The Country | The University | The Program | Language Requirement | Courses | Program Inclusions | Q&A's | Housing & Meals | Costs | Student Visa | Flights | Insurance | National Health Insurance | Financial Aid | Applications
Cuba occupies the largest island of the West Indies. It is situated west of the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and is 90 miles south of Key West, Florida. Cuba's capital city is La Habana with an estimated population of over 2 million people. Other large cities include Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Holgiun, Guantánamo, and Santa Clara. The population of the entire island is about 12 million. The official language of Cuba is Spanish. Cuban society today is primarily a mixture of Spanish, Taino, and African peoples and cultures. Cuba was a Colony of Spain from 1492 until 1898. Cuba fell under U.S. domination from 1898 until the socialist revolution in 1959. Since then Cuba has striven for cultural, social, economic, and political independence.
The Universidad de La Habana was founded in 1728. It is the largest and oldest University in Cuba. The history of the university is rooted in various scientific, political, and cultural events that are of importance to Cuba as a nation. About 8,000 students attend the university which offers degrees in numerous disciplines. Students participating in this program will come away having learned about Cuba's situation vis-à-vis the United States' embargo and its impact on Cuban culture, society, and economic well-being. Students will witness Cuban history in the making due to changes since the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union stopped supporting Cuba economically and the current "Special Period" of economic reform began. For more information visit the Universidad de La Habana Web site at: http://www.ffh.uh.cu or http://www.uh.cu.
For over 50 years, the United States has enforced an economic embargo against Cuba, which means that U.S. citizens and persons may not legally travel to Cuba unless they are licensed by the United States Department of Treasury. The State University of New York at Oswego has been a licensed program continuously since 2004. Our direct-enrollment semester program at the Universidad de La Habana remains a licensed program of study available for students from any U.S. College or University. It is a unique opportunity to learn firsthand of Cuban history, society, culture, and politics. This program is designed for serious and mature students who want to experience and learn for themselves about a nation-state that is following an alternate economic, political, and social model to that of the United States.
All students must have intermediate to advanced Spanish proficiency to participate in this program. As this program is direct-enrollment, all classes are taught in Spanish. Students take their courses alongside Cuban students.
Students take courses in the Faculty of Philosophy and History in the fields of sociology, anthropology, politics, history, and philosophy, as well as in the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the Latin American Film School. Final course advisement and registration will occur during orientation in Havana with the program director and academic advisor from the Universidad de La Habana.
For a list of elective course offerings, please click on the faculty area of interest.
In order for you to gain a better understanding of Cuban culture and history, the program organizes various excursions, short presentations, and study visits to areas of importance throughout the semester. Some places previously visited include:
- Old Havana
- Plaza de la Revolucion
- Museo de la Revolution
- Cuban Music Performance
- Visits to Trinidad, Cinfuegos, Santa Clara, Vinales in Pinar del Rio, Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa
Got more questions? Have a look at our program-specific questions and answers.
Housing & Meals
Students will reside at a Casa Particular with a host family. The host family resides within a 10-15 minutes walking distance from the University of Habana. Rooms are double or triple occupancy with a private shower, air conditioning, small refrigerator, and a TV. Students will be served breakfast and dinner daily. Lunch will be on your own, available for purchase at various cafeterias or restaurants (paladares) throughout the city of Habana.
Costs (budget sheet)
Select your term of interest for the latest budget information.
The student visa process will be handled by SUNY Oswego Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP), the University of Habana, and the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. After acceptance to the program, students will need to complete a one-page visa form and submit a copy of their passport to the SUNY Oswego OIEP.
A group flight will be arranged departing New York (JFK) airport and arriving at Cuba's José Martí International Airport for students who reside in New York State. Students who reside in other states will be allowed to make their own flight arrangements. All students must arrive and depart Cuba on the dates as designated by the program coordinator.
All students participating in this program are covered by the SUNY full health and accident insurance (https://www.geobluestudents.com) as well as medical evacuation and repatriation insurance.
National Health Insurance
In addition, student's on this program must be enrolled in their host country's mandatory health insurance.
Students currently receiving financial aid can use their aid for overseas study, and may, in some cases, have their awards increased. Students not currently receiving financial aid may be eligible. Those interested in financial aid for this program should contact the financial aid office on their home campus.
Late applications are accepted on a space-available basis. Please contact the program specialist, Lizette Alvarado, for further details.
A non-refundable deposit of $250, applicable to the program cost, must be paid within 14 days of acceptance to the program in order to secure program participation. Any deviation from program requirements must be requested in writing and authorized by the Director of International Education and Programs before the final payment date.