From snow to sunshine: Brandywine students study in Cuba over spring break

During spring break, a team of Penn State students and professors ditched the Pennsylvania cold for a week abroad in Havana, Cuba.

The trip, which was facilitated by Penn State Brandywine Global Programs, supplemented two online courses: “Introduction to the Arts” and “Civic and Community Engagement.”

Students in the arts course, led by Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Integrative Arts Paul Greene, focused on the evolution of Cuban music, visual arts, dance and architecture. Students in the service learning course, led by Professor of Education Lynn Hartle, focused on social activism in Cuba.

To help students better understand the context of Cuba’s arts, architecture and social movements, the program included lectures from Cuban sociologists, co-op leaders, professors, musicians and activists.

“One of my majors is international politics, so to learn about a government and social code completely different from the United States was incredible,” said Kelsey Bell, a University Park freshman who traveled with Brandywine Global Programs. “It was interesting to compare how our two countries handle similar issues, like healthcare and education.”

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