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  • Locations: Havana, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-Term Summer Minimum GPA: 2.5
Language Prerequisite: Spanish 1 semester
Program Description:
HWS  Short Term Summer Faculty Led Program
Inside the New Cuba (LTAM 255); 1 Credit
Led by: Juan Lieban in Partnership with Arcadia University

Cuba Banner


Country Description:
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and home to a population of over 11 million people. It has a tropical climate with an average temperature of approximately 79°F in May. The culture of Cuba is vast, diverse, and full of art, history and natural wonders. Students will take a course with the program director and will live in Havana, a city that offers its visitors a charming blend of old traditions and modern living: old vintage cars, a relaxed atmosphere, a historic center that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, life along the Malecón, African and European influences, traditional dance and music, and a unique culinary style. Excursions to Trinidad, Bay of Pigs, and Las Terrazas will enhance the students’ academic experience of this cultural immersion program.

Course Description:
LTAM 255: Inside the New Cuba will trace and explore the evolution of Cuban society from the revolution of 1959 to the present.  Drawing upon historical documents, literature, print media, films and music, the course will examine the impact of the revolution on Cuban society, as well as on the contemporary history of Latin America and the United States. The theory and practice of socialist thought and its effect on the welfare of the Cuban nation will be examined through a variety of lenses, including those of class, race, gender, religion and sexuality.
Issues of equality and human rights will be discussed in the context of socialist and capitalist economies and political systems, particularly those of Cuba and the U.S. Life in Cuba through the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the U.S. embargo will receive special attention in this course. Through intellectual engagement with text and film, and the personal experience of living in Cuba for three weeks, students will be able to achieve a better understanding of the complexity of this exceptional historical moment in Cuba-U.S. relations, as well as re-imagine the place and reality of a new Cuba in the political map of the 21st century.

Themes and Focuses of the Course:
  • The Struggle for Independence: From Conquest to Revolution
  • The Cuban Revolution in the Latin American Imagination
  • The Politics of Dominance: Cuba-U.S Relations
  • The Dissolution of the Soviet Union and the “Special Period”
  • The Effect of the U.S. Embargo on the Cuban Population
  • From Slavery to Racial (In)equality
  • Gender and Power through the Revolution to the Present
  • Sexual Minorities in Contemporary Cuba
  • The Place of Religion in Cuban Society
  • Foreign Money: One Country, Two Currencies
  • From Havana to Miami: The Multiple Faces of Dissidence
  • Literary Transformations: Writing the Cuban Revolution
  • Cuba and the “boom” of Latin American Cinema
  • From “Son” to the “Nueva Trova”: the Music of the Revolution
  • The Emergence of the New Cuba
Class sessions will take place in the morning, with some shorter sessions in the afternoon for guest lectures on topics related to Cuban history and the Revolution.
For more information regarding this course, contact Juan Liebana by emailing

Faculty Director:
Juan Liébana is a professor in the Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department at HWS and a scholar of Cuban literature. He has spent over 3 years living in Miami, where he became very familiar with Cuban culture, and has also traveled to Cuba in preparation for the program. Professor Liébana has extensive experience as a director, and his expertise will provide students with a unique perspective of current and historical Cuban-American relations along with an in-depth understanding of the culture, politics and modern-day realities inside the new Cuba. Contact e-mail:

Travel Dates:
May 21- June 12 2017

HWS Info Session:
Sept 20, 7:30pm, Merritt Hall 100

Application Deadline:
Monday, October 31, 2016 by 11:59pm (Apply online).

Itinerary Highlights:
  • Old Havana walking tour and guest lecture
  • 20th Century Havana walking tour and guest lecture
  • City bus tour
  • Lectures on US-Cuba relations, the health care and educational system of Cuba
  • Bay of Pigs day trip
  • Museum of the Revolution
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • The tunnels of the missile crisis underneath the Hotel Nacional
  • Overnight excursion to Trinidad. Visit a tobacco plantation, focusing on the colonial history of Cuba
  • Santa Clara/Trinidad overnight excursion
  • Las Terrazas/Viñales/Soroa day visit
  • Optional trip to Varadero beach and Matanzas
Housing and Meals:
Students will enjoy shared accommodations in the Arcadia University Havana student house, which includes bed linens and towels, cleaning service, and daily breakfast and dinner service. The residence is in Vedado, considered the safest barrio in Havana, close to the University of Havana.

All breakfast and dinners will be covered as part of the program fee, but students should budget an extra $200-$250 for additional lunches and meals during travel days, etc.

Group flights will be arranged by the CGE and accepted students will be notified of the cost and booking info for the flight once it’s available. Due to specific travel restrictions the group flight must be booked through our travel agency. The group flight will be MANDATORY for all students. No separate travel plans into Cuba are possible at this time.
Note: Due to Cuba flight restrictions, it will not be possible to book our group flight more than 2 months in advance. The CGE will notify students as soon as the flight details are available and ready to book.

