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Old 08-19-2011, 04:45 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,225 times
Reputation: 10

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I am planning to study abroad a semester to learn Spanish and have narrowed it down to 3 countries:

PR or DR
PROS:
1. the majority of the spanish-speakers in my state (NYC) come from these two countries
2. the spanish spoken here is very different from standard spanish, so i will become more accustomed to it.
3. closer to home, so wont feel so alone
4. its cheaper to fly there
5. interested in culture
CONS:
1. not really a study abroad experience since has the same laws as the US (PR)

Peru
PROS:
1. Im interested in indigenious cultures, which Peru offers (Cusco)
2. Spanish is very similar to standard, so will be easy to understand
3. more of a study abroad experience
CONS:
1. not the spanish spoken in the state i plan to work
2. more expensive to fly to
3. farther from home, so I will get more homesick

So which country should I choose?
If between PR and Dom Rep, which would be better?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,213,327 times
Reputation: 8054
Dominican Republic is probably safest.

If you're on a budget, I've only heard good things about Guatemalan language schools. They offer room, board, and immersion study often in a modest-sized house. The prices aren't much higher than room and board alone would be.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:08 AM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,161,410 times
Reputation: 11619
Not to be nit-picky, but PR is not a country, it's a territory of the U.S. that flies the U.S. flag at all government buildings and you don't go through Immigration if you're flying from the U.S.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 7,736,241 times
Reputation: 6650
I have been to all three for lengthy periods. PR and DR Spanish is too heavily accented compared to Peru's Spanish which is more neutral. I note your preference due to the NYC setting but kindly note that the Spanish spoken in NYC is much bastardized compared to use where it is the standard median for professional communication.

A semester passes quickly and I doubt you will feel homesick in only three months or so as every day(night) will bring a sense of newness just on what you hear in your daily transport to/from studies.

Presumably you will be studying in a university setting and so safety onsite is fairly well considered.

Peru, particularly Cusco, is the one which most clearly provides that sense of foreignness. Admittedly, Cusco is a tourist city.

You would need to decide which is more important the DR/PR patois or indigeneous culture as that is a dividing point on selection.

Much better nightlife in PR, then DR, lastly Peru. Peruvian food is the healthiest of the lot when properly prepared. Note that sanitary conditions would be least favorable in Peru. I know folks who have contracted hepatitis from eating the local street food.

The semester would pass quickly and you could always plan a stay to another location when budget allows.

You cannot go wrong with anyone you select. All are solid good choices.

BTW, are you male or female?
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:45 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,225 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
I have been to all three for lengthy periods. PR and DR Spanish is too heavily accented compared to Peru's Spanish which is more neutral. I note your preference due to the NYC setting but kindly note that the Spanish spoken in NYC is much bastardized compared to use where it is the standard median for professional communication.

A semester passes quickly and I doubt you will feel homesick in only three months or so as every day(night) will bring a sense of newness just on what you hear in your daily transport to/from studies.

Presumably you will be studying in a university setting and so safety onsite is fairly well considered.

Peru, particularly Cusco, is the one which most clearly provides that sense of foreignness. Admittedly, Cusco is a tourist city.

You would need to decide which is more important the DR/PR patois or indigeneous culture as that is a dividing point on selection.

Much better nightlife in PR, then DR, lastly Peru. Peruvian food is the healthiest of the lot when properly prepared. Note that sanitary conditions would be least favorable in Peru. I know folks who have contracted hepatitis from eating the local street food.

The semester would pass quickly and you could always plan a stay to another location when budget allows.

You cannot go wrong with anyone you select. All are solid good choices.

BTW, are you male or female?
Hi Felix,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I'm female.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 7,736,241 times
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Recommend considerable caution in being out alone in the evening in Peru.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:04 PM
 
Location: New York City
199 posts, read 598,375 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
Dominican Republic is probably safest.

If you're on a budget, I've only heard good things about Guatemalan language schools. They offer room, board, and immersion study often in a modest-sized house. The prices aren't much higher than room and board alone would be.
Dominican Republic is freaking dangerous. I stayed with a cousin in Santo Domingo and let me tell you,D.R. is probably the most dangerous out of those choices.

Puerto Rico isn't much better either. Peru,however,is quite safe from violent crimes.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:36 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,213,327 times
Reputation: 8054
Maybe you're right ..... I remember that Peru had quite a problem with people being kidnapped and held for ransom, but maybe that's changed.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,592,236 times
Reputation: 5769
been to all three and spoken Spanish in all three as well. DR Spanish is okay, but some people speak with a little bit of a non-standard accent. PR Spanish is just fine, it is not that off from standard Spanish. Peruvians do speak clearly, didn't have any issues.

Just avoid Chile - the accent there is very hard to understand and the language is totally f-up with their own words. Argentina is also a problem, they use their own slang there for very standard words... for instance instead of saying "mujer" or "chica" to refer to a woman/girl they will say "mina" which is only an Argentinian thing!
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:01 AM
 
29 posts, read 52,454 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaPholosophie View Post
I am planning to study abroad a semester to learn Spanish and have narrowed it down to 3 countries:

PR or DR
PROS:
1. the majority of the spanish-speakers in my state (NYC) come from these two countries
2. the spanish spoken here is very different from standard spanish, so i will become more accustomed to it.
3. closer to home, so wont feel so alone
4. its cheaper to fly there
5. interested in culture
CONS:
1. not really a study abroad experience since has the same laws as the US (PR)

Peru
PROS:
1. Im interested in indigenious cultures, which Peru offers (Cusco)
2. Spanish is very similar to standard, so will be easy to understand
3. more of a study abroad experience
CONS:
1. not the spanish spoken in the state i plan to work
2. more expensive to fly to
3. farther from home, so I will get more homesick

So which country should I choose?
If between PR and Dom Rep, which would be better?

Thanks in advance
Both PR and Peru have distinct things to offer so its mostly about what your looking for. Here is my assesment ...
PR is a US territory so evrything is set to a US standard. You can rent a car, use an ATM, even use your own cell phone on the island without any probs. Also the major universities are accredited by the US so transfering credit will not be an issue. Most importantly airfare is cheap form NY.
Peru is just totaly different but Cuzco is amazing like one of those fantasy worlds from LOTR. The biggest con agaist Peru/Cuzco is the airfare alone will problably end up costing about $1,000+.
If it were me and If I had the money I'd choose Peru (totaly amazing country) you can always visit PR considering the cheap airfare.
Also I would'nt worry about the accents and slang difference...any legitimate language school will have profesional educators that will teach a standard/neutral latin american spanish. Once you have a good grasp of standard spanish you wont have problems getting used to regional accents. Good luck!
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