After 55 years of being closed, Cuba is finally open again.

The Cuba Fellowship helps American students experience present-day Cuba and what they've missed there over the last five decades.

 

THE CUBA FELLOWSHIP

Why Do It?

  • Take advantage of a Rare Opportunity. After a 55-year embargo and travel ban, in 2016 the American government resumed relations with Cuba.  The past two generations missed opportunities to visit our closest neighbor, and with the unpredictable foreign policy of the new administration, this may actually be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to personally witness a hidden gem.
  • Get a comprehensive educational experience. The Cuba Fellowship offers college students the chance to learn about special-interest topics through a unique lens: literature through Hemingway's relationship with Castro, economics through a half-century US embargo, business through entrepreneurship under a socialist government, and history through Revolution-era museums.
  • Connect with your Cuban heritage. Many of our Cuba Fellows are American students directly descended from Cuban citizens, have family members still in Cuba, or are related to several previous generations of Cuban-Americans.  Our program allows students to explore connections to their heritage with both structured group excursions and free time in the afternoons.
  • Intensive Spanish language immersion. While college students can take years of Spanish class without much progress in proficiency, The Cuba Fellowship provides a natural setting for students at any level of fluency to fully immerse in Spanish with 15 hours per week of classroom time, exploring around Cuba, and people-to-people exchanges with friendly locals. 

 

Short-term study abroad has grown significantly in popularity in recent years, with just over half (52.8%) of all American students studying abroad opting for programs lasting fewer than 8 weeks.
— Institute of International Education, Inside Higher Ed

WATCH a more in-depth 3-minute VIDEO with student testimonials:


CLASS STRUCTURE

 

1-week cohorts. Student learning will be mostly experiential with:

  • Seminar-style discussion classes with topical overviews every morning

  • Educational Tours of historic Cuban sites like Plaza de la Catedral, Gran Teatro, Plaza de Armas, Museo Hemingway, El Capitolio, El Malecon, Monumento Jose Marti, Museo de la Revolucion, and the United States Embassy

  • Daily reflection papers on the previous day's experience submitted each morning

 

2-3 week cohorts. Students get the same 1-week experience, followed by specialized classes with instruction in the choice of a focused topic

  • Intensive Spanish Language Immersion: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced (SPAN 101, 201, or 301)

  • Cuban History & Hemingway Literature, 1895-1956 (HIST / ENG 401)

  • Embargo Economics & Cuban Government, 1957-2017 (ECON / POLS / GOVT 250)

* Each week of class will involve 15 classroom hours + 15 contact hours, usually translating to 2 credits per week.  TCF itself does not award academic credit, but will certify the hours for home institutions. Your university may decide whether or not to grant college credit.

 

Capstone project. Each Cuba Fellow will finish with a final assignment: either a research paper, multimedia presentation, or independent project.


Fifty years of isolating Cuba failed to promote democracy and set us back in Latin America. That’s why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people.
— President Obama, 2016 State of the Union address

Housing & Meals

 Lobby of the Cuba Fellowship student house in Regla

Lobby of the Cuba Fellowship student house in Regla

Apartment-style housing is provided for students and varies slightly based on availability. Fellows should expect to share a room (i.e. double, triple, or quad) with other students of the same gender while abroad. Specific details about your housing location will be available a month before your program start date.

A light breakfast of locally available food is provided by The Cuba Fellowship every day of the week, as well as two group dinners at restaurants each week and more meals during group excursions. For most lunches, students buy and prepare their own food or stop by a local cafe. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs for group meals, and remember: in general special diets are more difficult to follow overseas

Transportation & Excursions

 The Cuba Fellowship's Executive Director at Museum of the Revolution

The Cuba Fellowship's Executive Director at Museum of the Revolution

The Cuba Fellowship provides transportation for certain aspects of the program, including daily transport to and from the classroom and to off-site excursions that are mandatory Cuba Fellowship group events. Fellows are welcome to plan personal travel on weekends, which our program fee does not cover.

Some of the best things about traveling through Cuba are experiencing the cuisine, immersing in local culture, and exploring the breath-taking natural beauty of the island. The Cuba Fellowship incorporates all of these things into the program schedule. Depending on your program dates, excursions may include hiking, beach trips, attending festivals, visiting historical sites, national parks, and more!


Still want to learn more?  Check out our student reviews.