Lydia Brewer

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Temple University

Heinz Programming Area:
Study Abroad Country: Cuba Cohort Year: 2019 Home Institution: Temple University Programming Area: Learning
International Experience Summary:

As a recipient of the Vira I. Heinz Woman in Global Leadership Scholarship, Lydia had the opportunity to study abroad in Havana, Cuba for a month in the summer of 2019. She went through CIEE, a provider which coordinated multiple different experiences in and around Cuba -- trips to schools, clinics and museums, cooking and dancing classes, visits to community projects and different neighborhoods and many other excursions. Lydia was able to experience many parts of Cuba through the opportunities this program had, which only enriched her time there in ways that wasn’t spent sitting in a classroom. The course she took was called Cuba in tres tiempos: pasado, presente y futuro. This course detailed what it means to be a Cuban in every aspect of life: politics, socialism, music, Cuban history, everyday life and more. It was taught by a Cuaban professor of sociology at el Centro de Estudios Martianos, an educational center on the estate once owned by Jose Marti, a Cuban national hero. Assignments in the class were experiential based more than anything else; they were sent to marketplaces to practice negotiation skills, guide to the campus of la Universidad de la Habana to learn what a college student’s life is like, among other things. While in Cuba she lived with a host family, which gave her the opportunity to interact with Cuban people each day in Spanish. Her interpersonal and language skills directly benefited from this. The opportunity to study abroad in Havana was one that has changed Lydia for the better, one that will always have a special place in her heart.