POSTED: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012 6:45 AM | UPDATED: 6:51 AM, FRI FEB 3, 2012.
Stone Center for Latin American Studies will offer a new summer study abroad program in beginning in 2012. Cuba
Stone Center had a popular Cuba program until 2004, when regulations tightened and schools were no longer allowed to have programs of less than 12 weeks in . Cuba
"But we kept our eyes on
Cuba," said Valerie Marshall, director of planning and management. "When [President Barack] Obama rolled back regulations, we jumped on it." Stone Center
The four-week program is based in
but includes trips outside the capital to show students more of the country. Havana
"The idea is to bring our students there to learn about the culture and the history of
Cuba," program manager Natalia Porto said.
Stone Center believes in the importance of having a program in in spite of the challenges it poses. Lauren Toppenberg, an alumna of the Office of Study Abroad's Cuba semester program, agrees. Cuba
"My interest was first sparked when my dad went on a legitimate trip to the island when I was 8 and promptly had his souvenirs destroyed by
customs on his way home," Toppenberg said. "Finally, after taking many classes on Latin America and Dallas Cuba itself, I realized that I was never going to be able to actually understand without going there myself." Cuba
Even with lowered restrictions on travel to
, maintaining a program there is still difficult. Cuba
"It is really hard to run a study abroad program with a country where you can't use a credit card,"
In addition to the
Cuba program, Tulane is introducing several other study abroad summer locations, which will send students to Cadiz, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; and . Paris
"There is a definite need for summer programs," Director of Study Abroad Peter Alongia said. "We send a lot of students out on summer programs by other providers, and we recognized a need to have our own Tulane Study Abroad summer programs."
The summer programs run for four weeks.
"All of the programs will take into account the setting of the country they are in and are geared to that location in some way," Alongia said.
, for example, students will take a class in Xhosa, one of the official languages. Cape Town
Porto said both the
and the Office of Study Abroad are dedicated to giving students more options to study in a foreign country. Stone Center
"It can help you learn a new way of living,"
Porto said. "Without being exposed to different ways of life, you just aren't getting today's world."