International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51

NAFSA Engages with Cuba

A

s momentum continues toward the full

speaker, and a representative from the Cuban

restoration of diplomatic ties between

Ministry of Higher Education warmly addressed

the United States and Cuba, NAFSA's

the audience.

commitment to internationalization partner-

As Johnson noted, NAFSA views the Cuba

ships, academic exchanges, and joint research to

TIES workshop as an integrally important way

develop new opportunities for higher education

to develop internationalization partnerships,

leaders to collaborate is stronger than ever.

promote academic exchanges, and encourage

On October 24, 2016, NAFSA and the Republic of Cuba Ministry of Higher Education signed a

joint research to support the normalization
process between the United States and Cuba.

memorandum of understanding in Washington,

Higher education professionals from

D.C., signifying a joint commitment to building

eight Cuban universities participated, along

higher education partnerships between the

with representatives from Belgium, Canada,

recognizing that connecting students, scholars,

two nations and to advocating for the lifting of

Colombia, Ecuador, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain,

educators, and citizens across borders is a criti-

remaining trade and travel restrictions on Cuba.

Sweden, and the United States. The discourse

cal tool for mutual understanding and building a

The agreement signaled Cuba's interest in sup-

of the event focused on the internationalization

more secure and peaceful world, NAFSA is com-

porting the engagement of its higher educa-

of higher education and inspired attendees to

mitted to advocating with Congress until all re-

tion institutions, in Havana and throughout the

consider opportunities and strategies for col-

maining trade and travel restrictions have been

country, in the internationalization landscape

laboration. Since the first Cuba TIES Workshop

removed. Learn more about how to be part of

with U.S. institutions.

in 2015, five U.S. colleges and universities have

the NAFSA Cuba Engagement Initiative, both by

signed agreements with the University of

developing sustainable partnerships with Cuban

privileged to be in Cuba for the 2016 Scientific

Cienfuegos, and many delegations have trav-

higher education institutions and by advocating

Conference of the University of Cienfuegos, in-

eled back to Cuba to continue the important

to lift remaining trade and travel restrictions, at

cluding the 2nd Workshop of Strategic Alliances

partnership building.

www.nafsa.org/cubaengagement, and consider

Concurrent to this meeting, NAFSA was

for the Internationalization of Higher Education

NAFSA is privileged to be part of this

joining our efforts to educate members of Con-

(Cuba TIES). NAFSA's then Executive Director

important moment in history, knowing that

gress on this important issue by participating in

and CEO Marlene Johnson was the keynote

higher education plays a vital role. In addition,

Advocacy Day 2017 on March 13-14, 2017.

arts, music and dance, religious expression, and the continuing search
for a utopian revolutionary ideal, even as capitalism encroaches more
and more on daily life," says Behar. She stresses the opportunities
for study outside of Havana. "Almost all of the programs are based
in Havana, which is understandable because of the many resources
the city offers." But, she adds, "Programs will need to be dispersed
throughout the island, to provincial cities such as Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Camaguey, and Santiago de Cuba, to distribute
resources. This will also give students the opportunity to get to know
more of the island and its different regional histories and traditions."
Anna Pruett and Danny Miedzinski were senior film students at
Drexel who went to Cuba in 2015 with Hooper's documentary film
class. "I had never been around people who had so little but valued
so much," Pruett says. "People in Cuba are incredibly resourceful and
innovative, constantly finding solutions to the problems that the rest
of the world doesn't have to deal with." For her, the best part of the
experience was getting to be inside people's homes and speak to them
about issues in the city. "It's one thing to visit an incredible country,
and another to delve into the problems that the community faces," she
says. "I was inspired by the people and places I saw in Cuba. For the

rest of my life, I will be able to look back on the spectacular innovation
and warmth that radiates through the community in Havana, and
remember that there is always another solution to every problem."
Miedzinski agrees that interaction with people from the local
communities was the best part of the experience for him. "Whether
exploring Old Havana with our crew, sitting for coffee at night with
our hostel hosts, or interviewing residents as our subjects, every person we spoke with expressed similar traits of caring and ingenuity.
These were some of the most innovative, patient, and down to earth
folks I've ever had the pleasure of living and working with." He adds,
"My experience in Cuba helps me remember why I am so interested
in documentary film. Everyone has a story and is waiting to tell it.
Thinking back on Cuba reminds me to stay open minded, to recognize innovative talent in unlikely places, and to see the beauty in this
world even in the most unexpected places. Cuba was unforgettable,
and I'll take that experience with me forever."
JANET HULSTRAND is a writer, editor, and teacher who divides her
time between France and the United States. Her most recent IE article
was "Advancing Faculty-Led Programs at Community Colleges" in the
November/December 2016 issue.
J A N + F E B .17 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

51  


http://www.nafsa.org/cubaengagement

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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