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  • This program is currently not accepting applications. Click on the disk icon to save the program to your profile, join the interest list, and receive updates.
Dates / Deadlines:

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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Faculty-Led Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.5
Click here for a definition of this term Housing Type(s): Homestay, Hostel/Hotel Click here for a definition of this term Home Campus: Non-U of U, U of U: Utah Campus
Click here for a definition of this term Credit Type: Graduate U of U, Undergraduate U of U Click here for a definition of this term Language(s) of Instruction: English
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Language Prerequisite: Advanced English Language Fluency, No Host Language Click here for a definition of this term Badge Opportunities: Career Development, Community Engagement, Research Experience
Click here for a definition of this term Eligibility: Course Prerequisite(s), Good Academic & Judicial Standing, Minimum Age: 18 Click here for a definition of this term Pre-departure Requirements: Learning Abroad 101, Pre-Departure Orientation, Participation Requirements for Learning Abroad, Post-Decision Health Assessment, Pre & Post Commitments
Program Description:

Complexity Community & Change


Cuba PhotoCuba: Complexity, Community and Change examines the complex intersection of the past and present in relation to current political, economic, social, and environmental changes in Cuba. Despite the recent changes in diplomatic relations with the U.S, there remain many misconceptions regarding both the internal and external dynamics of Cuba. Through in-class and in-country activities we will analyze various historical and contemporary perspectives regarding Cuba and the Cuban Revolution. Special emphasis will be given to grassroots changes occurring at the community level through various old and new social actors. The course is designed to give student participants a unique and interdisciplinary introduction to Cuba’s history, political system, socio-economic conditions and composition, and environmental policies. Through this course, we will be able to develop critical analytical skills related to both U.S. perceptions about Cuba as well as domestic and foreign Cuban policies. By combining readings, class discussion, in-country community engagement, and research, students will develop their own capacity to critically assess and appreciate the contemporary complexity of Cuba in its various political, economic, social, and environmental aspects.        


  • Available credit(s): 3 credits
  • Applicants are required to enroll in the program course (Undergraduate or Graduate)
  • Courses are subject to change
  • Click on the Courses Offered link above for more information, including prerequisites
  • 2019 class meets every Tuesday & Thursday from May 7 - May 28. One required class after in-country programming on June 18
  • 2019 in-country dates tentatively May 31 - June 7


  • Possible excursions may include:
    • Various historical & cultural sites within Havana
    • Meetings with NGOs and Civic Organizations
    • Urban farms, Health Clinic, Pre-Schools
    • Community-Engaged Learning activities


In addition to taking classes, students enrich their time abroad by participating in Learning Abroad Badge opportunities such as, Career Development, Language Immersion, Research Experience, and Community Engagement:
Badge Opportunities
The Learning Abroad Badges listed in the Fact Sheet above are included in this program. Some programs offer opportunities to earn additional Learning Abroad Badges through independent options.  Students interested in earning multiple Learning Abroad Badges can participate in the Global U Program and receive special recognition at graduation.

This program automatically earns the Career Development, Community Engagement, and Research Experience Badges.
  • Career Development:
    • Students work, observe and network with community leaders and volunteers, while implementing initiatives with the host community. 
    • This experience will provide valuable, comparative and practical insights into community development, international relations, and public administration that can be highlighted on resumes and during job interviews.
  • Community Engagement:
    • As part of the program, students work with a grassroots association that addresses community development in the region. Past work projects have involved elementary schools, health centers, community centers, beach restoration, urban farms, and small collective business feasibility studies.
    • Students will interact with local leaders and volunteers while learning unique ways of addressing common challenges.


  • Dean McGovern
    • Executive Director, Bennion Center
    • Associate Professor, College of Social & Behavioral Science


  • See Housing Type(s) above
  • Participants are required to use the program housing facilities
  • Housing is included in the program cost


  • Click on the Budget Sheet link above for information about ESTIMATED costs
  • Participants should read the full Withdrawal Penalty Policy BEFORE applying
  • Scholarships are available for Degree-Seeking, University of Utah students
  • Financial Aid might apply, visit your Financial Aid Counselor for more information


The Learning Abroad Handbook outlines the University of Utah's eligibility requirements, financial policies, conduct standards, administrative procedures, academic expectations, as well as visa and passport guidelines for Learning Abroad Programs. ALL participants are subject to the rules and regulations in the Learning Abroad Handbook. It is every participant's responsibility to read the Learning Abroad Handbook and contact Learning Abroad with any questions.

Program Ratings:
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Course quality:
1 2 3 4 5
Cost value:
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Overall experience:
1 2 3 4 5
Level of cultural immersion:
1 2 3 4
Program Reviews:
ELIZABETH HAYES, Fall Break 2018 Participant
If you are ever given the chance to travel to Cuba, go! Traveling with the Bennion Center was an amazing experience and really focused on the Cuban culture. We spoke with locals and toured places I never would have as a regular tourist. There is plenty of time to explore on your own, but it's really fun to stick around with classmates and enjoy meals together. I would absolutely love to be able to experience a trip abroad with the Bennion Center again and highly recommend it!

MICHAELA LEMEN, Fall Break 2017 Participant
I loved this program, I fell in love with Cuba, its people, culture, and environment. I know and understand more than I ever would have learned in the classroom.

BRIAN KOJI, Fall Break 2017 Participant
This was one of the most enlightening, educational experiences I have every had. The classroom work interfaced very well with the in-country experience. Chris and Miranda have done an amazing job setting up the activities while in Cuba. They were pertinent, covered many meaningful topics and most of all engaging! I would highly recommend this to any student that wants to have a true international experience.

KATRIYA BOONKRATAUNG, Fall Break 2018 Participant
I highly recommend this program to any student who is interested in a true community-engaged learning experience. Throughout this course and on the trip, I was able to learn, see, and experience so much. The trip was definitely a highlight of my undergraduate career and I would do it over and over again it I could.

This program is currently not accepting applications. Click on the disk icon to save the program to your profile, join the interest list, and receive updates.