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Study Abroad in Havana
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Program Overview

Program Overview

As the political, economic, and cultural hub of Cuba, Havana is the perfect spot to practice your Spanish and gain insight into this country’s fascinating past. On CIEE’s Cuban Studies program, you’ll learn about the Cuban Revolution, Cuba’s relationship with the U.S., and Cuban art, language, and literature. Step into history in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site that shows what life was like after the Spanish arrived, and become a part of Cuba’s rich culture.

Study abroad in Cuba and you’ll:

  • 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
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Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships & Grants

We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $5 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.

Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence

    $2,500 toward program costs. To recognize high academic achievement, CIEE offers a limited number of merit scholarships to our strongest students. These awards are based on students’ academic records, and on the submission of a personal essay describing to us how their CIEE program will impact their college experience and future career plans.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants

    The GAIN Grant helps cover airfare costs to and from CIEE program locations for students who demonstrate high financial need. GAIN Grants are available for short-term (January and summer), semester and year-long CIEE programs.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

    Applicants for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship can apply for the CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant, which provides both program cost support and support for airfare. Students will have to provide proof of having applied to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, upon request.

    https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/scholarships-grants/

To be considered, simply check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your program application.
Apply now

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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Coursework

Explore subjects ranging from Cuban cinema, literature, and art to history, Marxism, and, of course, Spanish! The University of Havana’s strong course offerings in the arts and social sciences offer a unique opportunity to learn about Cuba from the Cuban perspective.

Cultural Activities

There’s always something going on in Havana. Depending on the season, you’ll enjoy the Festival Internacional de Ballet de La Habana (September-October), Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (December), Encuentro Internacional de Danza en Paisajes Urbanos (April), Bienal de La Habana (Spring), Festival Internacional de Jazz-Plaza (December), Feria del Libro (February), Leo Brouwer Art Music Festival (September/October), or Mayo Teatral (May). Cultural events are all accessibly priced for students in this city so you can see everything from the National Ballet to foreign-film festivals to rhumba or chamber concerts.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure orientation in Miami, with a group flight from Miami to Havana
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card, which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Fall 2016 (16 wks)
04/15/2016
08/30/2016
12/18/2016
$15,250

Program Date Notes

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

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$10,572
Housing ***
$4,260
Insurance
$118

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

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$700
Local Transportation
$330
Books & Supplies *
$50
Personal expenses **
$1,500
Domestic Airfare ***
$500

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* Cost of recommended readings before coming to Cuba

** includes $500 for internet and calling per semestser

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

More Information
Spring 2017 (16 wks)
11/01/2016
01/17/2017
05/12/2017
$16,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$11,583
Housing ***
$4,800
Insurance
$167

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

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$700
Local Transportation
$330
Books & Supplies *
$50
Personal expenses **
$1,500
Domestic Airfare ***
$600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* Cost of recommended readings before coming to Cuba

** includes $500 for internet and calling per semestser

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

More Information
Fall 2017 (15 wks)
04/01/2017
09/03/2017
12/15/2017
$16,850

Program Date Notes

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

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, language partners, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$11,583
Housing ***
$4,800
Insurance
$167

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

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$700
Local Transportation
$330
Books & Supplies *
$50
Personal expenses **
$1,500
Domestic Airfare ***
$600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* Cost of recommended readings before coming to Cuba

** includes $500 for internet and calling per semestser

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

More Information
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Eligibility
3.0 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 3.0
  • Five semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total credit for one semester is 15–18 semester/22.5–27 quarter hours.

According to the US Treasury Department Regulations published on January 16, 2015 ALL students participating in CIEE Study Programs in Cuba MUST receive credit toward their graduate or undergraduate degree in order to be eligible to participate. Because of limitations by the US Treasury Department, students must have the CIEE Home School Nomination application item completed by their home schools to enroll in CIEE programs in Havana.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Spanish as a Second Language course during the semester, 4 credits. (Students with advanced Spanish language skills may be exempted from this requirement based on their scores on the language evaluation given by the UH language department during the first week of classes.) Two to four direct enrollment courses instructed in Spanish during the semester, 4-8 credits. Required course: Contemporary Cuba.

