Business, Economy, and Culture

Havana, Cuba

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Introduce your students to the unique business culture of post-communist Cuba. Its eclectic mixture of entrepreneurial ventures formed during a 60-year-old economic embargo and period of intensive economic reform, make Cuba a perspective-shifting site for studying business in the Caribbean.

Founded in 1519, Havana is the largest city in Cuba with a population of two million. It is the political and economic hub of the country and boasts a vibrant arts scene. Havana’s strategic location in the Caribbean once made Cuba an important colonial possession. The Spanish treasure fleets would overwinter here to prepare for the return journey to Spain. A city wall and a string of fortifications along the coast were built to protect Havana from pirate attacks and by 1774 it was the most fortified city in the Americas. In 1982, Old Havana was named a UNESCO World Heritage site and the restoration process has been recognized internationally for its success in combining historic preservation and investments for international tourism with local community development.

Lectures & Site Visits


The Business, Economy, and Culture program in Havana includes nine guest lectures on topics such as:

  • Introduction to Cuban History and Culture
  • Cuban Economy and Business
  • Paladares and Foreign Investment: (held at Nazdrovie with a paladar owner)
  • Cuban Entrepreneurial Support
  • Cooperatives and Self-employment
  • The Entrepreneurial Business of Offline Mobile Applications and Digital Media
  • Media Distribution
  • Real Estate in Cuba
  • The Small Business of “Casas Particulares” (bed and breakfasts)

Site Visits

Every CIEE Faculty-Led & Custom program is a unique combination of high-quality academics and co-curricular activities and excursions that offer real-world experiences to enhance classroom learning. Here are just a few of the possibilities for co-curricular activities and excursions in Havana:

  • Dig into Cuba’s agricultural sector with on-site study at one of Havana’s largest and most successful urban farms
  • Get the inside scoop on media in Cuba with a working tour of the first independent entertainment publication of Cuban culture
  • Visit Artecorte – a unique community project in Old Havana serving as an education center and hairdressers museum
  • Compare the small-business sector with that of the Starwood Hotel during a guided tour and discussion about the Office of Foreign Assets Control
  • Take a daytrip to Cojimar, the fishing town where Hemingway kept his boat and the setting for “The Old Mane and the Sea”

What's Included

Every program is tailored to suit the needs of your academic goals – so every program is unique. But all programs include on-site orientation, 24/7 emergency support, in-country transportation, accommodations, some meals, classroom space, cultural and theme-related site visits, guest lectures, comprehensive insurance coverage and logistical support from our on-site CIEE staff. We also supply customized advertising materials and other valuable tools to help you get the world out to students.


Double Occupancy Casa Particular accommodations for students. Single occupancy Casa Particular accommodations for faculty. 


Welcome and farewell dinner, daily breakfast, and eight group lunches. 


These “ready-to-run” programs are based on a duration of 2 weeks and a minimum of 15 students but can be customized to meet your specific needs.


Our No. 1 priority is keeping you and your students safe. With more than 70 years of experience creating safe, reliable, study abroad programs around the world, we have an excellent safety record. Each of our sites is regularly assessed using international risk management standards to make certain our programs can be safely and successfully run. In addition, your program includes the peace of mind of iNext medical insurance, the support of the CIEE staff members who are experts in international safety and security, and 24/7 emergency support in-country.