Living in Puerto Rico

#1 22 January 2012 08:38:07

b344

Living in Puerto Rico

I have some questions about moving to and living in Puerto Rico. Ideally, I'd like to live in Europe, but it's so difficult to immigrate there as an American. So if moving to Europe doesn't work out, I'd like to move to Puerto Rico since I won't have to deal with immigration laws and becoming a citizen.

1. Is the Spanish they speak there more like the Spanish in Mexico or Spain? Is it completely different from either of those?
2. Are American degrees recognized there, or do they have a completely different degree system? Could I work there as a nurse with an American degree from the states?

#2 22 January 2012 11:03:50

We're moving WHERE?
We're moving WHERE?
Condado, San Juan

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

First of all, please don't cosider Puerto Rico second best choice; you will mentally never be happy here or anywhere.
Spanish here is spanish with a Puerto rican flair: we are NOT mexicans. Do you know what jugo de china is? Better find out befor you arrive.
Second of all, since Puerto Rico is part of the USA why would you ask if the academic degrees are different?? Different than what? Europe?

#3 22 January 2012 13:36:41

b344

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Wow, thanks for the curteous response. Sorry I'm not an expert on Puerto Rico - that's why I came here, to obtain information about it. Clearly I know that Puerto Ricans are not Mexicans, all I wanted to know was if the Spanish they speak in Puerto Rico is closer to the Spanish they speak in Spain or the Spanish they speak in Mexico, as there are many dialects of Spanish. I wouldn't want to show up speaking the wrong dialect of Spanish and being barely comprehensible. And who are you to tell me not to move to Puerto Rico? Even though it's my second choice, clearly I still find it appealing if I'm pursuing moving there. I'd love to live in Europe but unfortunately it is nearly impossible. I'm not going to be happy what so ever living in the states; I'd much rather live in many other places than here, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm pretty much stuck here.

Last edited by b344 (22 January 2012 13:44:50)

#4 22 January 2012 13:46:24

Gary
Gary
Juncos

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

To work here as a nurse you will need to contact:

    Board of Nurse Examiners
    800 Roberto H. Todd Avenue
    Room 202, Stop 18
    Santurce, PR 00908

    Phone: (787) 725-7506
    FAX: (787) 725-7903

#5 22 January 2012 13:53:16

Gary
Gary
Juncos

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

About the Spanish, according to my wife who is a Puerto Rican, 'our' Spanish is closer to the Spanish spoken in Spain.
But we have a lot of words and expressions that are typical for Puerto Rico. You'll get the grip once you're here. :)

#6 22 January 2012 17:39:58

NomadLawyer
NomadLawyer
Galway

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

I agree with Gary's wife about the Spanish being closer to the Castillian spoken in Spain. Having lived in both places, I noticed that more Spanish slang and idioms are used in PR than in other parts of the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico. Concerning so-called proper Spanish, Puerto Ricans really speak it excellently - much closer to so-called proper Spanish than other Spanish-speaking countries in the region. Puerto Ricans also speak Spanish very quickly, like they do in Spain but not like in Mexico. My Puerto Rican wife also agrees with this assessment. 

If you already are fluent in Spanish and are interested in getting even deeper into it's nuances and exploring the language at an even higher level (both proper and popular), then Puerto Rico is an excellent place to live.

If you do not speak fluent Spanish already, then by all means you can learn in Puerto Rico. That said, it is harder to learn Spanish in PR than in Panama, Colombia or Costa Rica for example, for at least four reasons that I can think of: (1) People in PR speak very quickly in Spanish so it's harder than usual to differentiate words, (2) The rhythm of Puerto Rican Spanish can throw-off beginners and intermediates because of the somewhat irregular spacing of pauses, preceded and followed by longer bursts of words (this is particularly true during TV news interviews), (3) So many people (you might say most people) speak English that they will quickly change to English when they notice that you are not fluent in Spanish, so you miss out on a lot of good practice scenarios that you would not in Central America, and (4) Puerto Rico has some of the most clever and intelligent expressions ("dichos" or "refranes") and they are probably harder for someone who is not fluent to follow in a conversation compared to the slang spoken elsewhere.