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About the City

About The City

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 – from the music for which the island nation is famous to film, dance, and visual arts. 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; 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.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

Litzy Baeza

Resident Director

Prior to joining CIEE, Litzy Baeza spent six years as Account Manager, Caribbean & Latin America at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) where she managed a Canadian government technical and vocational institutional strengthening training project in Cuba. While at NAIT she also designed and taught an “Introduction to Cross Cultural Management” course and was also an instructor and facilitator at Metro Continuing College in Edmonton, Alberta where she developed curriculum and taught Spanish and designed and facilitated workshops on team building, intercultural communication, and diversity. Her previous experience also includes four years at University of Alberta International, where she served as a Peer Leader and later Student Advisor to international students in the Visiting Student Certificate Program, and over two years managing ESL projects in Santiago, Chile.

Litzy received her B.A. from the University of Alberta with a major in Psychology and minor in Latin American Studies and completed her master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the Universidad de Chile. She also completed several certificate programs in intercultural teaching from the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

The University of Havana (UH) was founded by Dominican monks in 1728 and moved to its current site in Vedado, the modern city center, in 1902. The main campus sits on a high hill overlooking the city and the sea. It is known affectionately as the La Colina (the hill) and as La Escalinata (the staircase) for the grand staircase that leads up to it. UH is Cuba’s most prestigious university and has a long history of student activism. It comprises 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.

The neighborhood of Vedado is at the center of modern Havana, home to many government ministries, cultural institutions, theatres, galleries, and cinemas. The corner of 23rd Street and L – located only a couple of blocks away from UH – is perhaps the most important corner in Havana, home to the Coppelia ice cream parlor, Yara movie theatre, and Hotel Habana Libre.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

All students stay in homestays with Cuban families in the Vedado neighborhood within walking distance to the University of Havana and the Study Center. Students have single rooms (one student per household) although double placements may be available. Housing, two meals per day, and laundry services are included in the program fee.

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Orientations

Orientations

Your study abroad experience in Cuba begins with an online pre-departure orientation, in which the resident director at CIEE’s Study Center in Havana will share information about the program and site, address frequently asked questions, and give you the opportunity to inquire about anything that isn’t covered. The pre-departure orientation insures that you’ll arrive to the program well informed, and it’s a great way to connect with others in the group.

Prior to your arrival in Havana, you will have an in-depth, in-person mandatory orientation in Miami. This will be the beginning of your on-site program that will help you manage the transition from home to Havana. Through diverse activities and workshops, you'll gain basic cultural knowledge about Cuba, the history of the Cuban Revolution, U.S.-Cuban Relations, Cuban culture, and the city of Havana. The orientation also introduces the program philosophy, pedagogy, and academic structure to position you for a successful learning experience abroad. Health and safety issues and basic logistical questions are also addressed. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

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Internet

Internet

Cuba is one of the countries least connected to the Internet in the world. Despite the fact that the Cuban government set up dozens of paid public Wi-Fi hot spots around the country in 2015, it is still estimated that only about 5% of Cubans have access to the internet. Internet is available in local hotels for 5 CUCs per hour and offices of ETECSA (the Cuban national telephone company), which has an office close to the University of Havana, sell access cards for 2 CUC per hour (although sometimes these cards are not available or are available at a higher cost on the street.)

CIEE staff will provide students with a thorough orientation to Internet access in and around Havana including a map of ETECSA offices, and hotels providing public fee-for-service Internet access.

Students should bring a laptop, as many course readings at the UH are given to students digitally and they will be expected to turn in type-written assignments. There are many shops near the university where you can print out your work but few places where computers can be used to do readings or work on assignments.

