Spotlight on Cuba

Spotlight on Cuba

A guide to custom programs in Cuba

Just 90 miles separates Cuba from the United States, and yet this island nation has been a world away for more than 50 years. As the doors slide open to U.S. travel and business again, Cuba is sure to reinvent itself. Its rich legacies of fine arts, music, and dance and its current political and economic realities make it a hotspot once again.


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Customize Your Program

Designing Your Custom Program

We believe this kind of learning experience demands a unique travel itinerary, and that’s why we specialize in customized travel programs. Whether its J-term, spring break, May-mester, etc., our program development team, alongside our Global Academic Team, will consult with you to translate your curriculum into a one-of-a-kind learning experience that will deliver the educational outcome you’re looking for. From selecting your destination to identifying interactive experiences that bring your classroom to life, our thematic approach ensures that your goals drive every decision we make together.

A Personal Partner

Once your program is developed, you’ll work directly with an account manager who will be your champion, working directly with our large team of logistical experts, curriculum specialists, and on-the-ground partners. Our loyal clients see their account managers as an integral part of their own university teams, ensuring that your program is uniquely yours each and every year.

Meet our VP of Program Development

JeDSC_7280nnifer Fisher leads a team of WorldStrides’ program development specialists, working directly with new university clients to globalize their curriculum with short-term faculty-led cultural immersion experiences. Jen brings a passion for customized curriculum solutions to this role after more than 20 years working with institutions of higher learning.

To begin customizing your program, give us a call at 1-800-422-2368.

Topics to Explore

In Cuba, you might choose to explore some of the following topics:

History & Geopolitics

Trace Cuba’s history from its discovery by Christopher Columbus through the Cuban Revolution and into modern times. The influences of Spanish colonization, African slavery, and Cuba’s relationship with Russia are all apparent today. Discuss U.S. embargo politics with citizens of Cuba and consider what changes might come from the island’s new relationship with its super-power neighbor.  


Cuba has placed high priority on education spending (especially by comparison to the U.S. and many other Western nations) and prides itself on its free and highly ranked system. Visit a university and a primary school to learn more about teaching in Cuba, including the strong Communist ideology that pervades education there. 


The government has slowly allowed more categories of private business in Cuba, called  “cuentapropismo,” or “on your own account.” Explore the challenges and advantages of striking out on your own in this centralized economy.

Cigars & Tobacco

One can hardly think of Cuba without calling to mind the tobacco industry. Explore the full life cycle of this famous contraband product from plantation to port. Consider the impact of its new status.


Though the old city is beautiful and historically significant, visitors often comment on the poor condition of streets and buildings in much of Old Havana. Study the challenges of improving infrastructure in the old city and learn more about efforts to restore some of Havana’s most famous buildings.


Destination Overview

Cuba Now
Cuba Now

The story of how Cuba weathered the U.S. embargo makes for a rich itinerary for business, political science, and history students. And the tension is not over. Cuba is, after all, still a communist country, and a member of the Castro family is still in power. Every day, new developments in the two countries’ relationship evolve in ways that may change Cuba forever.

It must also be said that the U.S. does not define the island. Open trade and geopolitical relationships with the rest of the world have made Cuba into the nation it is today. Farmers grow sugar, coffee, and, of course, the tobacco that makes the famous Cuban cigars. Tourists visit from all over the world, and it will be especially interesting to see how Cuba’s tourism industry evolves in the face of pent-up demand from American travelers. Modern manufacturing, engineering, medicine, and education are all areas ripe for study.

Spanish Teacher’s Cuba Trip Changes Students’ Perspectives

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Since the ability to travel to Cuba opened up last year, it has become a popular destination, particularly for educational travel. Spanish teacher Chad Taylor recently took 13 high school students to Cuba where they were immersed in a culture and tradition very different from…

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