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Education students visit schools in Puerto Rico

Published on May 01, 2024

Education students visit schools in Puerto Rico

The Department of Education at Eastern sponsored a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, this past spring semester to expose students to the different educational environments between the island and the mainland United States. The trip was led by education Professor David Stoloff as a part of his course titled “Intercultural Connections among Universities.”

The group visited The University of Puerto Rico, The Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, St. John’s School and Robinson School.We learned about the different learning environments in Puerto Rico and compared that to the learning environments (back on the mainland),” said David Stoloff, education professor. 

Camaraderie was quickly formed upon the group immersing themselves in Puerto Rican culture. Elementary education major Colleen Garrity, a first-time traveler, explained that bonding with her peers on the first day enriched the experience.

“I had never really traveled or been on a plane much, so I was very nervous and scared,” she said. “I bonded with the other girls about these jittery nerves, and they eventually helped me calm down. We were all in this together and we had each other’s backs. I think what was most memorable about this day was our group dinner at a restaurant called Bebo’s. It was such an amazing first look into the food and culture we would be embarking on. We left the restaurant with a newfound appreciation for their culture!”

History and social science major Delaney Kudron also cited the cultural immersion the trip provided, emphasizing the island’s rich history. The group visited several museums and historical sites that allowed them to integrate past perspectives into their research. According to her, the group learned about Puerto Rico’s early roots at the Museo de las Americas and its more recent history at the Castillo San Cristobal fortress. 

“My favorite was the mosaic exhibit because all of the pieces were so beautiful, and I truly cannot wrap my head around the fact that people on this earth have the ability to create pieces like that,” said Kudron. 

English major Laila Wilson explained that meeting new people was the most enriching part of the experience, especially with the students. According to her, the environment at the schools were immediately welcoming and familiar. 

“As we were walking down the halls there was just so much excitement and life, and there were many cute bulletin boards and student artwork everywhere,” she said. “In my mind, the purpose of this course was to learn not only about education on the island, but also to really get to learn about the culture and the life there.”

Written by Elisabeth Craig

Categories: Study Abroad, Education