Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar

Click here to register for the ZSEIFS CUBA Info Session - Sept. 14th 

2018 ZSEIFS Cuba Program Information

 Tuesday, October 17, COB

ESTIMATED PROGRAM DATES: Summer 2018, May 13-28

ESTIMATED PROGRAM FEE: Faculty: $1,700 - $2,000*   |   Administrators: $2,300 - $2,700**

NOTE: The final program fee will be finalized prior to the application deadline. 

The ZSEIFS Cuba application is located here. 

*Faculty will be asked to secure funds from departmental, college, or other university sources. OIP will cover the remaining program costs. 

**Faculty with administrative responsibilities (e.g., deans, department heads, vice-presidents) will be asked to secure funds in cost-sharing from departmental, college or university sources and clearly articulate how their participation will impact their department or college. 

The ZSEIFS seeks to sustainably internationalize the teaching, research, and service of faculty participants. One of the key ways in which the ZSEIFS accomplishes this is by connecting participants with scholars or other experts in their respective fields. These connections may lead to future research projects, collaborative teaching, or even a Fulbright experience. 

In light of recent events related to Hurricane Irma and the U.S. Travel Warning to Cuba issued on Sept. 29th, OIP has been in regular communication with Cuba Education Travel (CET), a Cuba travel provider OIP is currently in negotiations with to facilitate the ZSEIFS on-the-ground experience. Here is an email from Adam Linderman, a representative from CET. In it includes information on CET’s analysis of the current situation. As mentioned in an email to faculty-all, OIP has reviewed the information surrounding the travel warning and has conferred with the proper knowledgeable and authoritative WKU entities. As such, we are moving forward with the program as planned at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you informed on our plans based on further developments should that become necessary.

 NOTE: The ZSEIFS to Cuba will utilize casa particulares, which are private accommodations or private homestays in Cuba similar to bed and breakfasts, but are not considered hotels. 

In-Country Itinerary

Visits to Cuban Universities

The upcoming ZSEIFS Cuba will incorporate visits to universities in Cuba, among them, the Cienfuegos School of Tourism; Central University of Las Villas, Santa Clara; the University of Cienfuegos; and the University of Havana. Those interested in participating in the 2018 ZSIEFS are encouraged to take some time to familiarize themselves with these universities--particularly the programs/departments that align with your area of expertise as well as any administrators, faculty or other staff that would be of value to connect with. When investigating potential contacts, applicants are also encouraged to explore other universities, schools, professional organizations, etc. that align with their professional goals within Havana, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and in other areas of Cuba as participants will have time—whether during or after the program—to visit other locations.

Please note that not all institutions in Cuba, including universities, have web pages. Some only maintain Facebook pages. Among those that do, load times are slow. For questions or for a more comprehensive list of Cuban universities in areas we will visit, please contact the ZSEIFS Cuba Faculty Leader Dr. Andrew McMichael (

Pursuing Individual Goals

To ensure participants will have ample time to carry out their own individual goals, the ZSEIFS Cuba itinerary will include multiple days or portions of days with unscheduled activities to facilitate independent research and networking.

Group Excursions and Activities 

The tentative ZSEIFS Cuba itinerary includes:

  • visits to the Bay of Pigs Museum, the Che Guevara memorial, La Fábrica de Arte Cubano (an art project created by Afro-Cuban musician X-Alfonso in Havana's Vedado neighborhood); 
  • a private tour of the Christopher Colon Cemetery; 
  • discussions led by local economists, urban planners, historians, artists, etc.;
  • walking tours of Old Havana, Parque Marti in Cienfuegos, and Trinidad;
  • meetings with local nonprofits and professional organizations; 
  • and other key cultural and historical points of interest. 

Once participants are selected, the final itinerary will incorporate their specialized areas of interests. 

Physical, Medical, Dietary, and Cost Considerations

  • Temperatures in Cuba in late May range into the upper 80s, with clear bright days and a hot Caribbean sun, but seemingly much hotter than the upper 80s in Bowling Green. Plan accordingly.

  • Air conditioning will be very limited. We hope to secure accommodations with air conditioning, but cannot guarantee it. Other spaces—like office buildings, restaurants, etc.—are not likely to be air-conditioned.

  • Participants should be capable of walking at least three to four miles each day (on average). We will not always be near quality medical facilities. If you have a condition that may require rapid medical attention, this is not the program for you.

  • Participants should expect to share rooms with other ZSEIFS participants in Cuba.

  • Cuban cuisine is dominated by animal products; vegetarians and those who follow a vegan or gluten-free diet will experience difficulties finding suitable eating options.

  • As per the U.S. Embassy, U.S. credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. Participants will need to plan to bring cash with them. 

  • The Program Fee includes a round-trip international flight, in-country accommodations (any costs associated with out-side of program travel will be the responsibility of the individual participant), a select number of group meals, in-country program-related group travel, entrance fees for group activities. While the ZSEIFS aims to foster cross-departmental connections, the individual goals of the participants are equally important. As such, each participant will receive a small amount of funding to help offset the cost of other activities connected to pursuing their individual goals (e.g., taxi cab to reach a meeting, entrance fee to visit a site not included in group itinerary, etc.). Participants will be responsible for covering the cost of domestic travel to/from the Nashville airport (BNA) as well as dining expenses for meals not included as part of accommodations or as an official group meal. Participants should plan to bring $300 in personal funds to cover food and miscellaneous items for the duration of the trip.

More details will be provided throughout the seminar and during the pre-departure orientation. 



Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 Last Modified 10/6/17