Totally enjoyable exploration of Afro Latin dance and music ever! March 20, 2017

By (Simmons College) - abroad from 02/16/2017 to 02/26/2017 with

ThisWorldMusic: Music and Dance Programs in Cuba

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The depth of African cultural practices in the Western world.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

We had plenty of opportunity to learn about Afro Latin culture, dance and musical traditions in Cuba. The lectures were informative, the performances were riveting. The program guides were extremely well prepared and answered all of our questions. The course had the right degree of intensity for a ten day trip. We were well prepared before arrival due to the carefully designed orientation, and that was helpful. I can't think of anything that the course developers could have done differently. I'm still telling everyone about my stay in Cuba with This World Music. What a great experience!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Claire Kelley and her team on the ground were fabulous. They were open, totally bilingual and bicultural, always available when we needed them, and I always felt safe due to their careful planning and hard work. Jeremy's hard work was visible throughout the trip. He did an admirable job thinking through the elements of a great program on music and dance in Cuba and he assembled the best team possible to make it come alive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were very clean and orderly. We needed to make a change with one of the bedrooms and our request was honored quickly and efficiently.

* Food:

The food was plentiful and very substantial.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had plenty of opportunities to meet with people at the museums, dance studios and community groups that we attended. The only thing that slowed us down was the lack of second language skills.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with health issues while in Cuba.

* Safety:

Cuba was delightful safe. We walked the streets at all times during the day and well into the night and we always felt safe despite the lack of police visible on the streets. We were able to find taxis whenever we needed them. All taxis were clean and professional.

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

A study abroad opportunity like this doesn't come often. It was exactly what I was looking for. We need more opportunities to study people of African descent around the world.

Finances

* 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)

1) No problems at all.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? nearly nothing.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • drumming
  • dance
  • lectures about Afro Latin culture
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? nothing. the orientation was perfect.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!