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Princeton in Cuba
Havana, Cuba (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring Semester
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Budget Sheets Spring Semester
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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:


Princeton in Cuba

We are not accepting applications for this program for spring 2021. Please speak with the study abroad adviser for more information. 

Princeton students from all departments with advanced Spanish (SPA 207 or equivalent, with permission of the Resident Director) 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
  • 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”
  • Possibility of additional language support

The University

Founded in 1728, University of Havana is the leading Cuban institution of higher education whose mission focuses on contributing to political, cultural, social and economic development through the delivery of education programs in critical fields, such as science, technology and innovation. UH consistently strives for academic excellence, social relevance and effective management of university processes, which have created both national and international impact. It distinguishes itself through the important role it plays in national culture and science and through its prestigious faculty — who together with students and staff — display a commitment to society, contributing to its sustainability and prosperity.

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 and U of Havana/CEDEM (Centro de Estudios Demograficos) faculty. Princeton professor and Resident Director will teach two courses for Princeton credit (see descriptions below), and will be inviting a number of interesting guest speakers for additional lectures. Additionally, students will take one course with Professor Aja, a faculty member of CEDEM, and the final course will be taken at the University of Havana (courses at U of Havana are either 32 or 64 hours, and Princeton students should chose from the 64-hour ones in order to obtain the equivalent of one full Princeton credit). Students can choose courses from the following two "faculties" (which are the equivalent of "schools"): History and Philosophy and Arts and Letters. Courses will be available  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.

For a tentative list of courses that have been offered at the two faculties of University of Havana, click here:
U of Havana Course Offerings, Faculty of Arts and Letters.pdf
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

Please find the description of the CEDEM course here: CEDEM core course 2020.docx

Please note: course registration will not be finalized until in Havana. Your preliminary list of U of Havana courses is subject to change, but you can rest assure that there will be a variety of options to choose from.
Course descriptions:

Workshop on Contemporary Cuban Arts. (taught in Spanish) 
Havana is famous for its thriving cultural scene. This course will offer an introduction to some of the most dynamic contemporary works in theater, film, dance, performance, visual arts, and literature. Students will attend performances and meet theater and film directors, artists and poets. Each student will conduct an independent research project working closely with one of these authors. Full description here: Workshop on Contemporary Cuban Arts- SPA 383_LAS 384.pdf
Havana: A Cultural History (taught in Spanish)
This course will offer a cultural history of how Havana evolved from a sleepy colonial city in 1900 to rising as one of the cultural and architectural capitals of Latin America and the world by the 1950s. We will study the urban development of the early 20th century, the adoption of modernism and International Style in architecture, and the tensions between private enterprise and public projects. Full description here: Havana A Cultural History - SPA 385_LAS 386.pdf


For Princeton approval, participants must have at least a 3.0/ B average for the fall and spring semesters prior to the semester of study abroad. Students almost must have taken at least up to the 207 level of Spanish (or equivalent, with approval from the Resident Director).

Academic Calendar 

Spring 2020: February 1 - June 1, 2020 (exact dates TBD at a later time; the group will be flying together, so information about start and end date will be shared ASAP) 


Housing will be in a “casa particular” called Casa Vera, 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 (breakfast and dinner most days) and conversation with the host/owner, and immersion with other international students.   

Student Life

The program will include some group excursions during spring break, which could include trips outside of Havana to other parts of Cuba and/or visiting Havana's museums, art studios, and other historic neighborhoods. 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. Specific excursion details to be determined. 

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.     
The final student budget is in progress and will be posted once it is finalized. 

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. 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 application materials to Princeton’s Office of International Programs by the early deadline of October 15, 2019. Some examples of required application materials are as follows:

  • 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!

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Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.