Spring Break in Cuba

COMM 4693 GCI: The Business of Saving Nature in Cuba

Preservation of biological diversity is of paramount importance to the continued existence of life on Earth. Various human activities (e.g., the conversion of natural lands for agriculture and urbanization, together with the alteration of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems), have already caused the extinction of many species and threaten the existence of many more. However, a number of business models offer hope for slowing or even reversing this process, and we will explore topics in a series of on-grounds classes on Tuesday evenings during the early weeks of the spring semester, and then experience them in situ on a study tour of Cuba during spring break 2016.

Cuba offers a particularly interesting location to study both conservation problems and solutions. The U.S.-imposed embargo and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union led to great economic challenges for the nation. In response, Cubans adopted more sustainable agricultural practices, and wildlife flourished as development pressures lessened.

During our week in Cuba, students will travel to Havana, the Zapata Peninsula, and Viñales. We will visit cultural sites, organic farms, nature reserves, tobacco and sugar plantations, and an ecotourism center. We will also enjoy lectures from notable Cuban economists and ecologists.

This three-credit course counts toward the Global Commerce Track and for third-/fourth-year McIntire students counts either toward the Management concentration or as a McIntire elective, and is cross-listed with ETP 4693 in the College of Arts & Sciences. For more information, contact Professor Mark White ([email protected]).

Program Dates
On-Grounds Dates: Jan. 20 – March 1, 2016; Tuesdays, 6:15 – 8 p.m.
Travel Dates: March 5 – 13, 2016 *
Final Assignment Due: April 4, 2016

*The program travel dates are March 5-13, 2016. Students will need to stay over in Miami Saturday, March 5, for departure to Cuba early Sunday morning.

Who Should Take This Class
This course is open to all UVA undergraduates, regardless of major.

Information Sessions 
Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, at 5 p.m., in Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 223 or
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at 5 p.m., in Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 223

Application Process 
An online application will is currently available on the ISO Web site after students review the online Education Abroad Workshop information session.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m., Nov. 1, 2015. Once admission is approved, students will attend several orientation sessions during the months of November and December.

A $90 application fee must be paid in person by cash or check at the International Studies Office in Minor Hall no later than 5 p.m., Nov. 1, 2015, or may be paid online until 11:59 p.m., Nov. 1. Online payments made on the deadline day will be marked as received the following day.

There are many ways for students to be able to fund their programs abroad. All undergraduate Commerce students who apply to any GCI course are eligible to submit a separate application for need-based McIntire private scholarships, provided by McIntire alumni and companies committed to making these types of global experiences possible. McIntire undergraduate applicants will be sent a link directly via email to the scholarship application for these McIntire scholarships within a few days after the application deadline. Decisions are made quickly, and students will be notified of their McIntire scholarship decision before the deadline for committing to the program. McIntire scholarships range from $500 to half the total billable cost of the GCI course.

Additionally, the UVA International Studies Office suggests many other sources of funding for your education abroad through local, national, and international opportunities.

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