Students will have the opportunity to attend class in Cuba during the inaugural expedition this summer.
Though the United States currently has a travel embargo on Cuba, participants in the study-abroad program will be granted access to the country on a general license for taking classes while on the trip.
Assistant professor of history Devyn Benson will lead a group of students during the month-long trip as they learn the history and culture of the nation.
Benson said the program will offer insight into the politics and customs of Cuba while providing a look into a country starkly different from the United States.
The two courses offered for the program are History 2195: Special Topics in History- Cuban History and Honors 3025: Contemporary Cuban Culture and Society. Benson said they will be looking into Cuba’s past, including the revolution and relations with the United States and the culture of a socialist country.
Though only 106 miles from the United States, Cuba has developed a different economy and political system from its one-time ally. Benson said Cuba still has relics of the U.S. such as cars from the 1950s and a major emphasis on baseball.
The 25 participants will not only see the capital of Havana; they will tour colonial parts of Cuba, historical monuments such as the Plaza de la Revolución and meet with natives in public schools and health clinics, according to an informational flyer.
Benson said the students will do research projects in conjunction with the Juan Marinello Cuban Research Institute, which is sponsoring the University’s trip. The institute will provide graduate students on the trip with research visas so they can continue their work after the program is finished. Students will meet with representatives associated with their research projects while abroad.
Benson said she hopes the University and the institute can sign a memorandum to maintain the program and research opportunities for students.
The program will run from May 28 to June 28 and is open to all students of any major.
“The more Americans learn about Cuba and the more Cubans learn about America, the more diplomatic relations can occur,” Benson said.