“From a Holistic & Integrated Approach, Conservation in India is “not full of holes!”

With the generous support of the Quattlebaum Artist-in Residence Endowment,

the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program in the Department of Art History presents the first lecture in a new series featuring

international practitioners of architectural preservation and conservation.

Nalini Thakur, Dean of Studies

School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi

“From a Holistic & Integrated Approach,

Conservation in India is “not full of holes!”

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 @ 7:00PM

Simons Center for the Arts, room 309

54 Saint Philip St.

The lecture is free & open to the public.

Study Abroad Fair for Affiliate Programs: September 25

Passport Services* Affiliate Programs Fair

September 25th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm in the Cougar Mall

*Representatives from the Charleston Passport Center will be accepting passport applications (new and renewal) during the Affiliate Programs Study Abroad Fair (see attached on details). This service is open to the public!

2015 Study Abroad Fair Flyer

After 15 Years, Cuba Study Abroad Program is as Vital as Ever

After 15 Years, Cuba Study Abroad Program is as Vital as Ever

When the College of Charleston launched its study abroad program in Havana, Cuba in summer 2000, travel and relations between the U.S. and Cuba were already difficult. Maintaining the program, which sends about 12 students to Havana each spring, has been challenging and often unpredictable, but it has always been rewarding.

cuba study abroad

Students studying abroad in Havana. Photo by Britton Holmes.

“My time in Cuba impacted me in more ways than I can count,” said Britton Holmes, a junior international studies and political science double major who studied abroad in Havana during the spring 2014 semester. “The culture is so rich, whether it’s the music, the art, the dance, etc. The people love being Cuban. They’re proud of their culture and they want to share it with everyone.”

 RELATED:Learn more about the College’s study abroad program in Cuba

The program that Holmes speaks of, though, is vastly different than the program the first 100 students to study in Havana experienced. In 2000, when International Studies Department Chair Douglas Friedman and Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies Jose Escobar launched the program with 20 students, participants spent four weeks and lived in what was essentially a hotel. When the embargo in Cuba was tightened in 2004, it required that those visiting with an education license must spend a minimum of 10 weeks. That was when the program went from a summer study-abroad experience to a full semester.

Photo taken in Cuba by Douglas Friedman

Photo taken in Cuba by Douglas Friedman

These restrictions caused many universities to end their own programs in Cuba, but the College’s commitment to sharing the educational and cultural opportunities in Cuba kept the program alive. “In 2004 there were more than 100 universities with programs in Cuba,” Friedman said. “In 2005 there were three.”

RELATED: Check out the department of international studies

2007 marked the first spring semester in Havana – after attempting a hurricane-filled fall semester in 2005 – and the program has remained in the spring since. Students now live in apartments on the outskirts of Havana, allowing them easy access to the city without the round-the-clock distractions of Havana in such close proximity. It also makes students clean up and cook for themselves, providing them a more immersive experience.

“We’ve progressively tried to make the experience more genuine,” Friedman said. “Now we’re able to rent apartments for short-term use, and students have full kitchens – they’re actually living there. They have to deal with the same food shortages that Cubans deal with, they have to learn the different currencies, and they have to learn to navigate Havana. It’s a much more immersive experience.”

Holmes, who lived in the apartments, is a testament to this. “There is not a better place I could think of to get a full experience of pure Latin American culture,” she said. “I feel like a gained a Cuban family as well as a College of Charleston family.”

Holmes’ account of her time in Havana reflects the many unique opportunities provided through the program – not only is the Cuba program very small, allowing for students to form a tight-knit community, but also living in an embargoed country for 11 weeks is something that few Americans can experience.

cuba study abroad

Photo taken in Cuba by Britton Holmes

This is unlike any of the other programs we have,” Associate Provost for International Education Andrew Sobiesuo said. “In terms of the experience, the facilities and the adjustment that students have to make. They really learn to appreciate the advantages they have as Americans when they see what Cubans go through on a daily basis. It makes their experience much richer.”

Becoming immersed in the Cuban lifestyle can be jarring for some students. Holmes described ideal participants as “adventurous people who like to experience new cultures.” She went on to say that people interested in political science and/or Latin American history, culture and society as well as those interested in vintage cars, architecture, dancing and nightlife would also enjoy the program.

The next round of students considering studying abroad in Havana have a few months to apply – the deadline is December 1, 2014 – and in the meantime Friedman and Sobiesuo are working to get the program director in Cuba, Humberto Miranda, to Charleston in November for a 15th anniversary celebration and to teach his usual express II courses, Social Movements in Comparative Perspective and Cuban Politics and Society.

During his annual visits to Charleston, Miranda helps recruit students for the program both by providing information on the fascinating classes taught by his fellow University of Havana and Instituto de Filosofia faculty members and telling students about the unique and storied culture that awaits them in Cuba.

For Holmes, the description of daily life and friendly locals in Cuba was the selling point. “Their culture is super inclusive… I feel really lucky to have been able to experience it.”

BB&T Market Process Speaker Series: “The Political Consequences of Islam’s Economic Legacy”

September 30 at 6pm

Wells Fargo Auditorium (Beatty Center Rm. 115), 5 Liberty Street, Charleston, SC

Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University will discuss the impact of the Middle East’s traditional institutions on poor political performance, measured by democratization and human liberties.

Co-sponsored by the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Access and the Bastiat Society

Richard Porcher: Lecture & Book Signing

Richard Porcher’s long-awaited magnum opus “The Market Preparation of Carolina Rice” was published in the summer of 2014 by the University of South Carolina Press.
A botanist by training, Porcher has brought all his academic expertise together with the passion of a lowcountry native to provide a comprehensive history of the rice industry in South Carolina from its beginnings in the 1680s to its demise in the early twentieth
century. In partnership with the Lowcountry Rice Project, the CLAW program will host a lecture and book-signing by Dr. Porcher on Tuesday, September 16th at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the new Science Building at the corner of Calhoun and Coming Street, with a reception following in the Addlestone Library.