Global Politics in Cuba
How did you live your study?
During my time in Cuba, I explored topics relating to US-Cuba relations, gender politics, and economic theory with people from starkly different backgrounds than my own. I learned to question my assumptions and to piece together an accurate picture of Cuba.
My courses allowed me to apply my Spanish knowledge to new subjects. The experience I gained in analyzing real-world international relations in a different language equipped me with the tools to analyze current events and the effect of these events as they occurred during my semester, including the election of Donald Trump and the passing of Fidel Castro.
I left my semester abroad with newfound capabilities in understanding global politics and new ways of incorporating my love for Spanish into my government major.
How have you changed because of your time abroad?
My time abroad taught me to contest any information given to me and how to seek out the truth amidst conflicting perspectives. I became more willing to challenge the status quo and take risks that put me out of my comfort zone, especially when having conversations on difficult topics in a language that I had not yet completely mastered. Because of my time in Cuba, I view unfamiliar environments that before I would have viewed with apprehension as exciting opportunities to learn and grow.
If you were to offer advice to a potential study abroad student, what would you say?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there when you go abroad. If something seems strange or unfamiliar, great! Try it out and learn something new in the process. It’s easy to isolate yourself within your program and not experience the full offerings of the new community and culture you are in.
Fight against the urge be comfortable with your old habits, customs, and language, and let yourself experience new things that will push you to appreciate different ways of living and make your time abroad truly unforgettable.