Why foreign students and expats love Cuba

woman in Cuba

Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

To love or not to love Cuba. If you have your doubts, stick to us… There are definitely more reasons to love Cuba than not to. It’s not Cubans saying that, but foreigners who live there, students or foreign nationals who struggle to expand their tourist visa. And trust us, they can compare and be objective, no joke! So, why do you love Cuba? We’ll unfold our findings here below for you, but if you have something to share, don’t play the shy student, OK?

Btw, most of the foreigners who explained why they love Cuba, on Quora or other platforms, are students. In our opinion, bolder, not necessarily younger. So, we trust their impertinent approach. Here we go!

Cuban students’ way of living

Youngsters dancing at a party

Photo by Med Mhamdi on Unsplash

From Yiğit Günay’s perspective, the students in Cuba have some admirable attributes. Btw, Yiğit Günay is now a journalist and an art historian, and a former Spanish student in Cuba. They don’t care about luxury. Comfort is also of little importance. Their focus are cultural events. Also, they’re more interested in making friends, socializing, getting to know love :) and paaaartying aka fiesta. Good reasons to love Cuba, especially if you’re also a student. 

The education is good in Cuba

Many foreigners having to do with the academic field love Cuba for its education discipline and high qualification of the professors and teachers. Plus, their dedication.

Cuba is self-sufficient island and over-all literacy rate is very high. (Murtaza Simari, BA, 2018, Quora.com

Cultural events are accessible

seats in a cinema or theatre

Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

A turkey student compares tickets back home with tickets in Cuba…

Cultural events: It was heaven for a Turkish university student. In Turkey, the tickets for quality concerts and even cinema are generally expensive for the average university student’s budget. In Havana, cinema was around 10 cents of US dollars. The national philarmony orchestra used to play every Sunday with a different maestro from the world and the tickets were 25 cents. Books are generally around 10-30 cents. (Yiğit Günay, Quora)

Music and dancing everywhere

Cuba is not a quiet country, quite far from it. Music and dance is a big part of daily life. The most interesting thing was when I every morning passed a high school on my way to uni and they would play reggaeton at 8 AM in the morning. People also bring their speaker and dance in the street. In my city, everyone gathered by the water (Malecon). I know they do this in Havanna too. There were always concerts with live music. Some buses and taxis played reggaeton really loud. If you want to live somewhere peaceful, don’t live here. I personally loved it though.

It’s acceptable to party ever day

Nightclubs are open every day of the week, even sundays. It is also totally acceptable for you to buy a bottle of rum and drink it whenever you want in a public place. From the morning to the evening. If I would do this at home, I would be called an alcoholic. ;) Many cubans often hang out while drinking, so you can often find a group with a bottle of rum and a speaker any day of the week. My cuban friends would party until 5 and go straight to work at 7AM. I call it crazy, but they could still perform well at work.

Nobody hurries

restaurant TRinidad, Cuba

Photo by Delaney Turner on Unsplash

When you come from a busy culture, where theres so much pressure and density in your activity that you can barely breath, Cuba is a different dish. IT could be a nightmare and challenge your patience scale :)), or it could be what you love Cuba best for. No one is in a hurry. Time doesn’t fly, it walks slowly. :)

Patience is key. . . I have never seen waiters work so slow as they do in Cuba or if you go to the gas station they will drag their feets to get you your bottle of water. Kind of like sloths really ;) If they would do the same in my country, they would get fired in a week. . . You really need to learn how to be patient, but on the other your life will be pretty stressfree. (Sofia Andersson on Quora)

Spontaneity. OMG

What many love Cuba for is people’s spontaneity. No more a secret in the media and the internet. It could be that Cubans developed it as an alternative to the lack of stimuli like television, internet and cheap calls.

Because we didn’t have internet and cuban sim cards were expensive, most of our plans were spontaneous. Plans were made on the same day or an hour before. I could go for a walk and meet a friend and decide to hang out there and then. or I could down to malecon to use wifi but instead find a party there and join it. People were always available to hang out. If you didn’t have plans for the weekend, that was never a problem because the plan was often made on the spot and could change as well.

There’s another side of spontaneity. The economical outage so to say, determines a spontaneous choice in people’s daily habits. A foreigner could love Cuba for that philosophical and educational impact of a social scenario.

Oh and you cannot plan. If something is available today, that does not mean it is available tomorrow. So you better get it now. Moreover, if something is allowed now that does not mean it will be allowed tomorrow. Or viceversa. (Ana Maria Barral, on Quora)

Time capsule: culture mix, cars & marxist street art

old school red car in Cuba

Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash

What makes one love Cuba despite the economic struggle? Well, there are some great phenomena worth considering. Old school cars that are still well kept in Cuba, also thanks to Canadian support, Cuban history (obvious in art and physical diversity of the citizens), as well as marxist traces in street art.

Those US cars from the 1950s are cool. And where else can you still see non-ironic Marxist street art? Dan Armstrong, Bicycled Cuba in 1991, 2001 and 2010, Quora.com)

Cuban history is very rich the Taino indians disappeared centuries ago, and modern Cuba is a Brazil-type blend of Latin and Afrocaribbean cultures. (Murtaza Simari, BA, interior designer & passionate artist, Quora.com, 2018)

Unforgettable nature

Dan Armstrong, who’s an active member of the Quora community, bicycled Cuba in 1991, 2001 and 2010. Here are some of his reasons to love Cuba for ever:

Nice beaches. The Veradero beaches, for instance, are world class. . . Many Caribbean islands are specks of sand with a few hotels. Cuba is a sizable nation with a rich history, millions of people, and dozens of micro-environments ranging from rain-shrouded peaks to coral reefs and crocodile-infested swamps. There’s a lot to see.

Family members help each other, no matter the distance

man sleeping next to his Cuban son

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Right! The most obvious place you can see that is a website or Facebook. In the Cuban communities, including MobileRecharge, every 2 weeks there’s a wave of mobile credit being sent to relatives in Cuba. True, Cubans make everyday top ups back home. but when offers bloom, it’s a craze. Btw, a new coming soon! :))

Help the people. Almost half of Cubans in Cuba have relatives in the US, mostly in FL, TX and NJ. There’s a steady stream of support from family abroad to family in Cuba. (Dan Armstrong, Bicycled Cuba in 1991, 2001 and 2010, Quora.com)


Coming soon: February 10-15, 2020.

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