Studying Abroad in Puerto Rico

Welcome to the corner of the internet where I write about my adventures in the small and often underestimated island of Puerto Rico. As a student from puerto rican descent I hope to bring two contrasting perspectives to this blog: the perspective of a student from Florida living abroad in an island, and the perspective of a Puerto Rican who was once asked if there were fast food restaurants where I came from.

My subject: the caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Yes, it is true that it only takes about three hours and a half to drive across the island from east to west and vice versa, and yes, it only takes about an hour and half to drive coast to coast from north to south. However, in that small span of land, sometimes called Borinquen, you can find rain forests, high altitude mountain ranges, dry and dwarf forests, beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, woods, palm tress, cacti, as well as unique endangered species and a wealth of native tropical fruit trees. In other words, the small island of Puerto Rico consists of almost all of the landscapes that are usually found across the span of a continent.

My background: a visual arts student with a passion for telling stories, knowing languages and cultures, and painting with acrylics. This coming school year, I will be an undergraduate sophomore who, hopefully, already passed her academic spiritual awakening, though I wouldn’t count on it. I started out school as the model student, with almost a whole college year’s worth of AP credits, straight As and my name in the list of students a part of the pre-med program at UF. That was first semester as a freshman, straight out of high school, walking through a half empty campus in the Summer B term. As soon as the fall hit I experienced a crisis which was very desperately dumped onto the shoulders of my academic advisors and my counselor, much to their delight. Going from pre-med, I went from a theatre major, psychology major and then head first to exploratory in the humanities. Clearly, I had no clue what I was doing. Now, finally settled in something, I have become a visual arts major in the hopes that studying my passion is enough and, somehow, I will make it. Needless to say, whenever someone asks what I am majoring and I respond with visual arts, I almost always get a smile with very unenthusiastic “Great!”, but here we are, telling stories as I’ve always loved to do. Other than that, I enjoy dancing in my apartment while I cook and my roommates are not at home, singing ballads in the shower, watching chick-flicks, marveling at incomprehensible art works in art museums, acting, and watching plays.

(I extend hand to you)
Me: “Do you trust me?”
You: (reply “Yes”)
Me: “Good, cause we are going on a magic carpet ride through the world of Puerto Rico, the culture, land, and University as I recount my adventures and discoveries through this year of studying abroad.”

Hope you enjoy coming along with me!

Yours truly,

Laiana Isabel


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