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  • Locations: Havana, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2021 03/01/2021 03/01/2021 TBA TBA
Program Description:
Cuba LAST Summer

Summer in Cuba
La Habana, Cuba
May 22-June 20, 2020
Application Deadline: Friday, February 21, 2020

Program Overview:
Summer in Cuba is a 4-week study abroad experience open to undergraduates in all years and majors and with any level of Spanish language proficiency. Sponsored through collaboration between Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute and the University of Havana, it allows students to earn six Tulane credits while living in a country long obscured by political rhetoric and romanticized nostalgia. Participants learn about Cuba's history, politics, society, and culture through courses taught in English by Tulane faculty members and in either English or Spanish by professors at the University of Havana. Meanwhile, they have the opportunity to explore Havana from the heart of its historic Vedado neighborhood both independently and through organized group excursions. At a moment when the end of Castro family rule has coincided with the renegotiation of key political and economic policies, the program offers a rare opportunity to experience firsthand Cuba's social and cultural transformations.
Primary Care in Cuba is a sub-track of Summer in Cuba tailored specifically to undergraduates pursuing their degrees in Public Health. Students enrolled in this program will take one Latin American Studies course with other program participants and will enroll in a second course taught by associates of Cuba’s National School of Public Health (Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública, or ENSAP) and facilitated by a representative of Tulane’s School of Public Health. “Primary Care in Public Health in Cuba” is a three-credit class that counts toward the Public Health major. The readings and activities associated with it address how the Cuban government has prioritized the development of universal healthcare, with a special emphasis on the efforts to strengthen primary healthcare and to articulate it with more complex levels of care. Specifically, the course contextualizes and analyzes programs to prevent infant mortality and to prevent and control infectious diseases such as polio, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue, and HIV. It enables students to understand these efforts within Cuba’s unique economic and political environment through a schedule of regular visits to healthcare providers, clinics, and public welfare organizations. 

Courses Offered (each worth 3 credits)

  • LAST 3130: Society and Culture of Cuba (in English)
  • HISL 3950: The Evolution of Cuban Nationalism (in English)
  • SPAN 3130/4130: Contemporary Cuban Literature (in Spanish)

Public Health Option (counts toward major)

  • LAST 3960: Primary Care in Public Health in Cuba (in Spanish)

Participants share double-occupancy rooms in a guesthouse run by Cuba’s Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños (ANAP). Centrally located in the historic Vedado neighborhood, the house is just blocks away from the Malecón. Housing includes two daily meals prepared from the fresh ingredients provided by ANAP’s members.

The program includes one weekend trip outside of Havana and several shorter excursions around the area. While individual excursions are subject to change from year to year, they together expose students to various sites of historical, cultural, and ecological importance. For example, students begin their trip with a walking tour of Old Havana, the picturesque heart of the colonial city. They see firsthand the site of the infamous American invasion at Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) and observe the island’s natural beauty in the Ciénaga de Zapata and the Varadero Reserves. In Matanzas, they learn about the impact of Afro-Cuban culture, while on their weekend excursions to the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, they trace the economic evolution that has transformed the country from one generation to the next.

About La Habana
 With a population of over 2 million people, Havana is Cuba’s national capital and its leading economic, social, and cultural hub. Situated along a bay on the northern coast of the island, the city enjoys a temperate climate. The beauty of the physical landscape perhaps contributes to the vibrant culture for which the city is renowned. In addition to its famous nightlife, Havana boasts a wealth of music, art, performance, gastronomy, and athletics. While there, students can browse the collections of the National Museum of Art, attend a performance of the Cuban National Ballet, play a game of pick-up soccer or baseball, or dance the night away to salsa. Though the city suffered from neglect during the middle of the twentieth century as the Castro regime funneled funding toward the island’s underdeveloped rural provinces, it has since the 1980s witnessed a concentrated revival. In 1982, UNESCO declared Old Havana a World Heritage Site, and the city continues to be a treasure today.   

Prior to departure, the CCSI will host two mandatory pre-departure information sessions. During these meetings, students will learn more about what to expect during their time abroad and have the opportunity to ask questions of program faculty and former participants. Students will also be provided with a detailed orientation packet, which they are encouraged to share with their families.

All registration will be processed by CCSI staff. Students should NOT register for their own courses. They will initially be enrolled in one 3-credit Latin American Studies placeholder course, used for billing purposes only. After students finalize their courses in Havana, they will be enrolled in their credit-bearing courses.

Medical Insurance and Global Rescue
Because Cuba requires proof of international medical insurance upon entry into the country, all U.S. airlines include coverage in their ticket prices. Students will therefore have access to this international health insurance while abroad. In addition, Tulane registers students for Global Rescue, an emergency travel assistance program offering medical, personal, and security advice and assistance, as well as emergency evacuation services. Once students have been registered, they will receive an email with instructions for setting up the GRID app on their phones. 

  • $5,500 ($3,000 tuition; $2,500 housing and logistics fee)
  • $6,000 for Public Health option ($3,500 Tuition; $2,500 housing and logistics fee)

Tuition and fees include 6 Tulane credits, shared housing, 2 meals/day, transportation to/from airport, all costs associated with group excursions. Tuition and fees do NOT include airfare to/from Cuba, passport/visa expenses, vaccinations, laundry, and other incidentals.
NOTE: Because U.S. Debit and Credit cards do not work in Cuba, students are responsible for bringing enough cash to cover all personal expenses during the trip. It will be very difficult to access additional cash after arrival. Administrators will have access to lockboxes where students can store their money, but participants are also encouraged to bring their own portable lockboxes. Though Cuba is a safe country with very low rates of crime, it is best to take precautions.

Refund and Cancellation Policy
If a student withdraws from the program at any point between acceptance and departure, the student forfeits their deposit plus any additional expenses that the Stone Center cannot recover from program providers. Prior to 15 days before the program start date, a student may submit a written withdrawal request to be considered for a refund of up to 75% of the program fee (deposit excluded). Refund requests received less than 15 days before the program start date will only be eligible for a maximum of 25% refund of the program fees (deposit excluded). Students withdrawing after the program start date will not be eligible for any refund.

Accessibility and accommodations
Tulane University is committed to making all its programs accessible to all students. Persons requiring special facilities should notify the Program Manager as soon as possible. All effort will be made to accommodate them, but students should be aware that reasonable accommodation may be required.

Contact Information
If you have questions or would like more information, visit the Cuban and Caribbean Studies website or contact the CCSI Program Manager for Special Programs:

Hannah Palmer
Phone: (504) 862 - 8629
100 Jones Hall, Tulane Uptown Campus