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Cuba: Understanding Our Future by Experiencing Cuba’s Present

Tentative Travel dates: March 4 – 12, 2022

Cuban woman sorting beans
Cuban men playing chess
Young Cuban girls performing a folk dance

Want to understand how to conduct business in a foreign country?

By exploring a country’s foundational pillars - food systems, healthcare, social services, education, history, and culture - context is given to that country’s business sectors and entrepreneurship. Compare the pillars of Cuba with that of our own, and gain a better understanding of their effects on the human condition. Much of Cuba’s present can be treated as a lens to view many of the US pillars.

The daily rhythm of this program will consist of morning lectures by experts in each pillar area followed by visits to businesses that correspond to each of the pillars discussed that day. For example, one day will focus on Cuba’s business of agriculture, and we will learn about the country’s main agricultural exports - tobacco, sugar and coffee. We will spend the morning with a local agriculture expert who will lecture on the impact of these exports as well as how these products are produced and marketed both in-country and internationally. In the afternoon, we will visit one of Cuba’s tobacco farms and cigar factories in Vinales to learn about production and packaging for exportation. We will also spend time talking with the tobacco business owners to learn about how this area of business impacts them and the local community.

As a country in transition, Cuba provides a unique opportunity to study key business areas and serves as a contrast to our current status as an international business leader. Study the Cuban world through experiential visits to businesses and organizations (ie. rum production plant, state-owned vs privately operated markets, state-owned hospital vs private clinics, tobacco production farm, etc…) and cultural exchanges and lectures with local experts and entrepreneurs in these core pillar areas


  • Freshmen through Seniors, and Graduate Students
  • Minimum GPA: 2.3 (We will use mid-term grades for freshmen to determine eligibility).
  • Non-business students and graduate students are also welcome to participate, and will receive 3 credits.
  • Priority is given to business students.

Students will receive three (3) credits for MKTG 3954 Study abroad. Students also have the option of substituting to receive three (3) credits of MKTG 4704 International marketing by completing additional coursework.

There are up to 15 seats available for the program.  The application deadline is Nov. 1

Undergraduates will receive 3 credits for MKTG 3954. Substitution for MKTG 4704 possible with additional coursework.

Contact information 

Monica Hillison
1046 Pamplin Hall 
(540) 231-5759

David Brinberg
Program Leader
2019 Pamplin Hall
(540) 231-7639