An undeniable enticing destination of exotic rhythms immersed with culture April 05, 2017

By (Indiana University - South Bend) - 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?
So much more than I expected. As a music and movement educator, I loved the immersion of dance and movement, and the opportunity for the final sharing. The lectures helped to understand the history of the Cubans which put everything in perspective.

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.

I appreciated the well organized pace of this program. While we had many many enriching excursions, lessons, lectures, you managed to work in short breaks throughout the day for a little down time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Jeremy and Claire were outstanding administrators. On task, up beat, well organized, approachable, went above and beyond to make participants experience a memorable one! And thank you for your pursuit in finding Paul's lost glasses ! Amazing!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Didn't mind the two beds, but the mattress my husband had was very poor... sunk in at least 4 inches. Other than that, we had hot water, air condition, plenty of space for all our stuff and we loved the little balcony. Very cozy!

* Food:

More flan, please! Great food and healthy. Especially enjoyed the morning outdoor breakfast on the little patio. Appreciated the daily liter of water. Wish I had taken one of my own small water bottles than carrying around the liter.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The lectures helped us to understand the local culture. Going back and forth between lecture and excursion worked! Charlie did a phenomenal job in translating and answering our many questions. So appreciated his positive, fun, down to earth, yet professional demeanor throughout the trip. And Claire and Jeremy - awesome!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We were beyond thrilled there were no problems in this area. Appreciated the reminders on which over the counter products to take, needed a few, but no problems.

* Safety:

Interesting in that, when speaking with others about this trip, the first question was always "Did you feel safe?". Honestly, that was my number one concern. We found the people kind, accepting and the children were precious. Like any country, if going out at night or alone, you walk with a group. Because we do not speak Spanish, had we taken a taxi on our own, I might not have felt safe. So, we didn't.

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

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)

$100.00 a week, at the most.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Very little. On food - maybe $25.00, not including soveniours.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • The upfront opportunties to watch local musicians do their thing!
  • Having a small group! All needs were met.
  • The wide range of excursion which allowed my non musician husband to love this experience as well.
* What could be improved?
  • What like more interaction with the school children. An opportunity for dialogue, listen to a music song by them, in return we could share a traditional American folk tune.
  • Get your rum before you go to the airport. Because the bus was late, we didn't have time to buy the souvenirs we were hoping to.
  • But, I had just enough time to buy a few cigars.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be sure everyone has a direct phone contact number to Jeremy and/or Claire to contact from the airport. Wish I had taken my small back pack.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

drumming lessons

Course Department:
Instructor: the main drum teacher
Instruction Language:
Comments: Yes, he was knowledgeable, but we were ready to move on to a new piece by the 4th day. With Jeremy's persistence, we finally got him to teach us another piece with the two headed drums. Much appreciated.
Credit Transfer Issues: