Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Janet Thomas


In response to the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the United States imposed several embargos and restrictions against Cuba. The stipulations of these embargos have included prohibitions on not only the importation and trade of cigars, rum, and coffee, but also travel between the U.S. and Cuba. However, in 2011, President Barack Obama decided to ease these travel restrictions for educational travel that is not related in pursuant to an academic degree, also known as a People-to-People license. Due to Obama’s change in policy, many organizations have been sponsoring travel to Cuba on these People-to-People licenses, granted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) via the U.S. Department of Treasury. Road Scholar, which is one of the largest non-profit educational travel organizations for older adults, is one of them; this is where my practicum was held.

There is a lack of research in the interpersonal outcomes of short-term tours to Cuba for Americans. In addressing this lack of research, my Course-Linked Capstone analyzes literature on studying abroad in Cuba to analyze interpersonal outcomes. Therefore, experiences from the author who worked directly with programming in Cuba for Road Scholar, are evaluated. From conclusions drawn about these experiences, it became apparent that training for Group Leaders was crucial to the success not only of the organization but also both the Group Leaders’ and participants’ experiences. This paper will discuss the need of training for Group Leaders, elements in the training itself, and the Cuba programs in which it affects.


Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Arts and Humanities | Latin American Languages and Societies | Tourism and Travel