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Princeton in Cuba
Havana, Cuba (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring Semester
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Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
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Fact Sheet:
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Dept Offering Program: Study Abroad OIP Program Type: Study Abroad (semester)
Language of Instruction: Spanish Language Prerequisite: Yes
Program Features: Academic Study Degree Level: 3 - Sophomore, 4 - Junior, 5 - Senior
Time Away: Spring Semester Housing options: Guesthouse
Program Group: Study Abroad OIP Program Adviser: Jordan Zilla
Program Description:
Program Description:


Photo by Logan Coleman '15

Princeton in Cuba &

WWS Task Force Seminar at the University of Havana (Spring 2018)


Princeton students from all departments with advanced Spanish (SPA 207) and a keen interest in contemporary culture, political economy, policy issues, history, art, and anthropology of Latin America have the opportunity to apply to Princeton in Cuba for the spring semester.

Some highlights for this program:
  • On-site Resident Director from the Princeton faculty (Prof. Rachel Price)
  • Guest lecturers from Princeton and the local community
  • Group excursions and cultural activities led by the Resident Director (see below for more details)
  • Accommodation in a “casa particular” (to be confirmed)
  • Possibility of additional language support
Language prerequisite for everyone: SPA 2017

Program requirements:
WWS students (course load: 4 courses + Task Force Seminar)
  • Arts and Cultural Policy in Contemporary Cuba taught by Princeton Prof. Rachel Price (see description below)
  • 3 courses taken at the University of Havana
  • Task Force Seminar at CEDEM coordinated by Prof. Antonio Aja (see description below)
All other students: (course load: 4 courses + regular JP work as applicable)
  • Arts and Cultural Policy in Contemporary Cuba taught by Princeton Prof. Rachel Price (see description below)
  • 2 or 3 courses taken at the University of Havana
  • Option to participate in the Task Force Seminar at CEDEM coordinated by Prof. Antonio Aja, which will count as regular course credit (see description below)
Professor Rachel Price will serve as the Resident Director for the Princeton in Cuba program. Rachel Price (B.A., Yale; Ph.D., Duke U.), Associate Professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Department works on Latin American, circum-Atlantic and particularly Cuban literature and culture; media; poetics; empire; and ecocriticism. Her essays have discussed a range of topics, including digital media, slavery, poetics, and visual art. The Object of the Atlantic: Concrete Aesthetics in Cuba, Brazil and Spain 1868-1968 was published in 2014 by Northwestern University Press. Planet/Cuba: Art, Culture, and the Future of the Island, was published by Verso Books in 2015. Planet/Cuba discusses contemporary literature as well as conceptual, digital, and visual art from Cuba that engages questions of environmental crises, new media, and new forms of labor and leisure. She is currently working on several projects, including intersections between aesthetics and energy, and a book-length study rethinking communication technologies and literature in the nineteenth-century slaveholding Iberian Atlantic.

Before coming to Princeton she taught at Brown University and Stonybrook University, after working at the Social Science Research Council’s Program on Latin America and Working Group on Cuba, and at the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca in Colombia.  Professor Price is affiliated with the Program in Media and Modernity and the Program in Latin American Studies, and was a core member of the 2012-2015 PIIRS Research Community on Empire

The Setting

Havana, the capital of Cuba, is the country's largest city and the center of the island's cultural, economic and political life. Princeton students will reside in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, which stretches along the ocean wall, halfway between historic Old Havana to the east and modern Miramar to the west. Although mostly residential, Vedado is known for its popular restaurants, theaters and galleries. Several of the top Cuban research centers and educational institutions have their headquarters in the neighborhood as well. Tentatively housing will be arranged in a “casa particular” similar to a bed and breakfast providing meals and a space to commune with other international students studying in Havana on other study abroad programs.



Courses will be taught by a combination of Princeton faculty, CEDEM faculty, lecturers and local professors at the University of Havana.  Princeton professor and Resident Director Rachel Price will teach one course for Princeton credit (see description below), and will be inviting a number of interesting guest speakers for additional lectures.
Course descriptions:
WWS 388 Special Topics in Public Affairs: Arts and Cultural Policy in Contemporary Cuba

This course will address the creation, promotion and consumption of art and culture in Cuba--and will analyze the policy framework within which this takes place. It will examine the goals of the revolutionary government with respect to literacy and cultural democracy and will review how these objectives have been realized through changing circumstances since 1959, including the emergence in recent years of non-state cultural institutions. Course includes site visits to museums, book imprints, research centers, state-run and independent galleries, theaters, etc.  This course may also include seven (7) lectures by Princeton faculty on predetermined topics as arranged by Prof. Price.
WWS Task Force Seminar: Population and Development in Cuba
The course will provide students a view of contemporary Cuban society through the analysis of population studies and of the main variables that characterize it: mortality, fertility and migrations.  It will provide students with the necessary theoretical tools to address the relationship between population and development and give them a scientific view of the main strengths and difficulties for Cuban development.
The course work will include an individual research paper 20-24 pages in length and an oral presentation on the research topic.
Students will direct enroll in courses at the University of Havana to complete their course load. Students can choose from courses in literature, the arts, and Afro-Caribbean studies at the University of Havana’s Faculty of Arts and Letters, or courses in Cuban history, philosophy and religion, political sociology, and Latin American thought through the Faculty of Philosophy and History.

