and USB cords)

           Cell phone (keep in mind that you’ll be able to buy an international phone when you arrive at your destination)

           Chargers (laptop, phone, camera, e-reader, etc.)

           Flash drive



           Laptop case

           Outlet adapters (2-3)

           USB cable


           Adhesive bandages

           Allergy medicine

           Birth control

           Cold and flu medicine

           Eye drops

           Motion sickness medicine

           Over-the-counter pain medicine



           Backpack (small)

           Gift for your host family (bring something that they couldn’t get in their own country, like memorabilia from your hometown)


           Language dictionary


           Playing cards

           Travel guide

           Umbrella (small)


Benefits of studying abroad in Puerto Rico or any other study abroad destination


1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.


Hope this post was helpful


Question tags

How to study in Puerto Rico

Why study in Puerto Rico

Cost of studying in Puerto Rico

Universities in Puerto Rico for international students

Cost of living in Puerto Rico for international students

How to get a visa to study in Puerto Rico

How to apply and study in Puerto Rico

Tuition fees to study in Puerto Rico

Applying to study in Puerto Rico

No comments:

Post a Comment