Stories from Cuba: Inspiration for a New Era of Exchanges

May 20, 2011

By Rebecca Tollefson

CubaBeginning today on Connecting Our World, we are shining the spotlight on new opportunities for academic engagement in Cuba. As many of you know, President Obama announced changes to some types of non-tourist travel to Cuba earlier this year, including travel for academic purposes and people-to-people engagement. The new regulations make it possible for all students enrolled in degree programs at accredited U.S. higher education institutions to study abroad in Cuba. The Connecting Our World community and NAFSA: Association of International Educators advocated for many years for these changes, and we are pleased to hear that many institutions are already working on starting or re-starting academic programs in Cuba.

Learn more about academic and scholarly relations with Cuba at a luncheon and seminar on Tuesday, May 31 at the NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo in Vancouver. Read more at www.nafsa.org/ac11cuba.

Since most of us have never had the opportunity to travel to Cuba, the stories we’ve collected over the past few months from individuals who have studied or lived there provide a rare and fascinating glimpse into Cuban life and culture. Through experiences that range from running a race to navigating a crowded bus, these students have shared their reflections on time spent studying in Cuba and engaging with the Cuban people.

Visit the “Stories from Cuba: Inspiration for a New Era of Exchanges” page on Connecting Our World to read some of these exciting stories, take part in a survey to tell us what your plans for Cuba programs may be, and find links to resources that provide more information about establishing programs in Cuba.

The opening of academic travel to Cuba presents many exciting opportunities for academic travel and engagement. Visit www.ConnectingOurWorld.org to share your stories, learn more about what other institutions are doing, and take part in the conversation about this important new chapter in international education.


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