International Educator - March/April 2016 - 5

SHUTTERSTOCK

us to begin the process of greater communication and
learning about each other's systems, understanding each
other's goals, and working together to find opportunities
for cooperation and collaboration.
The Cuba TIES workshop was the largest and most
diverse gathering of this sort to date in Cuba-thanks to
the entrepreneurial leadership of Dairo Enrique Moreno,
founder of Civitas Global Educational Services (GES), and
the leadership of the University of Cienfuegos. We were
honored to be among the nearly 40 U.S. university participants-from presidents, provosts, and faculty to study
abroad and international student services directors.
It was also an honor for me to be invited to keynote
the opening session of the workshop. Later, Jill Welch,
NAFSA's deputy executive director for public policy and
Matt Clausen, vice president of Partners of the Americas,
presented information about President Obama's 100,000
Strong in the Americas Initiative, to encourage U.S. and
Cuban universities to collaborate to apply for innovation
grants in the future. Dorothea Antonio, senior director of
internationalization services at NAFSA, used the structured networking opportunities to identify prospects for
session presentations at NAFSA's annual conference to
take place in Denver in May 2016.
Meeting at a newer, regional university-the University of Cienfuegos, in one of Cuba's smaller cities-was
also particularly special. As is true in the United States
and many other parts of the world, leaving the larger urban
areas often gives one a different view of the country and
its people, and it provides opportunities to learn about the
entrepreneurial spirit unique to those regions. The faculty
of the University of Cienfuegos is experienced in building
international partnerships with universities in countries, so
they have many of the necessary protocols and expertise in
place to provide a framework for initiating a new relationship. They are anxious to add U.S. institutions to their list
of partners, and this workshop provided an outstanding
space for sharing ideas, understanding requirements, and
reflecting on the obstacles that still remain.
One of the special aspects of our week was the opportunity to stay in private homes rather than western
hotels. To watch a neighborhood wake up-entrepreneurs
selling morning coffee to neighbors on their way to work,
children being walked to school by their parents, the local
street cleaner out at 6 a.m. every day, vendors pedaling
through the streets with fresh bread, a parade down the
main boulevard celebrating the birthday of a beloved General Cienfuegos who died in a plane crash years ago-was
a personal intercultural experience. This and much more
helped us absorb and reflect on the richness and challenges of life for the Cuban people.

Cuba Engagement Initiative Activities
at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference & Expo
JOIN US at the 2016 Annual Conference in Denver May 29-June 3, 2016,
for the following sessions and events:
n  "Forging Productive Educational Partnerships between Cuba and

the United States," presented by higher education leaders from
the University of Cienfuegos
n  "Student Mobility between Cuba and the United States:

A Relationship in Transition," exploring the impact of the changes in
U.S. policies toward Cuba and the restoration of diplomatic relations
on international education
n  "Cuban and Cuban-American Transitions: Opportunities of Engagement for

International Education," speaker session by Guillermo Grenier,
Florida International University
n  The NYFA Initiatives' Film Series, presented by the New York Film Academy,

at the NAFSA 2016 Expo Soundstage
FOR MORE INFORMATION on the NAFSA Cuba Engagement Initiative,
visit www.nafsa.org/cubaengagement.
TO REGISTER for the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference & Expo,
visit www.nafsa.org/conference.

During my time on the island, I often reflected on the
educational assets that Cuba offers as a potential partner
for U.S. institutions. Cuba has long been recognized for its
high-quality education system, from kindergarten through
university education. For years, Cuba has led the world
in its budget allocation to education at nearly 13 percent.
The World Bank has recognized Cuba for having the best
education system in Latin America and the Caribbean,
and for its high-level teaching faculty. Cuba's success in
education and health care and training of health professionals is a model for the world with social services that
exceed those of most developing countries and in some
sectors, are comparable to those of the developed nations.
M A R + A P R .16 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

5  


http://www.nafsa.org/cubaengagement http://www.nafsa.org/conference

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2016

Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 7
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F5
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - F17
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - F19
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F20
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover4
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