Arcadia University welcomes last month’s announcement by the U.S. Department of State that the travel advisory for Cuba has been downgraded from “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” to “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.” This news should help encourage students to strongly consider Cuba as a study abroad destination.
Arcadia University has continually operated programming in Cuba since 2010 and this update to the State Department’s travel advisory reaffirms our belief that Cuba is a safe and valuable destination of our students.
As the Arcadia Resident Director for our Cuba program, I take seriously my role to keep our students informed and educated about the realities in Cuba to help ensure their safety and security. In response to the updated travel advisory, one of my former Cuba fall 2017 program alumna, Kennedi Woods, a Spelman College senior in International Relations with a minor in International Development, shared her reactions, “I've yet to feel as safe in any country, including the U.S., as I have in Cuba. Having experienced preparation for a natural disaster, many at home transmitted their personal fears, while, on the ground in Cuba, it was hard to panic as every possible measure was taken to ensure safety and wellness. In general, I think that Cuba's environment fosters a relatively assured premise of safety.”
The U.S. Embassy in Cuba website has been updated noting, “the U.S. Embassy in Havana resumed offering the full range of American Citizen Services including passport renewals, first-time passport applications, notary services, authentication services, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Cuba.”
“As in our other program locations, the majority of our students in Cuba enjoy an incident-free study abroad experience. Should the need arise, Arcadia has well-practiced emergency plans and response protocols in place to support students through any concerns. I’m happy to see the travel advisory updated as it’s certainly more in line with what we and our students have experienced on the ground - that Cuba offers an amazing learning opportunity in a low-risk environment.” Maureen Gordon, Director of Health, Safety, and Security for the College of Global Studies.