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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Cuba: Havana

Semester: Spring
Offered: Spring 2021
Estimated Dates: Mid-February to late May
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with Language Component

HIST 348: Modern Cuba
SPAN 202 with a “B” average or better in language study                                       

Housing: Host Families
Campus Contact: Elliott Young
Professor of History, 503-768-7454

Program Design

Academic study focuses on the study of the construction of the Cuban nation with emphasis on issues of race, slavery, socialism and relations with the U.S. The program will be based at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) and will include excursions to Santiago, Trinidad and Pinar del Rio.  Students live in homestays.


Requirements Fulfilled: IS 280 and IS 281 fulfill the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement. IS 282 fulfills 4-credit Creative Arts general education requirement. This program fulfills the overseas study requirement for the Latin American Studies minor.

Credits: 16 credits (4 courses)


IS 282: Art and Culture in Modern Cuba (4 credits)
This course will review the major trends and movements in Cuban music, film, dance, and plastic arts in the twentieth century.  The course will not only teach students how to appreciate these cultural expressions, but it will situate these movements within the context of the evolving Cuban society.

SPAN XXX: (300 Level Spanish Credit) Spanish Language (4 credits)
The focus of this class will be on comprehension and oral skills. Review and perfection of Spanish grammar, and literature will also be integrated as part of the curriculum, but the class would seek to raise the students’ level of Spanish to facilitate their understanding and participation in the other classes that will also be taught in Spanish.

IS 280: Contemporary Cuban Voices (4 credits)
This course will introduce students to a wide variety of contemporary Cuban intellectuals, artists and writers through weekly guest lectures.  Students will also be asked to process their experiences and discuss the guest lectures.

IS 281: Community-Based Research (4 credits)
This course will introduce students to basic oral history and ethnographic methodologies. Students will develop field research projects through internships and participant-observation.  Their projects will culminate in a 15 page field-research paper.


2018-2019 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition & Program Fee): $32,334

Tuition: $25,287

Program Fee: $7,047

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to HAV): $400-$600

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,275.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: Applications are due one year before the start of the program.

The semester before the program, students who have been accepted will meet regularly for orientation. This orientation is meant to prepare the students for life in Havana by exploring literature and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the logistical details of the program.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Cuba.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Cuba page.

Cuba, Havana

Blog Feed: Cuba

  • June 12, 2017 at 11:37am
    I am writing my final post on my flight back home after having landed in Atlanta with a short layover. Being back in the United States, even just in the airport, was pretty startling. I found myself instinctively speaking in Spanish, saying “hola” and “permiso” to all the TSA agents and customs officers. I will […]
  • June 12, 2017 at 11:35am
    Last weekend, we took a trip too the small town of Trinidad, passing through the town of Santa Clara. Trinidad is located relatively in the middle of Cuba’s southern coast. It has beautiful scenery and it nestled surrounded by mountains and forest.  Our trip started off with a 9 am bus ride from Havana. We […]
  • June 12, 2017 at 11:34am
    Its a hot day in late April and I’m in my casa with two days before the end of the study abroad program. It’s hard to think that it will all be over in a few short days; this has been one of the quickest three months of my life. There have been many challenges […]
  • May 12, 2017 at 9:29am
    Arriving in Havana was like waking up in a submarine after a night of half-awake haze. I look out the window feeling confident that I have left my home but am not yet sure that this new life is all too different from that I am accustomed to. Soon I realize that this submarine ride […]
  • May 9, 2017 at 10:06am
    From the moment I boarded the airplane from Havana to Atlanta and I noticed the stark differences between that plane and the last one we took back from Santiago I knew that readjusting to life back in the states wasn’t going to be easy. I nearly lost my mind when I took a bite of […]
  • April 21, 2017 at 1:05pm
    Just came back from a 6 day trip to Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa all the way on the other end of the island. The weather wasn’t great but the food, the people and the increased Cubanidad really made up for it. I didn’t realize how when living in Havana you can almost sometimes forget […]
  • April 21, 2017 at 1:02pm
    Upon arriving to Cuba, our group had made it clear to our professors that we wanted to better understand cuban culture. We wanted to learn the local dialect, the lifestyle and the struggles. We wanted to learn about politics, athletics, nationalism and socialism. We wanted to make friends, gain a new perspective on both who […]
  • April 21, 2017 at 1:01pm
    In the start of March, a fellow student and I began to take weekly walks throughout the city. We’ve explored abandoned ferry terminals, hotels and apartment buildings. Our favorites thus far have been an old housing complex in Playa (a neighborhood just west of the city) and an old loading dock in Havana Vieja. The […]
  • April 19, 2017 at 12:24pm
    I’ve had many wonderful adventures so far, and traveled to Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas and Viñales most recently, as well as taken up salsa lessons and made friends with gen-u-ine Cubans, which has been a great accomplishment in itself. Tomorrow we all depart for Trinidad Province just in time for Good Friday and Easter, both […]
  • April 19, 2017 at 12:08pm
    We now only have about three weeks left in Cuba. Something lately that has been most rewarding is having the confidence to reach out to people and talk to them. It has taken a long time to get to that point and at times has been easy to retreat into the comfort of the group […]