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SOCCIS Launches Program in Cuba as It Marks 3 Decades of Intercampus Partnership

It all started 30 years ago with a conference on "the future of international studies."

By Jean Roth

This summer students have the opportunity to participate in a study program in Cuba offered by Cal Poly Pomona.

It all started with a conference on "the future of international studies."  A group of educators from UCLA, USC, CSULA, Claremont Graduate School and the UC Education Abroad Program called the conference to define the direction for international studies in the Southern California region. Sixty participants from 25 institutions attended, focusing on issues relating to foreign languages, curriculum and teaching, research, and public service. Recognizing the need for an ongoing inter-campus discussion on international studies, the conferees subsequently established the Southern California Consortium of International Studies (SOCCIS), which continues to strengthen a network of international studies related faculty, support resource-sharing between institutions, and encourage institutional and faculty commitment to an "internationalized" curriculum.

Among SOCCIS' goals is the sharing of resources among member institutions, which currently number at nineteen. By pooling academic resources and faculty, SOCCIS is able to sponsor seminars, colloquia, summer institutes, and public conferences. Standing committees in specialized fields draw upon faculty to promote educational activities in African, Canadian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin American, and South Asian studies, as well as to study and promote internationalization of higher education curricula.

SOCCIS and Scholarship

At UCLA, where the SOCCIS executive office has been housed since 1972, SOCCIS works closely with ISOP's Title VI funded centers.  Last year SOCCIS cosponsored a conference with the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies on The European Union in Transition. This spring the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies will partner again as host of another all-day SOCCIS conference on Friday, May 3, 2002 to examine Challenges to Civil Rights in the 21st Century.

Students also benefit from SOCCIS network activities. SOCCIS collaborative study programs allow students in member institutions to take advantage of programs not available on their own campuses. This year students have the opportunity to participate in a 12-unit summer study program in Cuba offered by Cal Poly Pomona. Combining course and study abroad components, the program does require students to take a spring quarter course in Cuban studies but they have the option to take the course as independent study on a home campus. (For information see below.)

Not all SOCCIS activities are strictly academic. Thanks to the sponsorship of three SOCCIS campuses and partial funding through a SOCCIS Small Grants award, a delegation from the Shanghai Theatre Academy visited Southern California for ten days last March to present the West Coast premiere of the classical Chinese drama, Dream of Butterfly. In addition to performances, the academy held workshops which drew the participation of faculty and students from campuses all over southern California.

Current SOCCIS institutions include:
The California State Universities at Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, and San Bernardino; California State Polytechnic, Pomona;
Loyola Marymount University; Occidental College; Pepperdine University; San Diego State University; Santa Monica College; the South Orange County Community College District; California Colleges for International Education; Whittier College; University of Judaism; University of Southern California; UC Santa Barbara; UCLA.         

For information on the Cuban summer study program, contact one of the following:
Professor Saul Landau: (909) 869-3115; email:
Professor Jose Vadi (909) 869-388; email:
Cal Poly Pomona International Center Ying Cao (909) 869-326; email:

For information on Challenges to Civil Rights in the 21st Century, please contact the Center for European and Russian Studies at (310) 825-4060.

For more information contact Carlos Manuel Haro, SOCCIS Executive Officer, (310) 825-3902;

UCLA International Institute