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Small Business Development in Cuba – Student Application

Student Application Deadline: November 16, 2018

Program Summary:

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

The 2019 Small Business Development (SBD) Program will provide an opportunity for students from all NSCC Schools to travel to Holguin, Cuba to participate in a two-week program in May 2019.  NSCC is offering this program in partnership with the University of Holguin. The focus of this inter professional program will be for student participants to assist local entrepreneurs who are already operating a private accommodation facility or who are planning to open one. This will be accomplished by student teams through the collection of information, analyzing it and presenting recommendation to potential and current small business owners. Local businesses will be assessed based on marketing and promotion practices, customer service requirements, general tourism appeal, and energy efficiency aspects.  NSCC program participants will collaborate on the 2019 SBD with counterparts from the University of Holguin (UHo).  Student candidates in programs related to business administration, tourism and technology fields would be ideally suited to this learning opportunity.  Students from all other programs are also encouraged to apply. 

 Program Qualifications:

This program is open to first or second-year NSCC students from programs in all NSCC Schools (Access, Business, Health and Human Services, IT and Creative Industries, and Trades and Technology).

Successful completion of this program will provide first year NSCC students with one elective credit towards their second year. The relevant Academic Chair will decide on credit or work term equivalency.

Faculty Involvement:

Selected NSCC students will be mentored by three (3) NSCC faculty (one senior and two junior) members.  The faculty members will provide support to the students during the pre-departure phase of the program. The senior faculty member will accompany and mentor the students during the on-site phase of the program in Cuba. 

About Holguin, Cuba and the University of Holguin

Holguín is a city in eastern Cuba. In the center is sprawling Parque Calixto García, with a statue of the eponymous 19th-century general. Museo de Historia Provincial, in a colonial barracks, has artifacts including the Hacha de Holguín, a 15th-century carved axe head. The Museo de Historia Natural has a large collection of plant specimens and stuffed birds and animals. San Isidoro Cathedral has 2 red-domed towers.

Established in 1973, Universidad de Holguín (University of Holguín) is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the large city of Holguin (population range of 1,000,000-5,000,000 inhabitants). Officially accredited and/or recognized by the Ministerio de Educación Superior, Cuba (Ministry of Higher Education, Cuba), Universidad de Holguín (UHo) is a small (enrollment range: 4,000-4,999 students) coeducational higher education institution.

Since its inception, UHo has had the mission of meeting social needs through producing graduates comprehensive technical training in the areas of Science, Economics, Technology, Agriculture, Law and Social Sciences.  

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 strengthen academic and portfolio profiles through enhanced research, analysis, planning, communication, entrepreneurship, problem solving, documentation, and presentation skill

  • To identify and reflect on the differences and similarities between Canada and Cuba and the Caribbean in general. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Must be a NSCC student with a valid passport (or the abilitty to get one).
  • Must be a student enrolled in the first or second year of one of the identified programs.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.

Application Requirements:

· Online Application (see below)

· Current Resume (uploaded to application form)

Students should complete their application on or before November 16, 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 $500 deposit as their first payment in December. The second instalment in the amount of $750 is due on January 5, 2019. The third instalment in the amount of $1,000 is due on February 16, 2019. The final instalment in the amount of $1,000 is due on March 30, 2019. 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 2018 Student Application (Call for Submission)
November 2018 Student Selection
December 2018 Student Learning Contracts finalized and signed
January 2019 Research and planning phase initiated
January 2019 Online Pre-Departure Course begins
April 2019 Pre-Departure Conference
June 2019 International Learning Program in Cuba
July 2019 Debriefing and Reporting


  • Students accepted into this program must participate in the pre-departure online course and one-day pre-departure conference on April 12, 2019
  • 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 by NSCC and the University of Holguin, and will depend on the exchange rate of the Cuban Convertible Pesos.  The following costs will be included in your Program Fee payable to Nova Scotia Community College. 

Program Fee


Airfare (approximately)

In-country accommodation (shared room in a local hotel) $900
Local transportation in Cuba and lunches (work days only) $500
TOTAL (payable to Nova Scotia Community College) $2,900

Additional Individual Costs (may vary depending on individual):

Passport and Passport Photo $100
Guard.me Travel Health Insurance (mandatory purchase through guard.me). Cost will vary depending on amount of time abroad. $100
Immunizations and Prescriptions $100
Meals ($20/day x 14 days) and Incidentals ($10/day x 14 days) $420
TOTAL $720

 Participants are responsible for the costs of their passport & passport photos, immunizations and prescriptions, Travel Health Insurance) and any meals or other expenses not covered in the program fee.

Student Bursary

Students will have the opportunity to receive 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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