Puerto Rico Optometry School


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2008
  1. Dental Student
    I am asking this question for my brother who is recently accepted to Puerto Rico Optometry School. There are a few issues that my family is concern about going to Puerto Rico. My brother does not speak Spanish AT ALL and never take any Spanish class before. So if he goes to Puerto Rico, can he even survive the rigorous courses there? Would it work that he can just study hard on his own even though he doesn't understand the lecture because it's in Spanish? What is the percentage of lectures that are teaching in Spanish? I know that the school is fully accredited but can my brother take the national board for optometry and come back practice at the U.S? Many thanks!


    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    5+ Year Member
    Aug 16, 2006
    1. Optometrist

      It looks like they do teach in English; however, most of the patients will be Spanish speaking. I don't know any Spanish at all so I'd feel really uncomfortable, but if he's really dedicated and is able to really immerse himself in the language he should be able to pick it up. Puerto Rico is an American territory so yes, he can practice here.


      Junior Member
      10+ Year Member
      Jun 27, 2006
      1. Optometry Student
        All the courses and exams at IAUPR are in english except the actual spanish course which is intended to help non-spanish speaking students. Of course some professors are a lot more proficient in english than others, but they all speak and teach in english nonetheless. Many students come to PR without any spanish skills, but their reason for coming to PR is to learn the language. Though all the proficiencies HAVE to be in spanish, it is definitely not impossible. Yes, there may be difficulties not knowing spanish when leaving the school to do routine duties like grocery shopping, ordering food, etc. but many spanish speakers in class are there to help. Unfortunately in Bayamon, many people do not speak english...and if so, very minimal.

        As far as practicing in the states, IAUPR takes the same Naitonal Boards all the other schools in the states will be taking. So if you pass the NBEO, then you're good to go, granted you pass your state board exam.

        I am part of the orientation committee that is going to help make the transition into the island life a lot smoother than previous years. So tell your brother not to worry, it is normal to be nervous and scared about moving to island with minimal spanish skills . But with a couple months in the program, you get used to the swing of things. If you have any questions or comments feel free to PM me.
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