Study Abroad Spotlights

Jonathan’s Experience in Cuba

Jonathan sitting in front of a statue in cuba

Jonathan studied in Cuba on the Introduction to Cuban Legal Systems Embedded program during Winter Break 2016.


What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
Old Red Convertible on the street in HavanaI have enjoyed studying Cold War History since I was in high school. I chose to go to Cuba because it represented one of the last remnants of the Cold War. The changes in the United States’ relationship with the Cuban government intrigued me.

How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?
The program inspired me to pursue a career in international law. Since my study abroad in Cuba, I have become President of the International Law Society at Penn State’s Dickinson Law. I also have become an editor of Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History.

What was the transition like between class in the States and your destination abroad?
We attended classes at the Jose Marti Center in Havana. Law professors from the University of Havana taught the majority of classes. I was grateful that the Jose Marti Center provided translators because of the complexity of the Spanish legal terms. Due to the nature of the classes, professors employed a lecture style of teaching instead of the Socratic method used in law school.

Why would you recommend an embedded program to other students?
Front of old building in HavanaSince law school is very time-consuming, the embedded program allowed me to have an opportunity to study abroad without altering my regular class schedule. I would recommend participating in an embedded program because it provides students an opportunity to learn in another country at a much lower cost.


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