Havana, Cuba

Cuban Studies

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Information for term Cuban Studies

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 29 – Dec 12, 2020 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15-16 semester hours / 22.5-24 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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As the political, economic, and cultural hub of Cuba, Havana is the perfect spot to practice your intermediate to advanced Spanish language skills and gain insight into this country’s fascinating past. Enroll in classes with local and international students at CIEE’s partner school, University of Havana (UH), and agree to speak only Spanish to foster language learning and cultural immersion. Courses are focused in art, health, history, literature, music, politics, and more. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Gain insight

    into Cuban culture, history, and relationships with the U.S. and other countries.

  • Explore Havana

    – from Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to modern Vedado, and the city’s diverse suburbs.

  • Enjoy Havana’s world-famous

    music scene and the city’s many festivals.

  • locals and tourists at the nightly cannon blast

  • feet of art make up the Mercaderes Street mural

  • rooms in Ernest Hemingway’s first home in Cuba


Location & Culture

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With a population of two million, Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the political and economic hub of the country. Enjoy a vibrant arts scene - from the music for which the island nation is famous to film, dance, and visual arts. In 1982, Old Havana was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, with the restoration process praised for combining historic preservation with local community development.

The Culture


  • Visit sites of historic and cultural importance in Havana and the surrounding areas.
  • Attend festivals and holiday celebrations like Festival Internacional de Ballet de La Habana.
  • Go on historical, architectural, or other specialized tours of the city of Havana.
  • Take guided visits to the city’s museums, baseball games, and other sporting events.
  • Every February, Havana celebrates the International Book Fair, in the Morro-Cabaña Fortress, to which a foreign country is usually invited to participate.

Daily Life

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    Homestays: All students stay in homestays with Cuban families in the Vedado neighborhood, a short distance from the University of Havana and CIEE Havana. Students have single rooms and a private bathroom (one student per household) although double placements may be available.


    Homestays: Breakfast and dinner are included, as is laundry service once a week and drinkable water.

Havana, Cuba

Where You'll Study

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    Getting Around

    Students get around by walking and taking taxis, ferries, and buses.

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Students with five semesters of college level Spanish, or equivalent, are invited to explore Cuban cinema, literature, art, history, Marxism, and more, while taking their advanced Spanish skills to the next level.  The University of Havana’s strong course offerings in the arts and social sciences give students a unique opportunity to learn about Cuba from the Cuban perspective.

The University of Havana (UH) is recognized as Cuba’s most prestigious university. It is comprised of 17 academic departments and 14 research centers in economics, the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. More than 20 majors are offered at the university, where approximately 6,000 students are pursuing degrees.

Students agree to speak Spanish during the program to facilitate language learning and cultural immersion.

All courses are taught in Spanish by University of Havana faculty.


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    Students will take courses at UH with local and international students. All direct enrollment courses can be taken from the following faculties: History & Philosophy, Humanities (Artes y Letras), and Spanish as a Second Language.


    Assessment for courses is typically based on a combination of written and oral assignments and a final paper or exam. Exams are weighted heavily and will often be the determining factor in a student’s final grade.


    Students notice striking differences between Cuban and U.S. educational systems. Cuban universities tend to adhere to a very traditional classroom culture that relies heavily on memorization, expositive lectures, and PowerPoint presentations. Most readings are provided in digital format as PDFs or Word documents.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0.


    5 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent).


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15-16 U.S. semester/22.5-24 quarter credits

Course Credit
University of Havana  courses: 2-4 U.S. semester/2-6 quarter credits; 32-64 contact hours

Language of Instruction


  • Contemporary Cuban Society
  • Students must take three to four additional University of Havana courses.

Host Institution Courses

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The following list contains examples of courses available at the University of Havana, which may vary term to term.  

Apreciación Literaria II, Literatura Española I, Literatura Cubana III, Seminario de Teoría Literaria, Arte Cubano, Arte Africano, Cine Cubano, Arte Caribeño I, Arte Caribeño III, Estudios Afro-Caribeños, Música Cubana, Género Audiovisual.

Sociología: Historia de Cuba,  Historia del Pensamiento, Filosofía y la Sociedad I, Filosofía y Sociedad I, Economía Política I, Antropología Social, Sociología de la Comunicación, Sociología del Trabajo, Sociología Urbana, Sociología Política, Sociología de la Cultura, Problemas de Estructura Social y Desigualdades, Sociología de Género, Sociología de la Salud,  Sociología Ambiental, Sociología del Desarrollo, Sociología de la Educación, Psicología Social, Mediación de Conflictos.

Filosofía Marxista: Economía Política I, Historia de Cuba I, Teoría e Historia de la Filosofía Marxista Leninista I, Filosofía y Religión, Historia de las Ideas Políticas, Filosofía Política Contemporánea, Teoría e Historia de la Filosofía Marxista Leninista III, Pensamiento Filosófico y Social Contemporáneo I, Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Introducción a la Ciencia Política, Bioética y Medio Ambiente, Tendencia del Capitalismo Contemporáneo.

Historia: Historia Social de la Literatura y el Arte I, Filosofía y Sociedad I, Historia de Cuba I, Economía Política I, Historia de América Latina y el Caribe III, Historia de Cuba III, Teoría Sociopolítica, Historia de Cuba V, Historia de la Cultura Cubana, Historia de España, Historia de Ecuador, Historia Escondida de la Mujer en la Habana Colonial.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Mandatory orientation – an introduction to Havana culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 15 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 29, 2020* Dec 12, 2020*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $11,683 **

Housing = $4,800 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $16,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $950

International Airfare = $350

Local Transportation = $460

Books & Supplies = $75

Visa Fees = $165

Personal expenses = $1,200

Domestic Airfare = $600 ††

Total Estimated Costs = $3,800

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes two meals per day

roundtrip from Miami, rates from other US cities will vary up to $1000

†† roundtrip airfare to Miami based on U.S. East Coast departure

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

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