Saturday, July 21, 2012

Last and Next Educational Exchange Orientation Trips

The Cuba Orientation Program for study abroad administrators and faculty that
took place in June was a breakthrough success, leading to a follow-up program
October 12 - 21, 2012. 

Administrators and professors from nine US colleges and universities for the first
time held substantive meetings with rectors, vice rectors, professors and other
representatives of four regional universities in central Cuba as well as with
three institutions in the Havana area.  The second program in October will
introduce participants to potential partners at universities in the eastern part
of the country as well as in Havana.

The itinerary will include working meetings with:

* University of the East (Santiago de Cuba)
* University of Holguin
* University of Camaguey
* University of Sancti Spiritus
* University of Havana
* Higher Institute of Art (ISA)


* Fundacion Nunez Jimenez for Nature and Humanity
(non-governmental organization that hosts Canadian service learning programs)

* A nature conservation park at the site of the first landing by Christopher
Columbus 520 years ago (October 28, 1492)

Participants must be full or part time faculty or staff of tertiary institutions with
a letter from the responsible official of the school that they are traveling under
a general license in order to develop a program for students receiving
undergraduate or graduate credit.  (Third party providers are welcome if they
also represent a qualified institution.)

To assure participation, a registration form and a refundable deposit of $500 is
required.  The deadline for registration and non-refundable full payment is
September 12, one month prior to departure.  However, charter air tickets
cannot be reserved without a deposit.  (FYI, seat availability became a problem
for the June trip.)

The second orientation trip will be led again by John McAuliff of the Fund for
Reconciliation and Development in collaboration with Michelle Korczynski of
Holbrook Travel.  Registration materials, the draft itinerary and costs, are
available from Michelle after July 21st.  <> 

(The third stage trip is anticipated for February, focusing on provincial
universities west and south of Havana.  Potentially this will incorporate more
attention to pedagogical institutions that are the responsibility of the Ministry
of Education not of Higher Education.)

October trip was postponed until June.   February trip uncertain.


US schools participating in the June program were: 

* Central Washington University
* Marquette University
* Penn State University
* St. Olaf College
* University of Colorado-Boulder
* University of New Mexico
* University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
* Western Illinois University
* Wingate University.

They met with:

* University of Havana
* Higher Institute of Technology (CUJAE)
* University of Agriculture of Havana/INCA (Mayabeque)
* University of Matanzas
* University of Las Villas (Santa Clara)
* University of Sancti Spiritus
* University of Cienfuegos


* Christian Center for Reflection and Dialog (Cardenas)
* Fundacion Nunez Jimenez for Nature and Humanity (Sancti Spiritus)

Comment by a June participant:

"I want to compliment both John and Michelle for organizing and running a great
program.  I learned a great deal and had a very good time doing it.  The
Cubans I met were all impressive folks and would all make great colleagues as
leaders of potential partner institutions.  I have absolutely no reservations
about encouraging study abroad and eventual exchange relations with any of
the universities I visited.  I think that this would be truly a mutually beneficial
relationship, if we can get things off the ground.  I'm already encouraging
strategic faculty to consider going on your Fall program."
Michael A. Launius, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President
for International Studies & Programs
Central Washington University  

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