The BEST Way to See Cuba in Cultural Context July 12, 2017

By (Hofstra University) - abroad from 06/24/2017 to 07/04/2017 with

ThisWorldMusic: Music and Dance Programs in Cuba

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned Yoruba-based songs, dances, and drumming, and came away with an idea of how all this fits into the tapestry of Afro-Cuban spirituality and greater Cuban Culture. These are incredibly worthwhile things that I can take back to my students and colleagues.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

ThisWorldMusic Cuba met and/or exceeded all my expectations in terms of rigor, organization, quality of resources and excursions, safety and security--you name it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everything was well organized and administered by Jeremy Cohen and Claire Kelly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our casa particular was comfortable, very clean, and staffed with lovely and accommodating people. The location in Vedado was perfect.

* Food:

Food was plentiful and consistently of high quality. Only two dinners were not covered in the program fees.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

NA

* Safety:

Havana, and our Vedado neighborhood in particular, felt very safe, even late into the night.

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

ThisWorldMusic provided me a rare opportunity to really begin to understand the richness of Afro-Cuban Culture. It was true growth experience.

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)

5 = very easily/minimal cost

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Very little, maybe $15.00

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* 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?
  • Emphasis on music
  • Cultural excursions
  • Our learning community
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? While knowing Spanish is not required, I would have liked to engage more with our hosts/instructors. As a personal preference, looking back, I would have spent more time honing my conversational Spanish skills.

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!