International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50

EDUCATION ABROAD

Williams Cruz
Perdomo (guide),
Anna Pruett
(student), Danny
Miedzinski
(student),
Arley Perera
Perez (above,
producer),
Maykel Alfonso
Alvarez (below,
sound operator),
Devon Kodger
(student), and
Rafael Conzalez
Meneses
(camera)

50  

Lessons Learned and Tips
"Many of the best practices that apply to programs in other parts of the world also apply to program development
in Cuba," Laux says, adding, "My first suggestion is to plan
ahead. Given the rapidly changing policy interpretations
and the status of new infrastructure, I would recommend
that universities start the planning process at least 12-18
months in advance." She also urges those planning new
programs not to reinvent the wheel. "There are organizations that have established strong ties in Cuba that can be
extremely helpful. Our programs collaborate with providers such as CIEE and World Strides. Partnering with these
organizations was critical in our ability to communicate
with our on-site partners, and to identify academic and
logistical resources on the ground."
The University of Utah has two faculty-led programs that include time spent in Cuba: one focuses on
entrepreneurship, the other on political science, public administration, and community engagement. They are both
embedded in semester-length courses that take place on
the main campus in Salt Lake City. "The travel portion of
the program takes place over spring break and fall break,"
Laux says. "The great thing about this model is that the
postprogram reflection is folded right into the course content once the students return to the U.S."
For programs just getting started, Garcia recommends
partnering with another U.S.-based educational organiza-

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B .17

tion that is already operating in Cuba. She also stresses
the need for advance planning. "We are encouraging our
partners to plan well in advance and to consider offering programs in months when demand is lower," she says.
"March and May tend to be very congested, and programs
find a particular strain on buses and hotels during those
months. We also work with our partners to place students
in private homes, which helps address the hotel shortage,
provides a look into Cuban daily life, and helps support
small businesses."
In December 2015, Gerald Hooper, professor of film
and video at Drexel University, took a group of students
to Cuba for an intensive two-week course in documentary
film production. "I set it up from scratch, with EICTV, the
Cuban Film School, and a pre-eminent film school for all of
Latin America. We established a formal relationship with
EICTV, and the class was cotaught with one of their faculty
members, Enrique Colina. It was an incredible collaboration." He adds, "Fortunately, EICTV had already been
running three-week workshops with University College
London and Ryerson University in Toronto, so they had
a model in place that we were able to use. Still, there were
many things to work out, and it took some time. I started to
develop the program about a year before we actually went."
In the past year, Drexel University has also embarked on
a partnership with the University of Cienfuegos in Cuba.
Michelle Ranieri first went to Cuba as a student in
2010. Now resident director for IFSA-Butler in Havana,
her advice for faculty looking to build programs in Cuba is
to be patient and optimistic. "Things in Cuba run on a different timetable than in the U.S., and to try to change that
can be seen as imperialistic. Cubans value relationships
more than business, and when you're here you'll have to
learn to do the same."

Opportunities
"U.S. study abroad programs in Cuba are important for
cultural exchange and enrichment, and for the strengthening of professional and friendly relations between [our]
people," says Léon Tellez. It benefits both sides, [when
students] share knowledge and experience from different
perspectives and contexts...These programs also stimulate
international cooperation between Cuban and American
universities and contribute to showing the possibilities and
working results of Cuban institutions of higher education.
This also contributes to improving their international positioning, and a greater openness to internationalization."
"There are endless topics for students to study in Cuba,
including the political system, the health system, gender
and sexuality, tourism, the educational system, the visual

GERALD HOOPER

strong and lasting relationships," says Ibrahin Amhed León
Tellez, director of the Center for Local Development and
Management Studies at the Universidad de Granma in
Cuba. He adds, "I believe that significant progress has been
made, which has enabled greater cooperation between
Cuban and American universities. However, the most
important steps are still pending. A fuller and sustainable
cooperation requires the removal of all restrictions and the
blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States. This will
help to foster a climate of respect and trust."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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