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October 06, 2015

SEA Semester Invites Students for Voyage to Cuba & Caribbean

Anne Broache,

SEA Semester

Above: This photo of a scene in Santiago de Cuba comes from SEA Semester's voyage to the island in 2001. Below: Some alumni recalled playing baseball with local children during a past Cuban port stop. The visit was “illuminating, fascinating, and humanizing,” said class W-167 alumnus Erik Hanberg, who provided this image.

Surely you’ve read the latest news about changes in the complex relationship between the United States and Cuba. But did you know that we’ve been working during the past few months to offer future SEA Semester students the chance to return to this fascinating destination?

Pending government approval, students enrolled in SEA Semester: Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean for winter/spring term 2016 will make a port stop in Santiago de Cuba. The visit will be part of this broader comparative studies program, which gives students of all majors the chance to deepen their knowledge of cultural and environmental sustainability issues throughout the Caribbean.

Return to Cuba

It has been more than a decade since a SEA Semester ship visited Cuba, and it’s clear from our alumni that these experiences made a mark. Eric Lessard, a class C-173 and Colgate University alumnus, summed it up in three words: “amazing, uplifting, life changing.”

Baseball in Cuba

The port stop "made Cuba much more three-dimensional," said Katy Weinberg, a class W-173 and Carleton College alumna. "Everyone who was there was excited to talk to me and share their island. Local people were extremely friendly and in the three to four days we were there, Cubans took us to their beaches and showed us their culture."

Among the highlights recalled by Eric and others during their time on land: attending a local baseball game, dining with Cuban families in their homes, touring historic Spanish forts, marveling at patched-together 1950s American cars on the roads, and practicing language skills with the town's children and teens. 

“When I first heard of the travel to Cuba, I don't think I really grasped the relevance of visiting the country that has had such a ‘unique’ history with the U.S.,” said Eric Hartge, a class C-172 and College of Charleston alumnus. “After my experiences on such a beautiful island with extremely welcoming people, I gained a greater appreciation for dialogue with others from different backgrounds as well as the sensitivities of diplomatic relations.”

Tyler DeWitt, a class C-186 and Brown University alumnus, recalled time wandering the town’s streets with his camera, where he became “entranced by this eclectic mix of Spanish Colonialism and stark Soviet mid-century modernism. In a sense, a short history of modern Cuba was written right there into the urban built environment.”

Apply by November 1 for Winter/Spring 2016

Sound interesting? There's still space and financial aid available, and you'll earn 17 transferrable credits from Boston University. Applications are due November 1.

Read more about this interdisciplinary program for all majors, and contact us at for help with the process! 




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