The University of Utah offers several avenues for students to “Go Global,” including international service-learning trips through the Bennion Center. In Summer 2023, Professor Dean McGovern will again lead students to the dynamic and historic city of Havana, Cuba through his course “Cuba: Complexity, Community, and Change.” The experience presents a unique opportunity for students who wish to study abroad while simultaneously engaging with, and immersing themselves in, global communities.
“Community-engaged learning abroad embeds students in a community in foundational ways that just cannot be replicated any other way,” said McGovern. “By accompanying people in our host country on their journeys to meet their community goals, we learn their stories, their culture, their worldviews, and we learn so much more about ourselves.”
According to McGovern, the Cuban people, politics, culture, food, music, and life compose a wonderful blend of Spanish, African, and Caribbean roots. “Cuba remains the largest, most unspoiled, least commercialized, and most exciting island in the Caribbean. It is one of the last bastions of communism in the world with a fascinating historical story,” he said.
Students can look forward to learning from local cooperative, government, non-governmental, and family-based organizations. The course features community learning experiences that highlight resource development, local activism, healthcare, agriculture, politics, sustainable consumption, environmental conservation, and cooperative demonstration projects.
“This was a life-changing experience. I feel so lucky to have been to Cuba and [to have] experienced the culture, community, and complexity of it all. It is such a unique experience that I will never be able to replicate,” said Amy Folsom, who participated in the Summer 2019 program.
The 3-credit-hour upper-division course is offered to both undergraduate and graduate students and will focus on the history, economy, and civil society of Cuba. Students will explore the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of community-strengthening efforts in a global context, specifically in Cuba. As for where students will give back to the community through service, McGovern explains, “we help out where our help is needed and invited.”
Learn more & apply now. Applications are due Wednesday, February 15, 2023.