Stetson international business students head to Cuba
A group of Stetson University students from the international business department left Saturday to go to Cuba over Spring Break.
Bill Andrews, chairman of the management and international business department at the DeLand university, and another professor took nine students for a week from the junior seminar "Business and Culture in Cuba" to experience the country firsthand.
The group plans to spend five days in Havana and two days in the historic Cienfuegos area. They will meet with a number of government and business leaders from Cuba; officials from the U.S. government and students from the University of Havana. Historical and cultural sites are on the agenda, too.
In preparation, the class studied Cuba's history, politics and other areas. Andrews has traveled to Cuba twice before, in 2003 and with Stetson graduate students in 2004. But travel restrictions were tightened shortly thereafter.
Andrews said students will be learning in person the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., the changing economic situation and the concept of social justice.
"It makes for a natural laboratory," he said about the trip.
Students will get "on the ground experience," he said, by talking with Cubans and listening to various government briefings.
The students when they return plan to share what they learned with others on campus.
Alisa Ring, 22, of Lake City, a business management senior, said this is her second trip to Cuba after going with a church group in 2009. But she didn't know as much as she does now and did not get to spend time in the city of Havana.
"It's an awesome opportunity to be able to go as students," she said on Friday before leaving. "I'm excited to get to see all the places we've talked about and be able to connect the stories that we've learned and heard of through our readings."
-- Compiled by Education Writer Deborah Circelli