Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Discover Cuba's evolving culture on this two-week Global Prep program. You and your group will spend your days gaining a deeper understanding of Cuban history, experiencing local art, and learning how different communities collaborate to foster social change. You'll also have the chance to learn traditional dances like the mambo and the rhumba, and listen to Cuban-fusion music like jazz, hip-hop, and salsa. If you're looking to spend your summer in a unique, welcoming destination with a rich culture and history, then this is the trip for you!
You journey will begin in Miami, where you'll meet the rest of your group. You'll fly with your Group Leader to Havana, and then begin a walking tour of the colonial section of the city. Next you'll meet with your program coordinators to be briefed on some essentials of Cuban culture and the Spanish language. As you settle into your homestay for the next two weeks, you and your friends will have some time to relax before enjoying a traditional Cuban dinner, which might feature local dishes like flavorful roast chicken and fried sweet plantains!
You and your group will become immersed in Cuban culture as you discover the diverse neighborhoods of Havana and the surrounding areas. You'll visit art and history museums, experience Afro-Cuban music at a trendy jazz cafe, and get together with local high school students to share stories. You'll also visit natural wonders like pristine beaches, botanical gardens, caves, and the Escambray Mountains. You and your group will get involved with community projects for young people, as well as explore a farm cooperative outside Havana. You'll even have the chance to visit a famous "horse whisperer" before hanging out with the young artists of the hip-hop dance collective, Hermanos Saiz.
You and the other members of your group will stay with local families in Havana, Las Terrazas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Santa Clara. As you get to know your welcoming hosts, you'll have the chance to enjoy homemade dishes like black bean soup or traditional Cubano sandwiches with savory pork and cheese. You'll also be able to enjoy meals with your friends at local restaurants and cafes.
Your two weeks in Cuba will focus on historic and contemporary social justice initiatives. You'll be introduced to artists, activists, and community leaders working to create and continue cultural progress. Visiting museums and community centers will give you a picture of Cuba's vibrant culture, as you explore how this complex society has changed and why. Meeting with Cuban painters, dancers, and musicians will reveal how artistic expression has developed over the years. You'll also get a chance to spend time with local high school students who can give you a first-hand account of their everyday experiences in Cuba.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.