With the United States and Cuba now amending their relationship with one another, colleges are taking advantage of the new camaraderie. Colleges in both countries are forming partnerships with Cuban schools to create exchange programs for students and faculty. Now there are more American colleges planning study abroad trips to Cuba, and both countries are developing research projects.
According to the Associated Press, Auburn University in Alabama is working with the Agrarian University of Havana under a new five-year exchange agreement. The University of the District of Columbia and California State University, Fullerton, have signed deals with Cuban schools and Florida International University is planning to open at least one campus in Cuba.
The Educational Testing Service, which administers the GRE exam, will also start testing in the Latin American country.
“A lot of my students, they want to go to Cuba not just because they can learn about this fascinating place, but they also see themselves potentially in the very near future doing business over there,” said Mauro Guillen, director of the Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
In the past, barriers have prevented students from both countries to travel and study, and often most applicants have been denied even after completing the application process. While tourism is still prohibited, this year the U.S has made strides to make travel easier for educational purposes.
“Cuba has probably the highest educational standards in all of Latin America,” Guillen said. “They have a relatively well-educated population and it would be wonderful to attract those students to the United States in big numbers.”