However, like I said, I know people who learned to speak Spanish well in PR so it can be done. (It will certainly be easier than trying to learn in Argentina.) Finally, you don't need to worry about learning the vosotros form so that is a plus. 

I suggested to another nurse in this forum that they check-out usajobs.gov to see if there are any openings at the VA in Guaynabo (San Juan Metropolitan area). It's a nice hospital - better than many of the VAs in the States. Good luck!

#7 23 January 2012 00:14:56

b344

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Hi NomandLawyer, thank you so much for your informative response! I'm only going to be a college freshman this fall, and I'm planning on getting a master's degree in nursing and becoming a nurse practitioner. I'm planning on taking Spanish the whole time I'm in college (that is, if I decide I definitely want to move to Puerto Rico after college) and I've already taken 2 years of Spanish, so hopefully my Spanish will be pretty good once I'm done with college here. I also want to study abroad in Europe, and most likely in Spain so I can become even more fluent in Spanish, that's why I wanted to know what the dialect of Spanish they speak in Puerto Rico is like. So, thank you!

#8 23 January 2012 01:04:49

We're moving WHERE?
We're moving WHERE?
Condado, San Juan

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Sorry, you misunderstood: i just said don't settle for your second choice.  if you want europe, go for europe... there are many ways to skin a cat...  if you go any place as second choice, you might never be happy and it will never truly satisfy you...since you seem to be young i can tell you you will never regret anything if you give it your best try. you might regret something if you did not try at all!! 
Curious response about our Spanish being closer to Castillian: when I am in Spain (which used to be very often) as soon as I began speaking they asked me if I am BORIQUA (Puerto Rican): it's words and accent and idioms: you learn them by using them, not always by studying them since most of them are not in any book.  Not to worry, most people here speak English even if reluctantly. Also, there are LOTS of main-landers taking nursing and medical classes here on the island who speak NO Spanish what so ever. Books are all in English NOT Spanish. They do have to take a language proficiency test but after a while you get it.

#9 24 January 2012 14:06:32

CarribeanLifestyle
CarribeanLifestyle
Condado, San Juan

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Hi b344!
Ok, so I think, an in my humble opinion that moving here when you are younger (20-30's) is a better choice, as you do not come from the states with any kind of true, formulated, political baggage/sneering "America" is better mentality or sentiments.

You are still young enough to actually find, explore and integrate seamlessly into this or any culture and appreciate all the incredible beauty and possibilities it has to offer. I am 30 years old (moved here at 28) and have been coming to this island since I was born. I learned that accepting the way of life here was easier for me (cultural differences, pace of life/work) since I was completely open minded and accepting of how it works here.
That being said, I would see it as comparable to transitioning from the east coast, to the west coast (which I did) in the states. You understand the subtle nuances of the coastal culture, peoples, lifestyle and work mentality, and adapt.
It is a wonderful note, to those people who are ex pats living here, who are accepting of the changes which are obvious to the naked eye, and make every move to assimilate rather than to try to change.
To change is a very "American" and in some ways arrogant way of thinking. Not a Global perspective.
If you are a freshman in college ( congrats ps! :) take a summer vacay here, grab a friend, roomie or sorority sister if you have one, and live/ work here over the summer! Its sooo much fun! meet the people ( you will find you make friends the first day!) and keep some contacts.
The only problem you might encounter is convincing your parents to let you :)
As always, I suggest San Juan, simply because I live here and adore it! A lot of people from the states say it is a city, and I think, what city moves this slow, this relaxed where people walk around in bathing suites?? LOL

Maybe because I have lived in New York City, London, Paris, Milan and LA that i see no "city busy" aspect here.
Have fun love!