Sample Course Offerings at the University of Havana:
U of Havana Course Offerings, Faculty of Philosophy and History (History).pdf
U of Havana Course Offerings, Faculty of Philosophy and History (Philosophy).pdf
U of Havana Course Offerings, Faculty of Philosophy and History (Sociology).pdf
U of Havana Course Offerings, Faculty of Arts and Letters.pdf

Academic Calendar
Approximate program dates are Late January to mid-May.  Specific program dates to be determined.


Applicants must have completed SPA 207 or equivalent prior to departure, and must have a B average for the fall and spring semesters of the academic year preceding the semester abroad.

Grading & Credits:

For information regarding credits, grading, and other academic policies, read the Academic Policies on the Study Abroad website.     


Housing information for spring 2018 is being finalized.   Tentatively housing will be in a “casa particular” similar to a bed and breakfast in the Vedado neighborhood in Havana.  Students are likely to be housed in shared rooms with shared bathrooms. The accommodation will include some shared meals and conversation with the host family, and immersion with other international students.   

Student Life

The following list of excursions is tentative and subject to change:

  • A week-long trip to Santiago de Cuba (during spring break) to allow students on the program to see Cuba outside of Havana.
  • Possible cultural excursions in Havana may include: visits to the Museum of Fine Arts; Casa de Africa; artists’ studios; tours of Old Havana and other neighborhoods such as Havana’s Chinatown, El Vedado or Miramar and a Reggaetón studio.
  • Additional cultural activities outside of Havana including: Trinidad, Afro-Cuban dance show at Sociedad de Santa Barbara, visit to Valle de los Ingenios, visit to Castillo de San Severino (slavery museum), visit to agricultural cooperatives around Pinar del Rio/Vinales

Ground transportation will be included when necessary for included study trips, excursions and visits including arrival and departure transfers at one designated time in Havana.

Money Matters

Students who receive financial aid at Princeton continue to receive Princeton financial aid for the approved costs of study abroad programs during the academic year. For detailed information about financial aid, program fees, and billing for study abroad, please visit the Money Matters section of the Study Abroad website.     
For estimated program costs an updated Budget Sheet is being developed. 

Passport and Visa

Students must have a passport valid for at least six months after the end of their study abroad program.  For information on obtaining or renewing a US passport, please consult the US State Department Passport Website.    

Note: Your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond your stay in Cuba. Please check the expiration date to make sure that it satisfies this requirement. Also, be sure that the passport, especially the photo, is in good physical condition—that is, that it does not look in any way as if it has been tampered with. Please have at least four photocopies of your passport (the inside page with personal information) with you.

Princeton will process your visa application. Do not apply for a visa on your own. Upon entry the resident director will collect your passports for additional visa processing and the temporary residence permit (“carnet”) required of foreign students residing in Cuba for a semester. Having a carnet often means being able to pay lower student prices at museums and theaters. Please note that there is a $25 CUC (approx. US $27) exit fee when you leave Cuba, which the program will pay.

Application Process

First, interested students should click "apply now" on this GPS program brochure to access the program application items and instructions.

Applicants will then be prompted to submit the following application materials to Princeton’s Office of International Programs by the deadline listed in GPS:

  • Cuba Essay

  • Study Abroad Essay Questions

  • One language recommendation - The language recommendation should come from a Spanish language instructor who can comment on the student's Spanish language ability.

  • One faculty recommendation letter - The faculty recommendation should come from a professor in an area other than Spanish language who can comment on the student's overall academic skill and intellectual merit.

  • Official Princeton transcript

  • Copy of passport - Must be valid for at least 6 months past the program end date. Students must have a valid passport no later than the program application deadline.

After the application deadline, candidates may be interviewed by the Cuba Resident Director in order to be considered for final acceptance.


Start planning your study abroad experience!


"This was the best decision I ever made. I pushed myself to my academic, social and emotional limits while learning about a fascinating and beautiful culture. My love for the Cuban people is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Traveling to Cuba helped clarify a great many things for me--it helped me to realize both what I wanted for myself and what I did not want." -Sophia Aguilar '16

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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 10/26/2018 11/02/2018 TBA TBA
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