VCI designs trips for academic institutions looking to offer travel opportunities to its students, faculty, and alumni. We can develop specialized programs around a variety of topics, including environmental planning and conservation, agroecology and food sustainability, marine ecology, socio-economic systems, and arts and culture.
Most trips are 1-2 weeks in length. VCI works closely with staff and faculty to ensure your institution’s academic requirements are met while providing an experiential travel opportunity with Cuban educational institutions, research institutes, and professionals working in the field. We also welcome the opportunity to develop bilateral research initiatives, alternative service breaks, international professional development trips for students and faculty, and any other specialized exchange programs for educational institutions.
Recurring Academic Courses
Future date TBD University of Vermont, Gund Institute for the Environment From Ridge to Reef: An Experiential Learning Trip to Cuba For the Spring 2018 semester, Vermont Caribbean Institute will partner with the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont to teach an interdisciplinary course that explores Cuba's advances in agroecology, biodiversity conservation, marine ecology, sustainable development and climate change responses. This 3 credit graduate level course is divided into two sections: First, instructors will deliver an introduction to Cuba’s agriculture, ecology, and economy with an eye toward challenges and opportunities as relations between the US and Cuba are normalized. Second, students will develop a small independent study project on a topic of their choice related to agriculture or coastal ecology in Cuba. Working with Cuban graduate students, we will present preliminary findings and draft a final report at the end of class. Much more than a travel course, the overarching goal of the class is to begin generating research to study and improve agriculture, coastal zone management, fisheries, and marine protected area networks in Cuba. Education is a two-way street: we hope to examine innovative approaches to agroecology and coastal restoration in Cuba to bring back to the United States. This course is coordinated in collaboration with the Center for Marine Studies at the University of Havana.