CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

From Tulane Admission Blog: Puerto Rico guest students share experiences here at Tulane

September 21st, 2018

This story originally appeared in the Tulane University Admission Blog entitled Shelter from the Storm: Part II, on September 20, 2018. Story by Director of Admissions Jeff Schiffma.

This week marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria which devastated parts of the Caribbean and left the island of Puerto Rico with a long road to recovery which continues a year later. Shortly after the storm passed, Tulane made a commitment to welcome students from Puerto Rico and Saint Martin for a guest semester. It was our way of paying it forward for all of the kindness we received following Hurricane Katrina, something we’re still continuing today. We were lucky enough to host 17 incredible students from Puerto Rico and Saint Martin during our spring semester this year. Truly, they were some of the most resilient, compassionate, thoughtful and endearing students that we have ever had at Tulane. Their impact on our campus will be felt for years to come.

With a year having passed since Maria, I thought now might be a good time to share some of the experiences that our guest students had here at Tulane. They squeezed every drop out of New Orleans and found many similarities between NOLA and PR. They joined our marching band, attended Jazz Fest and contributed to intense political discussions in their classrooms. They’ve all returned to Puerto Rico and Saint Martin this fall to assist in their region’s recovery and apply everything they learned here in NOLA, a city that knows a thing or two about recovery and resilience, to their own recovery. I leave you with a bunch of photos of their time here in NOLA and two great quotes they wrote to us as they left to head back home.

“I will never forget my time at Tulane and the amazing people that worked so hard to make us feel welcome. Everyone truly helped our group turn a time of difficulty into a time of opportunity. My time there allowed me to recover and feel ready to keep working to build my home, Puerto Rico, back up.” – Veronica Ortiz

“One last time, I thank Tulane immensely for the opportunity that you gave me to attend and and interact the city of New Orleans. I would love, soon, to give back to someone else what Tulane did for me. As one of my favorite proverbs says: ‘there is always a little fragrance in the hands of the ones who offers flowers.’” – Pura Arroyo Morales


Quick- Which one is San Juan and which one is the French Quarter?


Puerto Rico does Mardi Gras


Puerto Rico does late night at Howie T


Some of our incredible alumni donated a great dinner on the town for the who group!


Puerto Rico does the Fly


Orientation at Tulane with the help of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of International Students and Scholars, Newcomb-Tulane College and the Center for Academic Equity


Puerto Rico does the Tulane Marching Band!


Cooking Puerto Rican food in the dorms.


Lunch at the President’s House


I am so lucky to have gotten to know this crew!