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Tulane in Cuba:
Fall Semester


Tulane's JYA Cuba Program is subject to the renewal of the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license that permits Tulane University to engage in academic exchange initiatives with Cuba via Tulane's Cuban & Caribbean Studies Institute.


Enriched by the strong, historic economic and cultural ties between New Orleans and Havana, Tulane University's multifaceted relationship with the Universidad de La Habana provides a solid intellectual foundation for this very special direct-enrollment program.


In fall 2009, Tulane undergraduates returned to Cuba at a momentous time for U.S.-Cuba relations.

Sponsored by Tulane's Cuban & Caribbean Studies Institute, Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and Center for Global Education, this study abroad opportunity is designed for advanced Spanish-language students who demonstrate a strong interest in the study of Cuba and Latin America in and outside the classroom.

Our Partner Institution

Founded in 1728, the Universidad de La Habana is Cuba's oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education. The main campus of UH is on the edge of the historic center of Havana in the Vedado neighborhood. UH is organized into three divisions—Natural universitySciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Economics— and has a total of 15 departments and 14 research centers. Twenty-five majors are taught at the university and approximately 6,000 degree students are enrolled in regular classes each year. Courses are taught on a semester basis with each period lasting 16 weeks.

With the support of the Office of International Relations at the Universidad de La Habana, Tulane students will directly enroll in courses alongside students from two of the UH departments: Arts and Letters and/or Philosophy & History.

University of Havana web site:

Program Dates

Fall Semester only: mid- August to mid-December.

In mid August students will gather in Miami before traveling as a group to Havana. University courses normally begin the first Monday of September. During the semester students will not be permitted to leave Cuba for leisure travel due to visa restrictions.

Pre-departure orientation sessions will begin after participant selection in mid February and Mardi Gras. Selected participants will be expected to participate in all pre-departure sessions and complete all assigned readings.

Fields of Study at Universidad de La Habana

Literature, Linquisitcs, Art History, History, Political Science, Philosophy

Number of Participants

The Cuba program is limited to 10 students for the fall semester.

Students should identify an alternative program option in case they are not selected for the Cuba program. Students not selected will be permitted to apply to their second choice.

Eligibility & Application Requirements

3.0 cumulative GPA; completion of two or more courses at Tulane in Spanish at the 300 level or higher in the year prior to study abroad with a grade of B or better; applicants are expected to enroll in an advanced Spanish course in the spring semester prior to the program. Completion of coursework with Latin American and/or Cuba(n) content is strongly recommended.

Students will submit the Newcomb-Tulane application for study abroad, available in hardcopy only from the Center for Global Education by the application deadline. In addition, students will participate in an interview with members of the Tulane faculty. The faculty review committee will make final recommendations to the Newcomb-Tulane Committee on Study Abroad.

The interview will last approximately 20 minutes and be conducted in Spanish and English.

Academic Program 

In this direct-enrollment program students take four courses directly at the Universidad de La Habana alongside local Cuban students, plus one core course by the resident director. All courses at UH are taught in Spanish by resident faculty; UH courses are selected under the guidance of the Tulane resident director, as well as staff at the University.

During the first two weeks students attend classes and ultimately select four courses from two UH departments: Artes y Letras, and Filosofia y Historia. Students with sufficient academic preparation who wish to take a course in an academic area outside these two departments may be able to do so and should consult the resident director and the director of study abroad.

Pre-departure Orientation

Orientation for the fall semester program begins in the spring semester prior to departure. Multiple meetings aim to introduce students to academic culture in Cuba, U.S.-Cuban relations, health and safety issues, as well as historical cultural context for the present-day Cuba. Students are expected to attend all pre-departure orientation program sessions during the spring semester.

In mid-August, students will gather in Miami, Florida, before traveling to Havana, Cuba, where further on-site orientation will take place.

Excursions and Travel During the Semester

The program will include occasional excursions to sites outside Havana. Also, every attempt will be made to facilitate connections between Tulane students and local students at UH, as well as students from other U.S. institutions in Havana.

Due to visa restrictions and the difficulty of travel outside Cuba, Tulane students are expected to remain in Cuba for the duration of the semester.

Passport & Cuban Academic Visa

All students should have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the completion of the program at the time of application. This is the responsibility of the student to apply or renew the passport.

In addition, all students will need a student visa to reside in Havana. Tulane University will arrange for Cuban visas with assistance from the University of Havana and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C. The application process will require a valid passport, so please make sure your passport will be valid for at least 6 months after the completion of the program.

Living arrangements

Students will stay in residences arranged by Tulane University.
housing in Cuba

El Costillar de Rocinante located on Avenida de los Presidentes in Vedado, is a residence associated with the School of Communications in Havana within walking distance or a short bus ride from the University of Havana. Students will share rooms in either a double or triple offering simple, basic conveniences. Rooms include a private bathroom, refrigerator, television set and air conditioning unit. Bed linens and towels are provided and changed weekly. Two meals daily are included in the cost of housing, and students also enjoy nearby inexpensive cafeterias, restaurants and snack bars. The residence has a 24-hour reception desk, lounge area, outdoor patio and computer area with internet access (internet is not available in the individual guest rooms) and limited wifi.

Faculty DirectoR for Fall Semester 2012

Dr. Marilyn Miller, PhD.

For more information on the Cuba program, please contact the Office of Study Abroad.

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