The secret that you should to know when you plan study in cuba

imagesLast spring, President Barack Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years, at which time he called on Congress to lift the long-standing trade embargo. This continued a promising trend of improved relations between the two countries, including the reopening of embassies and the loosening of longtime travel restrictions.  The takeaway for many mobile-minded students? There’s never been a more exhilarating time to visit this intriguing Caribbean hot spot. Let’s count down six reasons why the island of Cuba claims a spot on our shortlist of desirable international study destinations.

1. Education is a Priority Here…As Evidenced by its Excellent Universities

Cuba’s 60 public universities have grown in repute over the past several decades thanks to a strong commitment to education shared by the government and its people. Five of its universities earned places in QS University’s 2016 ranking of the top universities in Latin America, which considers factors including academic reputation; employer reputation; faculty/student ratio; citations per paper; international research network; proportion of staff with PhDs; and web impact when determining standings.

And while Cuba’s universities offer a breadth and depth of subjects to choose from, its programs in medicine are particularly celebrated.

2. It Has a Top-Notch Health System

Given Cuba’s exceptional reputation when it comes to educating doctors, it’s hardly a surprise that it’s also known for a top-notch health care system.

Just how extraordinary is health care in Cuba? Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said in 2014 as reported by the Huffington Post, “Cuba is the only country that has a health care system closely linked to research and development. This is the way to go, because human health can only improve through innovation.”

Whether you’re looking for an innovative medical education or simply hoping to benefit from the country’s widespread access to medical services, you’ll find both — and much more — in Cuba.

3. Its Politics and History and History are Fascinating

Sure, Cuba has gorgeous white sand beaches, breathtaking architecture, and picturesque towns and villages, but so do many other Caribbean destinations. What separates Cuba from the rest? Its remarkable history, for starters.

While Cuba is small, it plays host to nine UNESCO world heritage sites with three others on the tentative list. These historically, naturally, agriculturally, and architecturally significant spots comprise everything from fortresses to coffee plantation remains — all packed into Cuba’s tiny 44,200 miles.

And, of course, no discussion of Cuba is complete without acknowledging its long-standing commitment to Communism despite tremendous external pressure, and the crossroads at which it now stands.

4. You Will Improve Your Spanish Skills

If you’re looking to learn Spanish or improve your Spanish skills, you’ll have plenty of opportunities in Cuba.  However, keep in mind that just as there’s a difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Latin America, there’s also a difference in the Spanish spoken in Caribbean-influenced Cuba. That said, many language experts agree that if you can speak and understand Cuban Spanish, you’re in excellent shape as it’s widely regarded to be one of the more challenging accents.

Don’t speak Spanish? While it’s always good to learn a few basic phrases in any country where you’re traveling, the Cuban people are enthusiastic, hospitable and very patient.

5. There’s Nothing Like Cuban Music

Cuban music has been influenced by many different cultures and styles with origins in both Europe and Africa. The result?  Not only is the island’s music scene unique and vibrant, but it’s also inextricably interwoven into everyday life. Wherever and whenever you go, you can expect to hear amazing live music.

Already a fan of the Buena Vista Social Club? That’s just the start of what’s waiting to be discovered in Cuba. From Cha-cha-cha and Conga to Timba and Trova, there’s no end to the heart-stirring, toe-tapping tunes you’ll hear while visiting Cuba.

6. You’ll Beat the Crowds

Because Cuba was inaccessible for so long, it retained its culture in a particularly unique way. But with travel to Cuba easier than ever and relations on the upswing, more people are adding Cuba to their must-do destinations, meaning it may experience a decline in authenticity and charm as it becomes a mecca for tourists. If you’re hoping for a taste of pure, unadulterated Cuba, the time to go is now.

While study abroad programs in Cuba aren’t new, the opportunities are greater now than ever before. And while Cuba’s strong academic offerings are incentive on their own, Cuba’s on-the-cusp status sweetens the deal, with visitors getting to experience “old and new Cuba, past and future, through the same lens.”