AHHHHHHH...to be a freshman in college again..:)

#10 01 January 2013 20:14:27

Cubanldy39
Cubanldy39
Brooklyn New York

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Well I'am coming from Brooklyn NY,my name is DeShawn R. Strungys,Sosa Cuban-American my husband is Puerto-Rican-American/Czech we have been talking about for a long time he has friends that work in the US Army with him that move back to Puerto Rico,an his friend Jose Sanchez, tells us how beautiful the  country is plus my husband father was born there so he wants to come back to his grass roots. My husband Orias, use to speak fluent Spanish than he lost it moving constantly in the States both of us want to embrace our culture deeply living in New York, in Brooklyn, it some populace that speak Spanish but they develop a American ways no purity the attitudes just plain rude with some people being around African-Americans. So my family are getting very disenchanted with American life even though we were born here are fathers was born in the country and mine in Cuba. What me and my husband want to know how the economy is cost of living, education for 7 of our kids. Jobs especially the medical field my husband is going to graduated in Oct,11,2013 as a Surgical Technician me I'am going for medical assistant,nurse assistant,or get into Social Work Administration definitely I'am practicing to learn the dialect of speaking Spanish which I feel I am embracing my decease father James Robinson Sosa, spirit so I firmly adopt my culture that painfully took away from me from my mother side of the house they did not embrace my father culture or me for that matter for many years. We want to embrace are Spanish heritage have our children to know who they are. Can you please help me because we feel we live in a foreign land in the USA not are country. :)

Last edited by Cubanldy39 (01 January 2013 20:21:41)

#11 02 January 2013 05:20:23

GreggK
GreggK
Orlando, FL

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Actually, "We're Moving Where", that was a pretty snotty answer. You did a pretty poor job of covering up your intolerance in your second reply of people who seem to know very little about the things that you imagine yourself to be a consummate expert on. People who know very little about moving to PR and it's ways and customs use the internet as a tool to educate themselves. When you know nothing or very little about something there is no such thing as a stupid question. Try not to make the uneducated or uninformed look foolish. It only serves to make you look that way. DeShawn, I am sorry that I have nothing to contribute to your questions. I don't speak Spanish. I did fine living on the island without it. It was trying at times but it worked out. I would strongly recommend that your children go to private school or home school them. I apologize for the rudeness you encountered. In the future please feel free to ask any question you like. Like I said, when learning something new there is no such thing as a stupid question. The only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. There are plenty of people on this forum who will be patient with you and try their best to provide honest and informative answers. Some of those people who are most helpful and intelligent would be people like Nomad Lawyer, Gary and Adolfo. There are others so please forgive me for not remembering you at the moment. I'm getting old. Good luck in your quest and please keep us posted.

#12 04 January 2013 02:16:29

Cubanldy39
Cubanldy39
Brooklyn New York

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

To NomadLawyer, Gregg; informed me about how knowledgeable you are in Puerto Rico. I want ask your opinion my husband and I are very large family with 7 kids in tow 4 girls and 3 boys between the ages of 15-4 months old Gregg, told me to send to private school or home  school them because I research that private schools are expansive. Than the cost of living is like New York, in a way housing running between for a 4 bedroom $800-2000 dollars and the economy is rough and it is dangerous in some parts is that true. Is Puerto-Rico is like the America's and does it have walfare,different agencies to start out to get established in? Because in the USA, the economy is like in a recession in a way is it really bad on the island. Can you please give me some idea one last question I read on the some sites that people are getting murdered,rape,etc because the law enforcement are not responsive at all. I have been reading how bad it is and expansive it is hardly no jobs is that true. My husband is studying to be Surgical technician/Scrub technician and I am considering to study in as a medical assistant or maybe a social worker to find job security especially raising 7 children taken one day at time to grasp my roots learning to speak Spanish, that was taken from me most of my life on my mother side that is a long story itself. My husband use to speak fluently since he was in the Army for 14 years he lost his tongue only speaks English. Please help me and our family.:D

Last edited by Cubanldy39 (04 January 2013 02:23:34)

#13 09 January 2013 01:06:31

Gary
Gary
Juncos

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Cubanldy39 wrote:

Please help me and our family.:D

The best advice anybody can give you is NOT to move to another country where you don't speak the language.
No way to get a job; there's no welfare other than foodstamps.

Actually, I don't believe you are for real....

