Cornell Global Programs

Cornell Global Program | CASA Cuba

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Havana, Cuba
Approved by
Hostel/Hotel/Guest House
Academic Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester

CASA-Cuba provides students with a unique opportunity to have direct access to Cuba’s leading institution of higher learning, the University of Havana, and to Casa de Las Américas, the Cuban government’s premier research institution – since its founding in 1959 – on Caribbean and Latin American studies, Cuban culture and the arts.

At a Glance

City: La Habana, Cuba
Partner: Casa de Las Américas and  University of Havana
Housing: Student Guest Residence
Language requirement: SPAN 2095/SPAN 2190 + additional content course in Spanish; additional coursework in Spanish preferred
Calendar: Fall or Spring semesters or Academic Year


The Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA) is a collaborative initiative involving several U.S. universities: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt. Each CASA member institution reserves the right to participate in a given CASA Divisional Program.

CASA-Cuba provides students with a unique opportunity to have direct access to Cuba’s leading institution of higher learning, the University of Havana, and to Casa de Las Américas, the Cuban government’s premier research institution  – since its founding in 1959 – on Caribbean and Latin American studies, Cuban culture and the arts.

One of the longest running socialist experiments in history, Cuba is at a critical crossroad. Cuba’s political and economic spheres have long been subjects of interest and debate providing fertile ground for exciting academic inquiry. Havana, the capital city, was founded nearly 500 years ago, and due to its location, became a center of ship-building in the Caribbean and a strategic stopping point in the Spanish colonial empire. Today it is a sprawling metropolis, home to 2 million residents, and a mix of European, Latin, and American influences. Historic Old Havana, with its diverse architectural styles, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

CASA-Cuba, the University of Havana and Casa de Las Américas have worked together to develop a program of study that will challenge you to achieve a critical understanding of the key issues facing Cuba today and enable you to interact with some of the country’s leading academic experts in the social sciences, arts and the humanities. You will immerse yourself in Cuba, taking in credit-bearing lectures from recognized experts in Spanish on key issues facing the country and interacting with peers who share your intellectual curiosity about Cuba’s past, present and future. Your courses will be complemented throughout the semester with special seminars and guest lectures by respected experts from other key research centers. In addition, interested students will be encouraged to carry out focused research projects that will engage them with recognized Cuban experts in given disciplines and connect them with local archives, museums, and key cultural organizations.

The Galería Haydee Santamaría

CASA’s academic center in Havana is located in the historic Galería Haydee Santamaría, a spacious art gallery in the Vedado district of Havana. Built in the late 19th century in the Spanish colonial style, and restored in 2015 for use by CASA, the Galería provides classroom space, two interior patios and administrative office space for the program.  It is outfitted with Wi-fi access.


The “CASA”-Cuba program begins in Miami where students gather prior to the group flight to Havana. The one-week on-site orientation introduces students to the city of Havana, as seen through pre- and post-revolution lenses. The orientation helps students understand basic social, political, and cross-cultural elements that inform everyday life in the city. Visits to different parts of Havana orient students to the city's geography. Additional excursions beyond the city are integrated into the academic calendar.


Students will enroll in up to four courses taught in Spanish. Students are recommended to take a combination of courses (two and two) offered through Casa de Las Américas and direct-enrollment courses through the University of Havana. (A&S Students MUST take two university courses.)

Courses will be delivered by a group of carefully selected faculty, recognized experts from Casa de las Americas and the University of Havana. Individual courses will meet for 60 hours per semester.

In addition to the academic program, the Cuba study center will arrange special topics-based lectures, exhibitions, recitals, and local field visits to expose students to the tremendous cultural mosaic of the country.

Courses Offered through the Cuba Study Center

CASA-La Habana courses are taught by a group of carefully selected faculty, including CASA’s Academic Director in Cuba, recognized experts from Casa de Las Américas, and faculty from the University of Havana. Each course meets for a total of 60 hours, the equivalent of 4 U.S. semester credit hours. 

See the CASA-La Habana course offerings and descriptions.

  • Salud Pública Cubana: Pasado y Presente

  • Historia Cultural de Cuba

  • Género, Raza y Desigualdades en Cuba: Opiniones de Especialistas Cubanos

  • La Isla Imaginada: el Cine Cubano

  • La Esclavitud: Manifestaciones de su Legado en la Sociedad Cubana Contemporánea
    La Cultura de la Transición 

University of Havana Courses

Students can choose from courses in literature, the arts, Afro-Caribbean studies and music 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

See departmental course offerings and descriptions:

Academic Calendar

Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year.
Fall Semester - Late August to mid-December
Spring Semester  -  Late January to mid-May


Students share living accommodations in one of two residences: the Casa de Las Americas guest residence and the Residencia Paseo Habana. Both are safe, clean, and secure residences located in the Vedado district, within walking distance to Casa de Las Americas and the University of Havana. Students share ample rooms that are air-conditioned, with modern toilets and showers, and are provided with breakfast and dinner each day.  Washing machines are located on the premises of both residences.  Bottled water is provided.

On-Site Support

CASA-appointed on-site staff assist students upon arrival and throughout their stay in Havana.

Program Costs

The Cornell in Cuba partnership program charges the same comprehensive tuition and fees as other Cornell-managed programs through Cornell Abroad (not Cornell tuition).  Given all that is included, the total estimated costs are considerably less that the estimated budgets for students paying Out-of-State or Endowed tuition, and somewhat higher than the estimated costs for In-State students.  See Cornell Abroad for an estimated budget.

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