As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, colleges and universities are among those lining up to do business in the communist country. The Educational Testing Service has confirmed plans to offer some of its admissions tests in Cuba starting this month. The island nation is home to an estimated 1.5 million people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Don’t expect a rush of Cuban students on campuses just yet, though. When the Test of English as a Foreign Language debuts in Havana later this month, just four students are expected to take it.
“There are obstacles to beginning testing in Cuba,” says Eileen Tyson with ETS, the nonprofit that gives the exams. “We want this to go well, and we’re just going to take it very slowly.”
Those obstacles include limited computer and internet access and a lack of credit cards, which are needed to register for the exams. Students taking the language test, which is required by many U.S. colleges, will be logging onto computers at the Swiss Embassy. Tyson says the GRE, a graduate school admissions exam, will roll out in the fall.