This Thursday I will embark on my third and final study abroad trip to Cuba! I have been enrolled in a higher education course all semester long and the trip will conclude the course (minus the research paper I have to write when I get back). I am so stoked about this trip beyond words, as it isn’t every day an American gets to jet off to Cuba.
I’ve heard and read so many different things over the past few months that I’m not quite sure what to expect during my trip. The only thing I can be sure of is that I will speak Spanish and have a lot of fun. I’ve heard many things about Cuba being stuck in the 1950’s, the people being poor, and the rum being delicious. I’m not sure what the level of truth on any of those, so the only way to find is obviously to go there! I have really enjoyed getting to know my classmates throughout the semester and I know that we are going to have a great time. I am really looking forward to making some great memories with them on the trip.
One thing that I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to get to meet and talk with Cuban people, specifically university students and professors. The majority of the research for my paper will take place while we are in the country, as my paper topic is on how Cuban university students view their government and education system and what implications that has for the university culture and country, now and in the future. We will being hearing several lectures and visiting with university professors and students at both the University of Havana and the University of Cienfuegos.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to take advantage of this opportunity and I have already learned so much. Throughout the semester, we have been reading a book called Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know by Julia Sweig. If you are interested in learning more about the country itself, and its relationship with the U.S., then I highly recommend this book, as it is full of fascinating information.
I am going into this trip armed with zero expectations, my camera and a big smile on my face! I won’t have any access to the internet during my trip, but stay posted for fabulous pictures and a couple re-caps when I get back!