#14 03 February 2013 13:22:38

5251
5251
luquillo

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

I would check into alot of things before making a move to Puerto Rico.My daughter and I have been coming here annually for 15 years and finally made the move to live here.We brought with us my 16 year old grandaughter,who is in 10th grade.First of all, the jobs available are very limited,and rate of pay is scarey.My daughter (who worked at a large college in Boston)has literally sent out over 100 resumes,and not recieved a single call back.My grandaughters school is literally 2 years behind academically,the books are over 10 years old,and has not had a full day of classes(teachers  just dont show up)so far this year.When the kids dont have a class for whatever reason,they are free to roam the neighborhood,visit the fast food places,or stroll the beaches,all during school hours.The medical profession,is at least 50 years behind the states,the equipment,the offices,and the attitude of the Doctors and nurses is so unprofessional that it is mind boggling.All this is quite upsetting, we left everything behind to start a nes life here and are now getting ready to go back and start all over again.Its not the native people, we3 love the people of Puerto Rico,and most would do anything they could to help out.Its dealing with anything business,school,or medically,make you you see beyond the beauty of the island.The economy here is scarey for an outsider,but, it must be even moreso for the people who are lifetime residents.There are NO jobs!And if your child has dreams of recieving a good education,you might be smarter to stay where you are,or look elsewhere.

#16 12 March 2013 03:09:51

Gary
Gary
Juncos

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

GreggK wrote:

Hey Gary. Como esta?. I hope the family is well. Tell your beautiful Puerto Rican wife I said hello.

Doing good, Gregg, thanks. Hi to your own beautiful Puerto Rican wife. :D

#17 08 May 2013 18:10:32

Jencinnatired

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

There appear to be some extremely helpful people in this forum, so I figured this is as good a place as any to ask a few questions. My boyfriend and I are considering a move to PR - Dorado, specifically. He is a golf professional and would be moving to accept a job at a high-end golf course. I am fortunate enough to work from home as a marketing consultant in the golf industry and would continue to do so upon moving, so employment isn't an issue. I'm just curious, as a 30 year old American who hasn't traveled abroad much (besides Great Britain, my boyfriend is originally from Wales)is it tough to assimilate to life in PR? I consider myself very open minded and adaptable, but that's easy on your own turf, I realize I would be an outsider there. Can anyone tell me more about Dorado, the people, the lifestyle, recreation, etc? We're huge foodies and look forward very much to local cuisine, but also love Thai, Japanese, Indian and many ethnic foods - is there access to these foods there? We both have cars, is it necessary to ship both, how do most people get around? Obviously we will visit and spend some time there before deciding, but I'm doing as much research as possible in the meantime. Sometimes hearing it from people who have "been there, done that" is much more helpful than anything found on the internet. Any information you have to offer is appreciated! Thank you!

#20 12 May 2013 18:27:46

tomd63
tomd63
Luquillo

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

The Spanish here is neither Mexican or Spain it is Puerto Rican which is similar to both countries. As far as your nursing degree goes they would welcome you with open arms BUT be ready for a very big difference in patient care here in PR. Believe me it is nothing like in the States. We love it here and live in a small beach front town of Luquillo which is south west of San Juan. I tell people who ask about PR and I tell them it is just like living in the States. Most everybody speaks spanish and as you said no Passport etc.

#22 12 May 2013 18:50:43

GreggK
GreggK
Orlando, FL

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

"I tell people who ask about PR and I tell them it is just like living in the States. Most everybody speaks spanish and as you said no Passport etc."


Just like living in the states????
Hi Gary. Glad to see you know your compass. :)

#23 14 July 2013 00:11:05

Altamaria
Altamaria
Houston

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Hi I am interested in moving there but first I am planning a trip to see how expats live. I am a single woman in good health and love to fish,boating, cards, golf and fun friends. I am basically free to live anywhere I want and just would like to do something different while I am still healthy. I have heard PR is the place I should consider. How do you feel about someone single moving there?  Where should I start? Altamaria

Last edited by Altamaria (14 July 2013 00:13:45)

#25 14 July 2013 19:06:19

NomadLawyer
NomadLawyer
Galway

Re: Living in Puerto Rico

Old San Juan is worth checking out. There's live music outside once a week, plenty of places to rent that have great character (although there are water shortages), and a terrific sense of being somewhere special. Also, you wouldn't need a car (parking in OSJ is a nightmare anyway). There would be plenty of opportunities for socializing.

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