Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

First Days of School



I’ve been in La Habana for a little over a week now and so far everything has been really amazing. The city is so beautiful and colorful even though many parts are crumbling. During our program’s orientation, the IFSA-Butler staff took us on some great adventures including touring Habana Vieja, the historic part of the city, and spending a day at the beach. We also visited the forts that line the bay, which were impressive, and Che Guevara’s house.

One of my favorite spaces so far is el Malecón, an avenue near our house that acts as the border between the sea and the city. I’ve been trying to go running along el Malecón as often as I can given the intense summer heat. The view is incredible and I definitely appreciate the ocean breeze.

The tours, together with the exploring I’ve done on my own while running, have helped me grasp the city and what my life will be like here. Monday was our first day of classes and the reality of studying abroad definitely sunk in. The Universidad de la Habana has a “shopping” period for these first two weeks, so even though our classes still aren’t set in stone it was a wake up call trying to take class notes in Spanish without a blackboard or powerpoint to guide me. Luckily all of my teachers have been really understanding and are willing to consult with me one-on-one to help fill in any gaps. I hope to be all set with my finalized class schedule before this weekend, when our program is traveling outside of Havana to visit Viñales.


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