RECL 4F55: International Field Experience in Recreation and Leisure - Cuba 2014

Applied Health Sciences - Recreation & Leisure Studies

RECL 4F55: International Field Experience in Recreation and Leisure - Cuba 2014

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Course Overview

In 2014, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies will offer an International Field Course to Cuba. The overall aim of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to learn firsthand about the culture of a different country in a way that informs their practice within the field of recreation and leisure and their understanding of themselves as global citizens. In addition, through their role as teachers, workers, colleagues, and advocates, the students in this course will also play an important role in the development of recreation in Cuba. The class format is as follows:

Pre-Trip Component:
As a class, we will meet for FOUR full days (two days in the week of April 21-25 + two days in the week of April 28-May 3; dates to be scheduled). The purpose of these classes is to learn about Cuba and Cuban life; discuss and reflect on issues in international sport and sport for development, prepare for travelling; learn relevant research skills, and develop a lesson plan that will be delivered while in Cuba. Students will also be required to attend two 3-hour course planning meetings, held in March 2014.

Field Component:
In May 2014, students will travel to Cuba for approximately 2 weeks, under the supervision of two course i nstructors. The tentative travel dates are May 3 – 18, 2014. This field experience will consist of the following components:

• Study of Cuban Culture: Building on their pre-trip work, students will continue their investigation of Cuban culture for their first week after they arrive in Cuba. This part of the course will involve daily fieldwork assignments, job shadowing recreation professionals in Havana, experiencing Cuban sport and recreation, and visiting prominent cultural sites in Havana. During this time, students from the Faculty of English as a Foreign Language at the University of Havana will join the group as hosts and guides.

• Collaboration with Students and Faculty from the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation in Havana: The central component of the course will be the partnership with the students and faculty from the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation in Cuba. The university in Cuba is working to develop their knowledge and skills in the recreation field, in particular outdoor recreation. In addition, Canadian students will benefit from learning about the ‘Cuban way’ for sport and recreation development. We will spend our time engaged in a collaborative learning initiative in which Canadian students teach the Cuban students about recreation in Canada, and the Cuban students teach the Canadian students about recreation in Cuba.

• Recreation Leadership Development: Due to the high interest of our Cuban partner in developing knowledge and skills related to outdoor recreation, a significant portion of time will be spent at an ‘outdoor school’ with our fellow Cuban faculty and students. The outdoor school is located in the Pinar del Rio Province, which is one of the most beautiful as well as the least developed region of Cuba. The amenities at the facility where we will be staying are extremely basic and will be challenging conditions for some students. Students who are interested in attending will need to be interested in and prepared to spend at least five nights at this outdoor school.

• Field Research on Eco-Tourism: While in Pinar del Rio, students will collaborate with Cuban students to undertake an investigation of locals’ attitudes toward the growing eco-tourism industry in their area. While in Cuba, students will conduct interviews, generate a report of findings, and share findings with local tour operators in a workshop.

Important Details

• RECL 4F55 has an additional course fee of approximately $1700-2000. This cost includes the return flight from Toronto, room and board in Cuba, and all costs of the in-Cuba program including course related excursions. For most of the stay, students will be housed in a hotel close to Havana’s famous Malecón seashore promenade and colonial Old Havana. All other costs (e.g., gifts, social activities) are the responsibility of the student. Students are also required to pay the course tuition. Students may be eligible for a $250 tuition bursary from Brock International.
• Although Spanish-speaking ability is an asset, it is not required to take this course. Most of the instruction will be conducted in English. A translator will also accompany the group.
• Although the course has an emphasis on the outdoors, it is open to ALL RECL students. In fact, the course is best when there is representation from all concentration areas.
• Students must have a minimum of 10 credits by the end of winter term 2014 to apply, or permission of the course instructor.
• Enrolment is limited to 20 students. Students must complete an application form and participate in an interview prior to being admitted to the course.
• RECL 4F55 is not likely to run in May 2015. The course will run every two years.

How to Apply: Process & Timeline

We are glad that you are interested in applying to be part of the Cuba 2014 experience! If you are selected, prepare to be informed and amazed, as well as challenged and stretched physically, emotionally, and socially. Cuba 2014 is not a typical course. It involves immersion in a new culture, physical environment, and group environment. You will be required to draw on personal resources far beyond what is expected in a typical course.

Here is the application process and timeline for Cuba 2014.

1. MEET WITH MIKE FAWKES, ACADEMIC ADVISOR, to ensure that the course fits into your program of study and that you are eligible.
2. COMPLETE THE APPLICATION. The deadline for applications Friday, February 14th, 2014 by NOON. Be sure that your application is complete.
3. SIGN UP FOR A 30-MINUTE INTERVIEW. Individual interviews will be held with one of the course instructors in the week of February 25. The interview sign-up sheet will be posted on the door of Dr. Trent Newmeyer’s office (Academic South room 336) starting on February 10th.
4. Students who are approved for RECL 4F55 will be notified by Friday, February 28th, 2014.
5. Prior to departure, you will need: a Valid Canadian (or other with visa) Passport, appropriate vaccinations, medical insurance, pay all course fees and expenses, and sign a waiver to Brock University.

Please submit a hardcopy of the completed application to: Dr. Trent Newmeyer,
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Academic South 336
Email: Fax: 905-984-4843 Phone: 905-688-5550 x5118

For More Information, Please Contact:

Trent Newmeyer, Course Instructor

Erin Sharpe, Course Instructor

Mike Fawkes, Academic Advisor


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