Travel to Cuba | Cultural Connection Mini Immersion Trip

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Explore the language, culture and history of Cuba!

The Community College of Denver Foundation and the department of World Languages bring to you an opportunity to participate in a week-long mini immersion trip to Cuba from May 13-21, 2018.

Please read the information provided here before you complete the form below.  The application is due by January 20, 2018. For more information, contact World Languages Department Chair, Erin Farb.

This mini immersion is open to any CCD student who:

  • Is enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at CCD
  • Has a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Meets Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at CCD
  • Speaks and understands Spanish at the novice high level (basic conversation/navigation equivalent to completion of SPA112)
  • Holds a valid U.S. passport

Interested in joining us? Please complete the form below and we will contact you with your next steps.

  • Air Fare: $500 plus baggage fees
  • Lodging, Meals, Scheduled Activities, Ground transportation: $2,500
  • Cuban Visa: $100
  • Incidentals/personal expenses: $200

Deposit Due | January 30, 2018 - $1000

Full Payment (Balance) Due | March 1, 2018

There is an award available for selected eligible students to cover full cost of the trip! This award, offered through the CCD Foundation, is provided by Jim and Sharon Williams to create an opportunity for students to explore the rich culture of Cuba and covers the cost of the Cuba Cultural Connection week-long mini immersion.

Included in This Award

  • Round-trip airfare from Denver International Airport to Havana, Cuba, including baggage fees
  • Lodging in Cuba (7-8 nights in hotel or casa particular)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Local ground transportation in Cuba for listed activities
  • Activities scheduled as part of the Cuba Cultural Connection (Tours, Talks, Museums, etc.)
  • Visa and other fees required for entry/exit of Cuba

Not Included in This Award

  • Passport fees (if you do not already have a passport, you must apply for one on your own)
  • Personal expenses (snacks, souvenirs, medicine, additional activities not listed in itinerary, etc.)
  • Internet/phone fees

Award Application

To apply for this award, you must meet the eligibility requirements as well as the following:

  • Complete the award essay as part of the application.
  • Attend all required meetings prior to departure.
  • Following the trip, complete a reflective project on your experience (to be determined in agreement with the faculty leader) within 4 weeks of return from Cuba.

To apply, please complete the form below, including the essay portion, which requires you to answer the following: How will travel and immersion in Cuba and the Spanish language help you to develop your personal, educational and/or career goals? This essay may be written in English or in Spanish. This essay should be 800-1000 words. You may upload your essay in Word or PDF format.

Deadline

The award application is due on January 20, 2018. The award recipients will be announced January 29, 2018.

For more information, contact World Languages Department Chair, Erin Farb.

To attend, you must complete the application below. Then we will reach out to you about your next steps.

General Information Sessions

All participants are required to attend sessions on the following dates in preparation for the mini-immersion trip. Details for time and location to be announced following January 30 deposit deadline.

February 23, March 15, April 19, May 9 (full day)

1. Is it legal to travel to Cuba?

As of September 2015, U.S. regulations changed to allow U.S. residents and citizens to travel to Cuba legally as long as they qualify under one of 12 categories, such as educational trips to the island.

2. Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?

Yes, you will need a Cuban visa for your visit in Cuba.  A Cuban visa, compulsory Cuban health insurance and the Cuban departure tax are generally included in the charter company airfare though it may vary from carrier to carrier so you should ask. 

3. How do I spend money in Cuba?

Right now we recommend you bring U.S. dollars. Once on the ground you must convert them to the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). We do not recommend you bring credit cards. It is still very difficult or impossible to use U.S. credit cards and you are unable to access U.S. accounts from Cuban Banks.

4. Will I have access to Internet and phone?

Internet is found more widely across Cuba. Internet cards are easily found and purchased at most hotels. One hour is approximately 5 CUCs. Wifi is best accessed in a hotel lobby, as many WiFi parks may be difficult to access a clear signal. Cell service may be available, depending on your carrier. Check with your service provider.

5. Will I need any immunizations?

While we don’t recommend any, it is best to consult with the Centers for Disease Control for a professional opinion, or visit a local travel clinic. 

6. What is the cost of this study abroad?

The total cost should be around $3,000. The first $1,000 deposit is due January 30, 2018. See the itinerary and timeline with more details.

7. Is there any financial aid or award funds available?

Yes! We have travel awards available for 2-3 students. These awards cover the entire cost of the trip, minus personal expenses (i.e. souvenirs, personal items purchased in Cuba). For information and to apply for this award, please check back in a few weeks for details.

8. What is a Casa Particular?

A casa particular is a similar to a bed and breakfast, which provides a private room in a Cuban family home. Breakfast is typically juice, coffee, eggs, fruit and toast.

9. Is Cuba safe?

By any world standards, Cuba is extremely safe. Cities are relatively free of street crime. You can walk safely on streets, on beaches and other tourist areas. As in any urban setting, it is always a good idea to keep your personal belongings on your person when in crowded places.

10. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

The coordinator of this trip is World Languages Department Chair Erin Farb.

Sunday, May 13

  • Afternoon Arrival to Havana (pending flight information).
  • 7:00 p.m. | Welcome Dinner

Monday, May 14

  • 9:00 a.m. | Morning discussion about the Cuban Revolution and U.S.-Cuba relations
  • 1:00 p.m. | Lunch in Old Havana
  • 2:30 p.m. | Visit to the Museum of the Revolution
  • 4:00 p.m. | Visit to the Lizt Alfonso Academy, a women-led dance company and school for local youth
  • 8:00 p.m. | Dinner

Tuesday, May 15

  • 9:00 a.m. | Socio-economic discussion on housing, infrastructure, investment and restoration programs
  • 10:30 a.m. | Visit to the Biblioteca “Ruben Martinez Villena”
  • 11:00 a.m. | Walking tour of the Old City
  • 1:00 p.m. | Lunch
  • 3:00 p.m. | Afternoon free
  • 8:00 p.m. | Dinner

Wednesday, May 16

  • 9:00 a.m. | Discussion of the Cuban economy, reforms, and growth outlook
  • 1:00 p.m. | Lunch
  • 2:30 p.m. | Visit to the Museum of Cuban Art
  • 4:30 p.m. | Visit to the community of Regla and discussion on race and gender equality in Cuba
  • 7:00 p.m. | Dinner

Thursday, May 17

  • 9:00 a.m. | Visit a centuries-old mansion in Vedado neighborhood. Discussion about the complex Cuban real estate market.
  • 12:00 p.m. | Head to Eastern Havana for a tour of Alamar
  • 1:00 p.m. | Lunch
  • 2:30 p.m. | Visit Playas del Este (eastern beaches)
  • 8:00 p.m. | Dinner

Friday, May 18

  • 9:00 a.m. | Depart for Viñales
  • 12:30 p.m. | Lunch
  • 5:00 p.m. | Walking tour of downtown Viñales
  • 8:00 p.m. | Dinner

Saturday, May 19

  • 9:00 a.m. | Enjoy a morning stroll with a local guide through the valley and tobacco fields
  • 12:00 p.m. | Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. | Check-out and return to Havana
  • 3:00 p.m. | Free time
  • 8:00 p.m. | Farewell dinner

Sunday, May 20

  • 8:00 a.m. | Check out and depart for the airport