Monie's Study Abroad Trip to Cuba
Organized by: Monica Hurtado
EVENT DATE Jun 25, 2016
Hola amigos, familia, and community members,
I am excited to share that I will be studying abroad this summer in Havana, Cuba through UCLA’s Travel Study Program. Although I am very excited and eager to learn, I will only be receiving minimal Financial Aid estimated to cover less than half of the total program cost which is approximately $6,000. With that said, there is a significant gap of expenses that financial aid will not cover which is why I am humbly asking for your help. Any contribution is deeply appreciated as it will help minimize the financial burden. These funds will be used to cover expenses including books, food, living expenses and travel.
I am confident that my experiences studying abroad will foster personal, academic, and professional growth. Studying abroad for a month in Havana, Cuba will be a great way to further my study of Sociology as it is one of the only places which continues to have a revolutionary socialist ideology. The academic coursework will be focused on learning about both the history of and the complex social and political issues within Cuba. As oppose to learning this from a book, participating in the home-stay program and experiencing it firsthand will be a much more immersive experience. Moreover, this experience will allow me to engage in comparative analysis resulting in a more nuanced understanding of the global world. Participating in this program will serve as intercultural development as I will be gain multiple perspectives and broaden my worldview. Simultaneously, it will aid me in becoming aware of my own biases by testing deeply engrained preconceived notions and my understanding of the world. Given the increasingly global economy and multinational society we live in this experience will make me more marketable in the diverse workplace. The international exposure I will receive along with the fundamental skills I will acquire, will help me in achieving my career goals.
Aside from career advancement, I am confident that my study abroad experience will likewise enhance my leadership aspirations. More specifically, it will help me improve my interpersonal, problem-solving and communication skills. By stepping outside of my own sociocultural world to live and study in a foreign country, I will be exposed to the reality of others. This will help me gain a more cross cultural understanding which will assist me in being able to communicate more effectively and work better with diverse groups of people. Studying abroad will help me better problem solve by further developing my strategic and creative thinking which is important in pushing for solutions. By having the experience of navigating a foreign country, I will also be more equipped to adapt to change and handle difficult situations. Fully immersing myself into a new country gives me the opportunity to better understand Cuba in contrast to the Western world. This will make me more aware of how issues within my community connect or differ from others around the world.
Studying abroad will help me grow on a personal level by helping me become more independent and confident while learning more about myself. I believe that it will truly be a transformative experience which will profoundly impact me in all dimensions of my life. I am eager to study abroad and learn about the greater world I live in, my place within it and my responsibility as both a scholar and a leader. I am extremely privileged to have this amazing opportunity. I plan to share my journey through photos and words which I will share on my social media accounts and a blog which I will share once the day gets closer.
Thank you again for your continuous support! Anything you can donate is greatly appreciated. #ittakesacommunity Muchisimas gracias!
Abrazos, Monica Hurtado