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First Impressions – Emily Swartz

My first few days in Cuba have been amazing! I love Havana and I can’t wait to see the rest of the country. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been very patient and willing to help. It’s so cool seeing and riding in all of the old cars. All of the buildings here are beautiful, even the ones that are dilapidated and falling apart. The University has a great campus, and it is very easy to get to on the bus. The buses are always an adventure since there’s no limit to the amount of people who can ride it. They’re always jam packed, and I think last time there was over 70 people! I have yet to meet a rude person here, everyone has been very willing to help me with my Spanish and I can already tell that I’m improving a lot. Havana is so full of life, and I can’t wait to explore more of it. The people here are always laughing and joking, even though they don’t have much. My goals for this trip are to improve my Spanish enough so that I feel comfortable speaking in any situation, make friends with at least five Cubans, and get an A in all of my classes. I’m ready to start my classes and get our routine down, it’s been strange having so much downtime. Everything here is very easygoing and moves a little slower than the states, so it’s been very relaxing. I’m not used to not having my cell phone around or constant internet, but I’m getting used to it and it’s nice to not have any distractions. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my trip has in store for me!