IFSA: Universidad de la Habana Partnership

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We're proudly the first study abroad program to offer a comprehensive academic experience in Cuba! Our excellent on-site support team will ensure you have a one-of-a-kind and enriching experience in beautiful Havana. Enjoy the immaculate beaches, stunning land & cityscapes and unique cultural flavor. Outside of the classroom, you'll be exposed to a renaissance of arts, music, cinema and much more. Studying at the Universidad de la Habana is sure to set you apart from your classmates as Cuba's largest, oldest and most prestigious university. You'll take courses with international and Cuban students alike -- all while honing the local language -- Espanol! Join us for the Fall or Spring semester.


IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


9 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 5.7
  • Support 8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fall 2018 in Havana

I spent the Fall 2018 semester in Havana, Cuba and had a fun a transformative experience. I was expecting my semester to mostly improve my Spanish abilities, which it did, but I also gained new skills in general. Havana is a very safe city and because of that, I felt really comfortable being a solo female traveler and exploring the city on my own and with other young women, Cuban and American alike. My Spanish improved a lot, both because of my immersive university experience and because of the vibrant culture of chatting with nearly everyone you meet. I left my experience feeling rejuvenated and excited about returning to my University studies at home. Since returning, I've been focusing on Cuba more in my studies, which has been really great as I feel have a unique connection to this work. I would highly recommend this program for students who are looking for something special and different from the average study abroad experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to make sure you bring some pieces of home with you, especially food items! Things like hot sauce and black pepper are hard to come by in Cuba and can be a fun addition to Cuban cuisine. These types of foods are also great things to share with your Cuban friends and your host family.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Take advantage of this unique opportunity

I loved my experience in Cuba! From the start, IFSA is incredible. They process all the visa paperwork, etc. And, they prepare you with weekly newsletters with great reading materials etc. Once you are there, you live with a host-family (all incredible people!). I loved my host-mom, with her constant music and delicious congrí. IFSA will also put at least one other US student with you in the home-stay. For me, it was really nice to meet someone else from a different school in the US who was interested in the same things I was and who was always there to process what we were seeing and learning on the ground in Cuba! Then, there are the classes at the University. While they are definitely not the most academically rigorous, it is an interesting peek into another university system. There is one core-course that the study-abroad students that semester are required to take. It is a little bit disorganized, and not very academically rigorous either. It is the only major draw-back of the program. But, IFSA supplements the classes with an very cool series of lectures based on what you and the other students that semester are interested in. There are also some really fun excursions to Viñales, Santiago, and the countryside. And, you are really free to explore the city and the country on your own. Overally, traveling to Cuba is a really unique experience and IFSA is an amazing support system! I definitely would recommend this program

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice if IFSA could have a little more institutional support for Spanish language learning for those students who wanted it. And, I know that they are working on improving the core-course. However, if they could focus it on something a little more academically tangible (history of Cuba, etc.) rather than the broad and vague "Arts, Culture, and Society," I think that would be really helpful!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I want to do it again!

I had an incredible experience studying abroad in Cuba through IFSA-Butler. I met new people every day and had the chance to explore new academic, artistic, athletic and personal interests. I really enjoyed my homestay experience because I lived with interesting and unique people from 3 different universities in the US and felt fully immersed while living with a Cuban family. Outside of the classroom at the University of Havana, I participated in salsa classes, a flag football league, a ceramics course at an arts institute in Havana, travel throughout the country, and much more. I cherish my entire experience and am hoping to go back to Cuba soon! To anyone who is thinking about going to Cuba, I would not hesitate to take this opportunity and run with it.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the organization of the program could be improved. I know it is difficult in Cuba to organize academics as we do in the US because of the lack of technology and internet usage. I do think, however, that the program directors could have communicated information better between the University of Havana and the students better. There was some confusion with certain classes we could and could not take as well as how many courses we needed to be enrolled in. Other than that--stellar job!
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