Cuba announcement

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October 11, 2017

Dear Cuba Study/Travel Participant:

As you are probably aware, on September 29 the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning to Cuba as a result of yet unexplained “sonic” attacks on U.S. embassy personnel. A travel warning is a serious step, and we have looked carefully into this situation.

This past week we have been consulting with the Provost’s Office and the Office of International Education (OIE) to decide whether to move forward with the study/travel courses BLST 381/HIST 381 “Afro-Cuban Culture, History, and Society” and PSCI 336 “Revolution, Politics, and Policy in Cuba.” We have also been in contact with our travel agent and the College’s travel insurance provider.

Our review of the situation suggests that private citizens travelling in Cuba will not likely face unusual threats related to the travel warning; indeed, no private citizen of any country has been reported as a victim of these “sonic” attacks to the best of our knowledge. The situation in Cuba is reportedly calm and normal, and private citizens rarely face harassment or unusual threats.

The insurance provider confirmed that they will continue to provide the medical and other coverage as outlined in the document enclosed with this letter that we sent to you – in fact, we have already completed enrolling you to secure the coverage; however, one impact of the travel warning is that while you will have trip cancellation/interruption insurance, there is an exclusion/limitation under that policy for pre-existing conditions, and the travel warning would be considered a pre-existing condition. The medical policy waives the pre-existing condition exclusion, but the Trip Cancellation/Interruption is a separate coverage. However, in the event that a participant is experiencing symptoms as the ones that are described in the Travel Warning, the insurance carrier indicated that there would be coverage under the policy as this is an unexpected and unforeseen illness. Therefore, the participant would still be able to seek treatment for those symptoms/condition.

In the event the study/travel courses are cancelled after October 25th (the day the College forwards money to our travel service, Fellowship Travel), we will work to secure the maximum refund possible for you.  However, the College cannot guarantee a full refund or any reimbursement.

We understand that there may be some concerns at this time because of the uncertainty of the situation, so if you decide to withdraw from the course(s) before October 25, you are guaranteed a full refund [Note: there may be some other J-term study/travel courses with seats available, in which case, you may transfer your Cuba funds to the new class.]. Upon your withdrawal from the course, you will also be withdrawn from the insurance plan as well. For those who decide to stay enrolled, we will continue to monitor the situation in Cuba and U.S. policy closely throughout the rest of the year; however, the College reserves the right to cancel the courses at any time if developments suggest doing so is warranted. In addition, please be reminded of the College’s Cancellation and Refund Policy as noted on the OIE’s website: the College shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to program participants as a result of changes or cancellations due to a Department of State travel warning, hostile activity, acts of war or terrorism, or in the event of social or civil unrest, a natural disaster or a similar emergency either in the U.S. or abroad. 

We hope and expect that the situation will allow the planned study/travel course to proceed, but you need to be aware that there is now some risk of losing a portion of the money you are paying for this travel.

Should you decide to stay enrolled, we ask you to sign a copy of this letter to indicate you agree to accept these risks. Please return your signed copy of this letter to the OIE (Haley Hall) as soon as possible, and no later than October 25.

We strongly encourage you to share the information we have provided in this letter with your parents, who may also have questions or concerns.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail us.



Brian Turner (

Alphine Jefferson (

In signing this document, I acknowledge that I have had an opportunity to ask any questions I have about it, that I have read and understand it, that I accept its terms, that I have discussed it with a parent/guardian, and that I have signed it knowingly and voluntarily.

Participant Signature: ______________________________     

Date: ________________________


If the participant is under 18 years of age, the participant’s parent or legal guardian must also sign below providing permission for the student to travel and confirming the acceptance of the terms of this letter.  

I have read and understood these terms and conditions and my signature below constitutes my agreement with the College as well as my full consent for my student __________________ to participate in the above course(s). This agreement is effective upon my student’s enrollment in the course(s).

Parent/Guardian Name: _________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: _______________________________     

Date: _________________

Address: ___________________________________________________

Home Phone: ______________________                        

Cell Phone: ________________________