Mini Immersion to Cuba

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Lauder students of the Chinese, Global, and Spanish programs traveled to Cuba during Spring Break as part of a Lauder educational trip. For students in the Spanish program, this trip served as their Lauder mini immersion.  During their seven days there, students had the opportunity to explore present day Cuba through their interaction with professors, politicians, musicians, and with Cuban people in their everyday life, allowing them to have a better understanding about the country’s contexts and appreciate its rich culture. – By Mili Lozada, Director of the Lauder Spanish Language and Culture Program

Russian-Spanish dictionary available at the library of the University of Havana
Russian-Spanish dictionary available at the library of the University of Havana

Global Program student Roberto Blum writes, “Going to Cuba is like traveling back in time. Cubans have no access to the Internet and even a basic mobile phone service is a luxury that only a few can afford. Permanent access to the web is allowed for those who need it for “professional purposes”. For instance, journalists and workers of state owned enterprises have Internet access, while doctors and professionals of the like use a limited form of connection, the Intranet, through which they can access information related to health activities. Currently, most information flows still go through traditional channels such as television, radio, printed press and, most importantly, word-of-mouth. The picture above shows a Russian-Spanish dictionary available at the library of the University of Havana. For how long will word-of-mouth be the most prevalent form of communication in Cuba? The country is opening at a very fast pace and technologies are being transferred through the pockets and suitcases of travelers. After 65 years of isolation, Cubans are getting ready for an inevitable information revolution. As a matter of fact, rumors say that the government will soon allow Cubans to access the web with their smart-phones. Rumors are everywhere and they mean a lot. Cubans are eager for information and without question life will continue to change in the old communist island.”