Cuba: A new horizon for co-op placements and internships

July 3, 2015

It has now been announced that at least two Florida ferry companies will now be permitted to offer service from Florida to Cuba. This is yet another step closer to a day when Americans will be able to travel freely to Cuba. For now, there are restrictions, but Americans wishing to travel to Cuba for educational purposes can do so. There are so many reasons for Americans or anyone else, for that matter, to consider Cuba for a co-op placement or international internship. First, Cuba is one of the safest places in the world to visit. Crime is almost non-existent, as it is very well policed. Moreover, Cubans are among the friendliest people you will meet and are always very eager to help out a tourist. Even the busy capital of Havana is among the safest places in the world, where you can walk the streets at all hours, and feel safe. Second, there are several unique co-op or internship opportunities in Cuba. Here are just a few of the most noteworthy:

  1. Healthcare – If you are looking to do an internship in healthcare, Cuba should be among the destinations at the top of your list. The Cuban healthcare system is among the best there is and an international model for its excellence and efficiency. Following a July, 2014 visit to the island, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Cuba is the only country that has a health care system closely linked to research and development. This is the way to go, because human health can only improve through innovation”. Cuba is extremely welcoming of people from all over the world, and is very proud to teach their healthcare methods to those looking to supplement their knowledge.
  2. Education – For those interested in the field of education, Cuba has among the highest educational standards in the world. With a literacy rate just shy of 100%, it outranks both Canada and the United States. Moreover, Cubans outrank their Central and South American peers in math and language skills. This is because the country invests more in relation to its GDP than any other country in the world. There are numerous opportunities in Cuba within the education sector for those eager to offer their knowledge and supplement their own through the country’s unique methodologies.
  3. Hospitality and Tourism – If Travel and Tourism is your interest or career field, then again, Cuba should be a preferred destination to complete an international internship or co-op placement. Following the U.S. embargo, and especially following the collapse of the USSR, tourism very quickly became Cuba’s primary source of revenue. Today, Cuba welcomes approximately three million tourists per year. There are endless opportunities in Havana, as well as Varadero, Guardalavaca, and other coastal destinations on the island for those looking for work experience in the hospitality and tourism fields, especially for who speaks English, as over a third of tourists to Cuba come from Canada and the UK.
  4. Photojournalism – There are few better places in the world more intriguing than Cuba, for an aspiring or established Photojournalist. The island has a very unique and eclectic history that has produced some of the most fascinating art and culture. The opportunity to write about and photograph this remarkable subject is certainly as unique as the island, itself.
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