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Culture

Culture

The academic program is supplemented by field trips and excursions to local points of interest around Havana and Cuba. Field trips and excursions may include visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in Havana and the surrounding areas. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, may include: historical, architectural, or other specialized tours of the city of Havana, guided visits to the city’s museums, baseball games and other sporting events, and any number of arts and cultural offerings, like concerts, plays, dance performances.

Havana is a bustling city with events that provide students with a local perspective and promote their understanding of the unique culture that exists in Cuba. Students attend a diverse set of events, festivals, and holiday celebrations throughout the year, including the Festival Internacional de Ballet de La Habana (September – October), Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (December), Encuentro Internacional de Danza en Paisajes Urbanos (April), Bienal de La Habana (spring), and others.

In addition, there will be at least one overnight field trip each semester, which will take the students outside of Cuba's capital city to get a taste of life outside Havana. Events and activities are chosen to provide students with a good overview of the geographic, cultural and economic diversity in Havana and Cuba, and to complement the academic themes of each program.

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Academics

Academics

Academic Culture

Cuban universities tend to adhere to a very traditional classroom culture that relies heavily on memorization, expositive lectures, and PowerPoint presentations. It can take a while to learn how to study effectively in the Cuban system, especially in terms of acquiring reading material and understanding professors’ expectations. CIEE study abroad advisors and resident staff will provide academic and intercultural support before arrival, during orientation, and throughout the course of the semester.

Orientation will introduce students to the departments and course offerings of the program and host school through meetings with university and department representatives, access to resources such as course syllabi and former student evaluations, and instructions on how to best utilize the course drop/add period in which students can sit in on courses to help determine which would best meet their goals. CIEE staff and university representatives are available throughout the program to offer advice on navigating the academic system and the academic culture of the institution, as well as specific classes.

Nature of Courses

Students will take courses at UH with local and other international students.

Grading System

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

Language of Instruction

Spanish

Faculty

All courses are taught by University of Havana faculty.

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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

All Courses

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.

CIEE Study Center Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.

University of Havana Courses

All course selections are made in consultation with the CIEE resident director. Not all direct enrollment courses are available every semester. Course listings and availability are not determined until immediately prior to the start of university classes in a given semester. The final list of courses will be available onsite when students arrive.

All students must take 15 to 18 credits of direct enrollment courses. The following list is a representative sampling of courses available at the University of Havana.

Fall Semester, September–December

FACULTAD DE ARTES Y LETRAS:

Apreciación Literaria I, Literatura Española II, Seminario del Español de Cuba, Literatura Cubana II, Seminario De Estudios Martianos.

FACULTAD DE FILOSOFÍA E HISTORIA:

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 Ambiental.

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.

Spring Semester, February–June

FACULTAD DE ARTES Y LETRAS:

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

FACULTAD DE FILOSOFÍA E HISTORIA:

Sociología: Historia de América, Historia del Pensamiento Filosófico Soc. II, Filosofía y Sociedad II, Pensamiento Económico Universal, Economía Política II, Sociología del Conocimiento, Pensamiento Sociológico Cubano, Sociología de la Educación, Sociología de la Prevención Social, Sociología de la Salud, Sociología del Desarrollo, Sociología de la Familia.

Filosofía Marxista: Economía Política II, Historia de América, Historia de Cuba II, Historia de Cuba II, Estética, Teoría e Historia de la Filosofía Marxista Leninista II, Pensamiento Latinoamericano I, Pensamiento Filosófico y Social Contemporáneo II, Pensamiento Cubano, Teoría e Historia del Socialismo.

Historia: Historia Social de la Literatura y el Arte II, Filosofía y Sociedad II, Historia de América Latina y el Caribe II, Historia de Cuba II, Historia de los Estados Unidos, Economía Política II, Historia de América Latina y el Caribe IV, Historia de Cuba IV, Curso especial José Martí, Historia de América Latina IV, Historia de Cuba IV, Pensamiento cubano, Curso especial José Martí II.

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