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Attending language school

Attending language school

Old Oct 23, 18, 5:53 pm
  #1  
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Lightbulb Attending language school

We are interested in visiting Cuba, but it pains me to see so many tour companies charging several thousands of dollars to put together tour packages. We thought about taking a cruise that stays in Havana for 28 hours, but that feels like it would not be enough.

I had an idea that we could go down and attend a language school. This would give us a little structure, not to mention an official reason for going: educational opportunity. This should allow us to check one of the 12 boxes allowing us to go, right?

Typically these schools have mini-excursions in the afternoons, which would allow us to see some sites around town. We could book some extra time before or after to see sites outside of Havana.

Has anyone here taken language schools down there? Does my line of reasoning seem to make sense, or am I missing something here? Any recommendations re: schools? We are not on a tight budget, per se, but I hate to spend all the money on official tour companies that don't seem to deliver much value or have much authenticity.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 7:27 pm
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Originally Posted by chrisphx View Post
We are interested in visiting Cuba, but it pains me to see so many tour companies charging several thousands of dollars to put together tour packages. We thought about taking a cruise that stays in Havana for 28 hours, but that feels like it would not be enough.

I had an idea that we could go down and attend a language school. This would give us a little structure, not to mention an official reason for going: educational opportunity. This should allow us to check one of the 12 boxes allowing us to go, right?

Typically these schools have mini-excursions in the afternoons, which would allow us to see some sites around town. We could book some extra time before or after to see sites outside of Havana.

Has anyone here taken language schools down there? Does my line of reasoning seem to make sense, or am I missing something here? Any recommendations re: schools? We are not on a tight budget, per se, but I hate to spend all the money on official tour companies that don't seem to deliver much value or have much authenticity.
Cuban Spanish is to Spanish as military music is to music.

Joking aside, there do exist Cuba travel experts with excellent small-group trips at reasonable prices. For example, check out cultural-journeys.com They have been taking folks down since 2001 and the reviews are outstanding.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 11:32 am
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You should really READ the descriptions of the OFAC reason for travel categories more carefully. Your "line of reasoning" is quite flawed.

Also, you do not have to go on a tour, nor do you have to take language classes unless you wish to.
Simply check the OFAC reason "Support for the Cuban People" , which implies you will spend money with independent entrepreneurs (rent a casa room, eat at paladares, use private guides, use private taxis, etc), when you make your flight reservation.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 2:35 pm
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If youíre serious about wanting to study Spanish in an immersion setting, I think there are better places to do it than Cuba. Cuban Spanish tends to clip off consonants, especially final ones, especially the final S. Itís an accent thatís difficult for a beginner to understand. The whole point of immersing yourself in a language-abroad program is the ability to practice outside the classroom. In Guatemala or Mexico, what you hear outside should more closely approximate what you hear in class. Plus, there are just a lot more programs to choose from in those countries.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 3:25 pm
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I have already studied Spanish in San Carlos, Mexico, Montevideo, and Granada, Nicaragua. With that said, I was a little iffy re: learning in Cuba, as I had suspected for the very issues mentioned above, but I wasn't quite sure until now. So Spanish is off the table on this trip, which gives us a little more flexibility and time.

Our trip timing does not coincide with a trip on cultural-journeys.com, although their site was quite well done, and it looked interesting. Thank you also to VidaNaPraia re: guidance on the OFAC. I will read it carefully to ensure that what we plan will allow us to properly check the box and stay out of trouble.

Last edited by chrisphx; Oct 24, 18 at 3:40 pm Reason: Corrected a minor error.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Cuban Spanish tends to clip off consonants, especially final ones, especially the final S..
Even more fun is the accent in Santiago de Cuba. Reportedly, they drop not just consonants but a syllable or two, so multi-syllable words may end up being one syllable. Swore I heard this in a casa particulare I stayed in.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Even more fun is the accent in Santiago de Cuba. Reportedly, they drop not just consonants but a syllable or two, so multi-syllable words may end up being one syllable. Swore I heard this in a casa particulare I stayed in.
Very true, it's the Haitian Creole influence on the Spanish. Worst I have ever heard anywhere.
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Old Oct 26, 18, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
. Cuban Spanish tends to clip off consonants, especially final ones, especially the final S.
Not just the final "s".
The pronunciation for the name of the well-known artist Fuster, who created the sculptures collectively called Fusterlandia on the edge of Havana, is 'FOO-ter', no "s" sound heard at all.
My initial reaction on hearing the word was simply "Huh?" LOL
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Old Oct 26, 18, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Not just the final "s".
The pronunciation for the name of the well-known artist Fuster, who created the sculptures collectively called Fusterlandia on the edge of Havana, is 'FOO-ter', no "s" sound heard at all.
My initial reaction on hearing the word was simply "Huh?" LOL
They also substitute "l" for "r". Drives my clazy.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 12:34 pm
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definitely you should try this
https://yoplan.com/activity/La+Haban...alk+Havana/654
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