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UJ Preparing for First Trip to Cuba

University of Jamestown is adding a special topics course to its spring 2019 schedule. Participants in the “Exploring the Cuban Healthcare System” course will travel as a group for the first time to Havana, Cuba.

The trip will last for roughly eight days during the University’s spring break (March 2-10, 2019). Exact travel dates will be determined in January. Students will find interest in Cuba’s unique history within Latin America due to the 1959 revolution.

“For decades, American citizens were not allowed to visit the island, and that has started to change as of eight to ten years ago,” said Alexandru Lefter, Assistant Professor of Foreign Language. “Of particular interest to our students will be the healthcare system, which is run by the state. Students will get to interact with healthcare professionals and learn more about the nursing profession in Cuba, and the experiences of medical students.” Lefter added, “Also, Cubans still use American cars from the 1950s as taxis, so it will be interesting to ride in the same type of car that one’s grandparents rode in back in the day.”

Lefter, as well as Assistant Professor of Nursing Penny Briese, will lead the group on their travels. The class will meet once a week in the evening, five times before departure and twice after returning to the U.S. While in Cuba, a typical day for students will include journaling, meeting with locals, visiting institutions, and debriefing experiences over coffee at the end of the day.

Spanish proficiency is desirable, but not required. The only requirement is a travel visa, which the class will request as a group. Anyone in the community is welcome to register for the trip. Most expenses, including travel visa, lodging, meals, and local transportation, will be included in the cost of the trip.

“We’d be thrilled to have community members join us,” explained Lefter. “Because this is an experiential learning course, insights from working professionals in other fields would further enrich our travelers’ experience comparing the two countries.”

For information on traveling to Cuba with UJ, please email Professor Lefter at Alexandru.Lefter@uj.edu

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Posted:November 27, 2018


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