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Music in Cuba – Student Application

Student Application Deadline: November 17, 2017

Program Summary:

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION are a major focus of the Nova Scotia Community College. As part of this work we are presenting the fourth year of this exciting program opportunity!

Cuba has a world famous music education system and this program will examine both the curriculum and method of teaching in Holguin school of music in Cuba. There will also be performance opportunities in the Romerias de Mayo Youth Arts Festival, the schools and the hotels/communities where the NSCC group will be staying.

In Holguin, the NSCC ensemble will be used as the core band and Cuban students will be added to create an international band that will be featured in the “Dia Canada” Concert at the Romerías de Mayo Festival. 

We will also attend part of the Holguin University Canadian Studies Program annual conference known as WEFLA. It is attended by faculty from universities and colleges from across Canada who come together to talk about the special relationship between our two countries and issues affecting education in the modern world. We will arrange and record a special song written by a Matilde Patterson who is a Cuban English teacher, and the song will be performed at the WEFLA conference during the final day of the conference.

The program will take place for two weeks in April/May 2018.

Program Qualifications:

This program is open to students from the following programs to make up a group of twelve to fifteen:

  • Music Arts

About Romerias de Mayo – International Youth Arts Festival

This event in the city of Holguin, involves a pilgrimage to a nearby hilltop and the coming together of young artists to share their artistic endeavours, during a week-long celebration throughout the city. The festival dates back to 1790 when a young catholic priest decided to organize a pilgrimage with the arrival of spring, and raised a Wooden Cross at the top of the highest point in the city. In 1993, a group of young artists took this tradition and transformed it into an arts festival. They added a Cuban First Nation, “Taino Axe” as a symbol of Cuba’s mixed heritage and the message of the festival became, “There is no future without the past”.  It celebrates knew beginnings with a historic connection to the history of the region, by presenting youth in the arts including many styles of music, theatre, painting, dance, film, design, photography, literature, poetry, and the exploration of new art.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To develop and refine the skills needed to prepare for and participate in an international learning experience including research, organization, risk management, teamwork, interpersonal communication and cultural competence and sensitivity.
  • To attain knowledge and understanding of musical culture and history in Cuba.
  • To identify and reflect on the differences and similarities between Canada and Cuba.
  • To strengthen academic and portfolio profiles through enhanced research, analytical thinking, planning, communication, innovation, entrepreneurship and applied learning. 

Selection Criteria:

  •  Must be a full-time NSCC student with a valid passport (or the ability to get one).
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.

Application Requirements:

· Online Application (see below)

· Current Resume (uploaded to application form)

Interested music students will audition for a position in the group that will attend special rehearsals in the winter months preparing for this unique learning opportunity.

Students should complete their application on or before November 17, 2018.  Following interviews with shortlisted candidates, students will be notified in the first half of November if they are accepted to participate in this program.  After receiving approval students will be given a payment schedule and will be expected to pay a $250 deposit as their first payment. At this time a learning contract will also be distributed to be signed by students and faculty outlining roles and responsibilities.  

Project Timeline (subject to change):

October 2017 Student Application (Call for Submission)
November 2017 Student Selection
December 2017 Student Learning Contracts finalized and signed
January 2018 Music students begin practising as an ensemble
January 2018 Online Pre-Departure Course begins
April 2018 Pre-Departure Conference
April/May 2018 International Learning Program in Cuba
June 2018 Debriefing and Reporting


  • Students accepted into this program must participate in the pre-departure online course and one-day pre-departure conference on April 6, 2018.
  • Students must follow the NSCC international travel policy

Wait List:

Those who are interviewed but not selected may have the opportunity to be placed on a wait-list until all deposits are received.

Program Cost:

The approximate costs associated with this program are outlined below.  The exact costs will be confirmed and will depend on the Cuban Peso exchange rate.  The following costs will be included in your, Program Fee payable to Nova Scotia Community College.

Program Fee for Music Arts and Recording Arts students

Airfare, accomodations, local transportation and most meals $3,100
Travel & Health Insurance $100
TOTAL $3,200

Additional Individual Costs (may vary depending on individual):

Passport and Passport Photo $125
Immunizations and Prescriptions $100
TOTAL (payable to Nova Scotia Community College) $225

Participants are responsible for the costs of their passport & passport photos ($125), immunizations and prescriptions ($100), meals and any additional expenses not outlined in the Program Fee.

Student Bursary

Students will have the opportunity to apply for a bursary of up to $500 from NSCC International (made possible through external funding) to participate in the program. Application details will be sent to those selected to participate in the program.


Students who withdraw from this program after they have confirmed their participation will forfeit their deposit.

APPLY NOW! Application Form (click to access application form)

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Have Questions? Contact NSCC International: kellie.mcmullin@nscc.ca


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