Discover Puerto Rico this August while earning capstone credit as part of your fall 2021 enrollment! This program allows students to explore the history, culture, politics and economy of this beautiful island. If you are interested in participating, please email the Faculty-led Program Advisor, Charity Eckhardt, at email@example.com.
Nicholas Bailey, Assistant Professor
Campus Address: CBB 246
Dr. Bailey teaches Business Policy and Strategy (BPS) and International Management here on the UNI campus. He has visited more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, and the UAE. Dr. Bailey has traveled with UNI students to Brazil and Poland; and, in January 2020, he led a group of students taking BPS and the Global Skills Capstone to Costa Rica.
Nick Bailey was an amazing instructor to be with for two weeks. He was super helpful with making the activities fun as well as encouraging us to engage in the culture we were surrounded in. - Kelsey, Costa Rica Program Participant
CAP 3154: Global Skills (3 credit hours)
This course is designed as an introduction to Puerto Rico. We will discuss the history, culture, politics and economy of this culturally distinct U.S. territory. Students will have a hands on learning experience designed to increase their understanding of another cultural and economic environment different from their own. Through a variety of assignments and site visits, students will gain an invaluable introduction to Puerto Rico, its history and geography, as well as current cultural, business, and economic practices.
All majors welcome. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.
- In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
- Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
- Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
Tentative Program Dates: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 (depart) to Friday, August 20, 2021 (return)
Sample itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1: Welcome to Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States
and is located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide, making it the smallest island of the Greater Antilles and its capital is San Juan. Class meeting in evening.
Day 2: Walking tour through magical Old San Juan, the second oldest city in the "new hemisphere." Over 400 restored 16th- and 17th century Spanish colonial buildings make this city a magical place to visit. Its narrow streets are covered with blue cobblestones. These cobbles were used as ballast on the empty Spanish trade ships. The ballast was unloaded when the ships were filled with sugar cane produced in Puerto Rico.Our first stop will be San Cristobal Fort or Fort San Felipe El Morro, which in colonial times protected the island from enemy attacks. Class meeting in evening.
Day 3: Transfer to the city of Caguas where we will visit a beautiful botanical garden. The Garden contains a great diversity of native trees and fruit plants that define what makes Puerto Rico. This garden is also home to archeological deposits, both pre-Columbian and colonial -- everything from indigenous petroglyphs to the remains of a Spanish Hacienda and an African slave bunkhouse. Throughout time, the Garden has been the home to the “Taínos” Indians that lived on the island, Spaniards that built what is now the ruins of the old sugar mill San José, and the Africans brought to work as slaves.
Our day continues south, to La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay. This bay is one of the three bioluminescent bays along the Puerto Rico coastline. The bay’s glowing effect is made possible by microorganisms called dinoflagellates which emit a short burst of light when water is agitated. This is the only bio bay where swimming in the vivid waters is allowed, so don’t forget to pack your bathing suit!
Day 4: Today, we will explore the city of Ponce, which unveils an enchanting portrait of colonial history, art and culture. The architectural splendor and detailed neoclassic and art deco style of the city makes Ponce an essential part in your itinerary. Our day starts at Tibes Ceremonial Center, one of the most important archeological discoveries made in the Antilles. Tibes is the oldest Antillean Indian ceremonial and sports complex yet uncovered in Puerto Rico. Within its boundaries is also the largest indigenous cemetery yet discovered – consisting of 186 human skeletons, most from the Igneri and the rest from the pre-Taíno cultures. In downtown Ponce, we will visit the main square (Plaza Las Delicias), Ponce Cathedral and the historic and colorful Ponce Firehouse. Our tour continues with a visit to the Serrallés Castle, originally the residence for the Serrallés family, owners of the world-famous rum distillery that produces Don Q Puerto Rican Rum.
Day 5: Wander through the Caribbean National Rain Forest, known as El Yunque. This is the only tropical forest in the United States National Forest System. Its rugged land climbs from almost sea level to about 3,500 feet above sea level and is doused with up to 200 inches of rain every year. According to ancient Indian legend, the good spirit "Yuquiyu" reigned on his mighty mountain top throne, protecting Puerto Rico and its people. You'll see 1,000 year-old trees, strange plants with exotic rainbow colored flowers, and thick vines with great masses of lush red blossoms waving in the cool breeze.
From the rainforest, we will go to Luquillo Beach. The soft sands, shaded by imposing coconut palm trees and the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Dressing rooms, lockers, showers and lifeguards are available for your convenience. Packed lunch is included in the program this day. Just pack your beach towel, sunscreen lotion and relax! Tasty local specialties such as seafood and Creole fritters are available from the myriad of beach-side kiosks.
Day 6: Visit Cueva Ventana "Window Cave" in Arecibo. This a large natural cave situated atop a limestone cliff in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, overlooking the magnificent Río Grande de Arecibo valley. Afterwards, visit La Poza del Obispo, a beautiful beach located in Arecibo behind the Arecibo Lighthouse. Our tour also includes Cueva del Indio.The Taino Indians held tribal meetings in this area and made numerous carvings in the walls of these natural limestone caves. The petroglyphs are said to have been made during ceremonial activities.
Day 7: Board a catamaran for a leisure sail to an uninhabited island, where you can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Icacos, often referred as Icacos Island is the largest and most picturesque of the cays (little islands) that make up La Cordillera Nature Reserve off the northeast tip of Puerto Rico. Here, we will visit an unspoiled beach surrounded by unbelievably clear blue waters hosting a diverse and abundant life, making it an ideal snorkeling site. The catamaran is anchored close to the beach, where you can step off into shallow water and spend about 2 hours swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Light lunch will be served on board.
Day 8: Experience surfing lessons in tropical Isla Verde beach. Puerto Rico is the ideal surfing destination: warm waters year-round, fun local surfing culture and conditions ranging from easy, two foot waves over a sandy bottom to tall, fast moving barrels with reef breaks.
Day 9: Visit Hacienda Muñoz in San Lorenzo, where we will take a walking tour of the plantation and discuss the history of coffee in Puerto Rico, coffee beans harvesting and toasting. You will also be able to taste an authentic Puerto Rican coffee prepared by a barista and get some coffee to brew at home.
Our day continues to picturesque Guavate in the mountains of Cayey. The area has many local restaurants that serve authentic Puerto Rican food including famous roasted pig and other traditional dishes. Roasted pig or “lechon asado” was declared a Puerto Rican gastronomic heritage. Class meeting in evening.
Day 10: Free day to explore or participate in optional activities not included in the program cost.
Day 11: Travel home.
Housing & Meals
Students will stay in a hotel in San Juan arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Accommodations will be two students per room. Breakfast is built into the program cost. Students will purchase other meals out-of-pocket. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.
Capstone in Puerto Rico - Fall
Estimated Program Cost:
* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors
Cost of studying on-campus*
*per semester, estimated, will vary per person
Tuition & Fees:
Room & Board:
Dates & Deadlines
The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:
- Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
- If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
- Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
- Must be over the age of 18 years old
- Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
- Must be in good standing with the University
- UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
- Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
- All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
- Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.