UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: Cuba: Law, Public Health, and the Cuban Family (FMSC)

Havana, Cuba
Terms offered: 
Summerterm
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
2.5
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Yes
Language of Instruction: 
English

Cuba FMSC

Join our summer 2017 adventure to Cuba for a truly unique opportunity in this comparative family law, public health/medicine and impacts of poverty course.   During this blended travel and on-line learning course we will be among the first in a generation to travel to exotic Havana for eight days of dialogue, educational experiences and cultural events as we contrast Cuba's socialized health care and legal systems with our own.

Our travel to Havana allows students a unique opportunity to travel to isolated Cuba and study the socialized systems that govern the Cuban family. Through personal engagement with Cuban leaders and professionals and locals, students will gain first-hand knowledge of the impact on Cuban families of socialized family law, and healthcare and the impacts of economic isolation during the US trade embargo and examine Cuba’s promises of equality on family systems.  Students will participate in panel discussions and guest lectures with leading Cuban government officials and ministers, medical and legal professionals and work collaboratively on a research project with the local public health and medical students where they will conduct cross cultural interviews.   In our journey to Cuba students will learn valuable comparative and analytical skills as we immerse ourselves in many of these personal exchanges (the itinerary will be finalized before departure):

  • Our comparative family law study will include:  a meeting with members of the Cuban Family Law Association at the Union of Cuban Jurists; a meeting with Cuban family judges and civil rights experts; a meeting with members of the Legal Services Bureau to discuss the advocacy, practice and delivery of criminal and civil law services in Cuba;  a meeting with the Board of Directors of the Cuban Society of Civil Rights and Family law to discuss Cuba's civil code, children's rights and Cuba's family law; and a visit to a community-based Guidance Center for Women and the Family.
     
  • Our comparative socialized public health care study will include:  a meeting with the a group of University of Havana Medical School professors for a hospital tour and discussion; a meeting with some Cuban public health and medical students from Havana Medical School for peer exchanges and the opportunity for cross cultural interviews; and a panel presentation by members of Cuba's Ministry of Public Health.
     
  • Our dialogue on equality, includes experiential learning such as a visit to a community-based Guidance Center for Women and the Family to examine the role of woman in Cuban society; talks with specialists at the National Center for Sex Education and Research to talk about women's issues and empowerment; and a tour Casa de Africa, a museum to learn about Afro-Cuban culture and examine some of the last vestiges of Cuba's heavily practiced slave trade in the Santeria religion. 
     
  • Our study of the underlying Cuban Revolution, which serves as the foundation of Cuba's legal and health system and socioeconomic conditions, will relive history at the Museo de la Revolución, meeting  with members of the North America Division of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the People (ICAP) who promote Cuba's solidarity; and tour the remnants of Cuba's pre-revolutionary industrial days when we visit the ruins of a colonial coffee plantation outside of Havana and examine the impacts of post-revolutionary shortages and rationing.
     
  •  Our cultural immersion to explore Cuba's spirit includes: a trip outside of Havana to Las Terrazas, a sustainable community in the mountains of Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve; a tour of Finca Vigía, American author Ernest Hemingway's home; a view of El Morro Castle built in the 1500s to guard the entrance to Havana; and a visit to  La Fábrica de Arte Cubano for a guided tour and evening performance.  All the while, students will interact with the Cuban people in daily interactions and sightseeing, including the opportunity to absorb Cuban spirited jazz clubs or a ride in one of Cuba’s classic 1950’s car.  An optional excursion includes an afternoon of snorkeling in Cuba’s pristine tropical waters or other opportunity to explore Cuba’s fabulous island. 

This 4 credit FMSC class starts with pre-travel ( May 22, 2017 - May 30)  on-line/blackboard learning through videos, voice-over PowerPoint lectures, readings and videos and the pre-departure orientation developing a strong foundation for the comparative component of the Cuba travel.   We depart Wednesday, May 31 for Cuba and tour Cuba  until  Thursday June 8th.  During the post-travel on-line learning continues with Cuba's diaspora and the US counter revolution.  Students will watch our exclusive video--our Assistant Program Director's exclusive oral history interview with one of the last children removed from Cuba to the U.S. after the revolution under Operation Pedro Pan.  Students will wrap up the course with a final project reflection papers based on their travel journals by Thursday June 15.

