Jenny DeWitt Go Overseas Headshot

Jenny DeWitt

Partnerships Manager
United States

Jenny is a true Californian, born and raised in Northern California and Chico State alumni. While attending Chico State, she spent a semester studying abroad with USAC in Bilbao, Spain. She's an amateur photographer and lover of all things travel.

Reviews
Jenny DeWitt Go Overseas Headshot
Jenny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would highly recommend this Learn Spanish, Dance, & Culture program with Corazon Cuba (formerly Jakera Cuba)! I’m very grateful that I was able to attend this program for a week and experience all that Havana has to offer. It’s an amazing city with so much culture and the people were amazing. I found it very easy to get around (with only basic Spanish knowledge) and the staff were great at showing us around. The program was laid out perfectly - a great balance between learning and fun.

We had Spanish class in the mornings for 3 hours, lunch, and then either dance class or culture walks. I had Darbel as a Spanish teacher and he was great! The dance classes were a blast as well as the culture walks. On our culture walks we went to the Malecon, Central Havana, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana. The day ended at 3pm and then we had the evenings to explore.

I met such great people on the program and we spent the evenings together walking around the city, eating great food, and going to salsa dance bars. It was such an easy environment to make friends and from all over the world! I can’t wait to travel more and meet back up with all the friends I made in Cuba.

The hostel was a great place to stay - I always felt very safe, the staff was accessible and helpful. I stayed in a shared room which had 6 bunk beds and it was very comfortable.

I do have a few tips for anyone going on this program or traveling to Cuba.
1. Download the app “maps.me” before you go. It gives you an offline map of Cuba for when you don’t have service or wifi (which is all the time).
2. On the Google Translate app you can download the Spanish language which is great for those times when you can’t remember something or need something translated.
3. If you are traveling from America BRING ALL THE CASH YOU’LL NEED. This is super important because American cards (no matter which bank - even Charles Schwab) don’t work in Cuba. The only way is to bring cash with you and exchange it for Cuban Pesos when you get there. They have 2 different currencies, CUC & CUP, but you will just use CUC the whole time.

This program was an incredible experience and I could not recommend it enough!! If you can, ABSOLUTELY go for 4 weeks. 1 week just wasn’t long enough, but better than nothing at all.

Thank you to Go Overseas for introducing me to this program and thank you Corazon (Jakera) for everything you do for your participants! You guys are amazing!

Jenny DeWitt Go Overseas Headshot
Jenny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Are you ready for the time of your life? If so, go to Bilbao! I studied abroad there Spring semester (January-May) of 2015. I lived in Algorta, Getxo, and studied at Universidad Del Pais Vasco in Bilbao. The schooling was definitely challenging because I took 5 classes, 3 business, 1 GE, and 1 Spanish. One of my biggest suggestions is to take the "Unique Basque Language and Culture" class. It was by far the best decision I made. We were exposed to so much culture, learned the language of the locals, tried amazing cuisine, and took 7 field trips in the Basque Country. The teachers were great and the USAC staff were very welcoming and helpful.

The other students in my program became some of my closest friends and I still see them at least once a year. I got to travel a lot while abroad, but I didn't start my traveling until a few weeks in. I suggest doing this so that you give yourself a chance to adjust to life there and make it feel like home before venturing out to new countries.

There are tons of activities to do around the city, the Guggenheim Museum, Casco Viejo, and Athletic Bilbao (the soccer team). Tickets aren't too expensive, and it's a great experience, I highly suggest going. I lived in an apartment with two Americans in my program and I loved it. I knew a lot of people who stayed with host families and had great experiences as well. I lived only a few blocks from the beach and all apartments are walking distance from at least one grocery store. Everything else was easily accessible by the Metro, which is cheap, efficient, and easy to use.

I could go on and on about my experiences and how much I loved it, but I'll let you experience it for yourself! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!

What would you improve about this program?
There were only a few suggestions I have for the program, one of them being the location of housing. All student housing was very spread out, some even metro stops away, which made it difficult to meet up, especially on weekends when the metro stopped running at certain times. Maybe if the students who chose to stay in apartments got to be in apartments that were closer together that would provide a different experience. That being said, the apartments were all nice and very safe.

Another suggestion is about course materials. It is nearly impossible to order the course books when you are there because of shipping and customs issues. They suggest you bring them with you, but we only have limited space in suitcases, especially for those who take up to 5 or 6 courses, that adds a lot of weight. This issue might become non-existent as course materials are becoming more digital each year, but something to consider might be having them there available to rent.