Spotlight - Michael Cui
Country of Study: Cuba
What was your most rewarding experience abroad?
The most rewarding experience was that we were able to see what Cuba is really like and experience their culture first hand. At the same time, we learned Spanish and tried to communicate with local people to get to know them personally.
What was your favorite part about your host culture?
My favorite part was that we could actually see what family life is like in Cuba. I think that is really valuable and I think we wouldn’t have had the same kind of experience in many other places. Also, I loved the food that our host family made for us. We got really delicious food every day from our host family.
What was your favorite activity during your time abroad?
I loved all the activities during my time abroad. Everything was so new and interesting to us. And being able to have this kind of experience with my friends from school—I think that was my favorite thing.
What do you miss the most now that you’ve returned to the US?
I actually kind of miss the Internet connection from Cuba because we didn’t have any Internet in Cuba. All of us would put down our phones and actually talk to each other. We all learned a lot more about our friends and professors. I think we are too busy using our phones now, and sometimes we just can’t help it. I think a place like Cuba made us pause on our phones, and it was actually a nice experience.
What was the most challenging part of your trip?
I would say the most challenging part was the language, because I didn’t know any Spanish before I went to Cuba. Sometimes it was kind of difficult to not be able to speak with most people. But I picked up a lot of Spanish while I was in Cuba, too.
What is your best advice for students who participate in this project in the future?
My best advice is to be open minded and just go out and embrace different cultures.