William & Mary students participating in a study-abroad program in Cuba the week after Commencement got an up-close look at the education system in that nation, as well as its history and culture.
A small group of students from various majors went on the excursion, which was an offshoot of the COLL 300 credit-eligible class Globalization and Education.
“Even if students were well traveled, this was a unique experience because Americans have been isolated from Cubans for a protracted period of time,” said Jacqueline Rodriguez, W&M assistant professor of education and co-organizer of the trip.
The group visited a primary school and secondary school, spoke with a representative of the ministry of education and talked with local residents during visits to Vinales and the Bay of Pigs. It also toured the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Revolution, the Jimenez Foundation, the UNSECO biosphere reserve at Las Terrazas and the Korimacao Community Project.
“We knew that few people have been able to visit Cuban K-12 schools and have an audience with a representative of the Cuban Ministry of Education,” Rodriguez said. “To be so warmly welcomed in the primary and secondary schools we visited was a tremendous opportunity for the students.”
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