Passports and Visas:
All students will need a passport valid until at least 6 months after the return date AND a VISA. Visa paperwork/documents will be collected by the CGE and submitted to the travel agency to secure your visa. These documents MUST be remitted to our office by the specified due date (TBD). Non U.S. citizens should see Anthony Mandela in the CGE about visas as soon as you are accepted.

Cuba does not present a noteworthy health risk. Nonetheless, Hepatitis A and typhoid immunizations are recommended for many travelers. Please check the CDC website to read more about the recommendations. If you choose to get immunizations, you can do this at a local medical clinic near your home - use this link to find travel medicine clinics  - or possibly with your home doctor or you can contact one of the Passport Health offices in Canandaigua, Rochester or Syracuse who provide travel immunizations. Their contact number is: (585) 275-8884.

III. Eligibility

Course Pre-requisities:
  • All accepted students will be required to take a Spanish language course at the appropriate level in 2016-17, preferably in Spring 17. In order to place out of this requirement students must consult with Prof. Liébana.
  • Participants will also be required to attend the orientation meetings, as well as the talks and films that will be presented on campus prior to the short-term program.
Important note on Application Criteria and Course Credit for Short-term Programs.
Qualified first-years, sophomores, juniors and graduating seniors may apply. First-years, sophomores and juniors will have priority and seniors will be admitted on a space-available basis.
GPA Requirement:
Students applying for this program should have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA. In the case of first-year students, we will have to wait until your fall grades are in before we can formally admit you. Provided there are spaces available, first years with successful applications may be given a conditional offer based on achieving at least a 2.5 gpa in the fall semester.

Course cross-listings and credit:
The course taught by Prof. Liébana (“Inside the New Cuba”) will be worth one HWS course credit and has been approved by the following departments to receive major/minor credit:
  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Development Studies
  • English and Comp. Lit.
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Latin American Studies
  • Peace Studies
  • Political Science
  • Social Justice Studies
  • Spanish and Hispanic Studies
  • Russian Area Studies History and Society
This course has been approved by the HWS Committee on Academic Affairs to fully satisfy Goal requirement #7—multiplicity of world cultures. This course has also been approved to partially satisfy Goal #6— gender, race, and class and Goal #8— ethical judgment and action. Students should always discuss goal requirements with their advisors.


Program Fees:
Cuba program fees will be approximately $3,383* for the 3-week program, which will cover tuition, accommodation, most meals (with the exception of lunches), international mandatory health insurance, entrance fees, day trips and excursions and local travel in Cuba.
Students should also budget an extra $200-250 above and beyond the program costs for the lunches not included. Students will also need to budget for round trip airfare at approximately $650 - $800, books at $50, visa and Cuban Departure Tax at $100, any required immunizations, AND a non-refundable administrative fee of $100 charged for all faculty-led short-term programs. The administrative fee will show up as a separate charge (separate from the program fee) billed to your student account.
*Costs are subject to change based on currency fluctuations, changes in costs of services provided and the number of students confirmed on the trip.

Click below to access our comprehensive budget estimator, which includes an estimate of all expenses:
CUBA_HWS_ST Student Budget Estimator Template.xlsx
In an effort to assist students in financial hardship wishing to participate in a short-term program, there is a limited pool of HWS funding available. If you are accepted to this program, we will invite you to submit a funding application. Funding will be allocated on a need basis and we will contact the financial aid office to verify your need status. We will also contact the Student Affairs office and the Dean’s office to access your social/disciplinary records as part of determining your eligibility for funding. We will let you know whether you have been awarded funding before the deadline by which you are required to put down a deposit for your place on the program.

Payment Schedule and Program Timeline:

After applying and being accepted to the program, students will need to make a $500 deposit in person to the business office in Demarest Hall to hold their place in this program. This amount will be credited to your student account and will be applied to your program cost.
 Application Deadline  DUE: Oct 31, 2016  11:59pm online
 Decision Date  Nov 21, 2016  aid applications available at this time
 Funding/aid Applications  DUE Nov 30 2016  
 Funding Decisions Made  Dec 7 2016  
 Deposit Deadline  DUE: Dec 16 2016  $500.00
 Program Billing Date  Jan 30 2017  Balance charged to student account
 Final Payment  DUE: Feb 30 2017  Remaining balance due

Please note: Students must make the initial non-refundable deposit to the business office in Demarest Hall. Program fees for the remainder (lump sum) of program will be automatically billed to the student accounts separately. Installment payment plans may be worked out on a case by case basis with the business office.

Cancellation Policy:
The initial $500 deposit is non-refundable. Students will be responsible for additional expenses beyond the $500 if they withdraw from the program while it’s in progress or 90 days or less before the program begins. Specifically, students will be held accountable for any expenditures made by HWS on their behalf that the CGE is unable to recoup from any untimely withdrawal, such as housing deposits, non-refundable hotel reservations, excursion deposits, etc.

Questions? If you have questions about this program, please contact Anthony Mandela in the Center for Global Education at 315-781-3663 or


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.