Join us a part of history as Cuba reopens to the U.S. after years of isolation.  This is a rare professional opportunity and adventure for students that facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction and collaboration in comparative law, health care, equality and poverty between Cuba and the U.S. This unique adventure will benefit students of all levels both within their discipline and in a cross-disciplinary level.  Undergraduates, freshman to seniors,  interested in health care, medicine, public health, law, family, poverty, impacts of war, history, politics and political science, international studies, Latin American studies and Spanish will benefit from this class as we examine the myriad of cross disciplinary issues. Similarly, graduate students in the legal, medical and public health fields, international studies, history, and politics will have an opportunity to apply their advanced knowledge and skills in a Communist/Socialist country which few in our generation have been allowed to enter. Students will build on their foundations of American systems to compare Cuba's communist/socialist systems in these fields and examine the impacts of 50 years of the U.S. 

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

All UMD and non-UMD students are eligible to apply. 

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following four (4) credit UMD courses:

  • FMSC 498C: Law, Public Health and the Cuban Family
  • FMSC 698C: Law, Public Health and the Cuban Family

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

You will stay in shared accommodations in a hotel.  The hotel is conveniently located to Havana in a safe, residential-type district which will allow safe walking excursions and easy transportation arrangements for longer distances.

Costs listed are for summer 2017.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $40
Tuition $3,335
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $700
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
TOTAL PROGRAM FEE $4,575
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $50
Visa $0
Passport $140
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $400
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $100
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180
TOTAL ESTIMATED COST OF ATTENDANCE: $5,570

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Program Director, Kerry Weil Tripp, J.D., is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Family. For over a decade she has taught, among other things, the major's required Family Law classes to graduates and undergraduates. She is also the author of the textbook "Family Law for Non-Lawyers" which was published in 2014 and revised in 2016. It is used in several major universities throughout the U.S. including Boston University and the University of Indiana. The 600 page book surveys family law, familiarizing the reader with similarities and difference in the law throughout the U.S. and serves as the basis for looking at another countries' family law system like Cuba. "Family Law for Non Lawyers" also covers contentious issues like marriage equality, birth control, and assisted reproduction which challenge the family law systems of both Cuba and the U.S. Kerry also teaches family mediation to undergraduate and graduate students. Each semester, she supervises an average of four undergraduate research assistants and teaching assistants. For the Fall 2016, Kerry was recently selected as a UMD Undergraduate Research Fellow to study the issue of student integrity. She has served two terms as a member, and the only lawyer member, of the University Senate's Student Conduct Committee which was tasked with reviewing the UMD policies on academic integrity and student honor code, including procedures for responding to sexual assault allegations. In addition, her career has entwined academics and the law for over 30 years, having served on a committee for the National Committee of Bar Examiners in California during the 1990s, guest lectured at law schools, serving as an Interim Department Chair and Associate Professor as well as practicing law in major law firms in California and Maryland. Kerry received her Jurist Doctorate in 1985 from the University of Notre Dame Law School where she was the co-director of its Legal Aid Clinic and taught a class on citizenship and the law to local at-risk elementary school students. Before graduating magna cum laude and receiving her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh she was the recipient of the prestigious Vira Heinz Scholarship for Study Abroad in 1981 where she studied socialized medicine at the University of London and worked as a counselor at a National Health Service rural treatment facility for youth with eating disorders. She looks forward to renewing that research on nationalized health systems while in Cuba.

Assistant Program Director, Allyson Pakstis, MPH and a candidate for a Ph.D. in the family science department, has extensive experience working with federal public health programs that benefit vulnerable American families and individuals (i.e. living in poverty, minority status, etc.) including issues such as mental and behavioral health, teen pregnancy prevention, community violence prevention, positive youth development, and ensuring cultural and linguistic competence in services and programming. Allyson's Master in Public Health degree concentrated on maternal and child health and she is currently starting her third year in the Family Science Ph.D. program. There, she is a teaching and graduate assistant. Allyson's Ph.D. research is focused on the transfer of historical trauma in families, specifically looking at political and armed warfare as the historical event. Allyson's undergraduate degree in psychology was bolstered by two study abroad programs (South Africa and the Czech Republic) that focused on studying the implicit and explicit effects of political and structural violence on civilians and families, specifically looking at apartheid in South Africa and communism in Eastern Europe.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

Water
As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Personal engagement with Cuban leaders and professionals and locals. 
  • Panel discussions and guest lectures with leading Cuban government officials and ministers, medical and legal professionals, including medical professors and doctors, public health and medical students, lawyers, judges and advocates.
  • Examine global issues regarding Cuba's socialist promises of equality when when visiting a community-based Guidance Center for Women and the Family.
  • Meet with members of the North America Division of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the People (ICAP) who promote Cuba's solidarity. 

Beach

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2017 03/01/2017 03/11/2017 05/31/2017 06/08/2017