Hannah Bottum

CIEE Havana, Cuba
International Relations/Spanish

Describe your typical day:
There were only four students in my program and we took classes with Cuban students, so after class we would hang out with Cuban students. Otherwise I would hang out with my host family.

Favorite food discovered while abroad:
Ropa Vieja—shredded beef with rice and beans.

What was your favorite part of the city to visit?
Havana is very walkable so I really liked walking to and around the old town with friends. It was kind of touristy but there were lots of cheap and free art shows and concerts. The beach was really nice too.

What was one highlight of your semester off-campus?
Every Wednesday we would go see a live band. Everyone there was such a good dancer.

What was one challenge you faced during your semester abroad?
It was hard to live the same lifestyle I do at CMC. It was very hot which made it difficult to work out, and it was difficult to eat as healthy as I eat at CMC.

Advice:
Be ready for a culture shock and being immersed in a very different culture. It was great if you are interested in politics and if you want to get really good at Spanish.