Paradise and Paradox

A Case Study of a Short-Term "Study Abroad” Program in Puerto Rico

  • Maung Min Penn State, Lehigh Valley
  • Laura Cruz Penn State, University Park
  • Ana Ivette Serrano-Martinez Penn State, Lehigh Valley
Keywords: study abroad, study away, sustainability, travel course, Puerto Rico


This reflective case study explores the paradoxes inherent in developing a short-term, sustainability-themed, "study abroad” program to Puerto Rico for students enrolled at a research university in the continental United States. Travel to this U.S. territory provides a unique opportunity for students who are able to experience the island with its own history, culture, and language without having to acquire passports. The authors explore the development, assessment, and sustainability of such a course that is offered successively over a four year period, including outcomes, both expected and unexpected.

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