College Announces Cuban Study Abroad Program

 College has announced that an exchange program with the University of Hanvanna and Casa de Las Américas is going through final approval.

College has announced that an exchange program with the University of Havana and Casa de Las Américas is going through final approval.

Dartmouth will soon add another destination to its long list of Study Abroad options: Cuba. In the wake of President Obama’s recent work to normalize relations with the island nation, the College has announced that an exchange program with the University of Havana and Casa de Las Américas is going through final approval. Starting next fall, students will spend fifteen weeks taking classes in humanities, fine arts, and social sciences with local Cuban students. In addition to gaining a unique perspective on cultural and historical issues, students will be immersed in Cuba’s ongoing history.  For instance, the Casa de Las Américas is itself a fifty-five year-old Cuban government institution built to foster exchanges with other Latin American countries. While the program is open to students of all majors, the program is geared toward those with interests in humanities and Latin America.

The program was developed in conjunction with the Consotium for Advanced Studies Abroad, a seven-school group consisting of Dartmouth, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvannia. Spearheaded by Brown, the Consortium aims to introduce new study abroad options that may not draw enough demand from any single university. The exchange with Cuba is the first study abroad program jointly administrated by the Consortium.

The Cuban study abroad program will be similar to Dartmouth’s existing programs, with some notable exceptions. Applicants must be completely fluent in written and spoken Spanish, and may need to take two terms off in order fit into the semester system of the other schools. Course credit will transfer to Dartmouth, and financial aid will still apply. Local facilities are being renovated to provide students with housing, a library, and more.

Campus administrators say that their research indicates that there is a sizeable level of interest on campus. They also expressed hope that an established exchange program will make it easier for students and professors to get visas to continue their own research on Cuba. While there are no immediate plans for Cuban students to come to Dartmouth, administrators are ultimately planning to expand the program to include bilateral exchange.