A Moving and Formative Adventure. Nicaragua and Cuba - Arts and Social Change Past Review

By (Oberlin College) - abroad from 06/30/2015 to 07/29/2015 with

The Experiment in International Living - Extraordinary High School Summer Abroad Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Time spent bonding with host families, meeting and talking to local people in Spanish, and visiting culturally significant sites made me develop a much more deep understanding of both Nicaraguan and Cuban identity as well as the Spanish language.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

This program was a deeply moving and formative experience for me. When I chose to participate in this particular trip, I had only a vague idea of what I might be in for. My only real grasp of the nature of the trip came from the key words in its title: Nicaragua, Cuba, art, and social change. From the day that I arrived, I realized that I was in for an experience that would completely change and form parts of my identity. Though my understanding of art and its role in social change grew substantially, I was most moved by my exposure to the Spanish language and Latin American culture.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? High school Spanish 4
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I loved my host family experience in Managua
  • I loved the freedom I had in Cuba
  • I loved the hikes and experiences with the outdoors during this trip
* What could be improved?
  • the itinerary could have fewer things on it
  • more time could be spent in Cuba
  • more time could be spent outside of Havana in Cuba
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had known how language intensive it would be. That way, I would've brushed up on my Spanish skills before traveling.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.