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Get out of town: Arizona college students go to Cuba for spring break

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Nearly a dozen Arizona college students really got away from the snow for spring break — they went to Cuba.

Assistant professor Melissa Santana of Northern Arizona University’s school of interior design beat President Barack Obama’s much-ballyhooed trip to the punch by a day, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

The architecture and design study trip lasted March 12-18.

It was the Flagstaff school’s first trip to the island nation.


Santana told the newspaper she had been to Cuba on other occasions for architecture research. She said the trip had been planned before recent relaxation of  travel restrictions.

Santan has taught at NAU for three years.

Students stayed in Cuba for seven days and earned one class credit as part of a special topics class, bunking with families.

The itinerary included sightseeing, vsiting with architectural students and instructors and salsa dancing lessons.

They visited neighborhoods filled with art deco buildings, churches, a cemetery, Revolution Square and Morro Castle.

NAU will offer other study-abroad trips to Cuba in photography (winter 2016) and a combined history, society, politics and culture studies through University Studies Aboard Consortium (spring 2016).

Obama was the first sitting American president to visit Cuba in over 80 years.

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