PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Spanish Studies Abroad Winter in Cuba
Spanish Studies Abroad Header Image Spanish Studies Abroad Header Image

Spanish Studies Abroad Winter in Cuba

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Fantastic winter study abroad in Havana, Cuba

I spent the month of January in Havana and had a life-changing experience. It was my first time spending more than a week abroad, and with the language barrier and notorious internet connectivity issues, the possibility of isolation was very real. Luckily, the program staff and fellow students made the experience easy and enjoyable.

I lived and studied Spanish in Havana for the month of January 2016. I lived, laughed, and ate with a Cuban family via homestay, and worked on my Spanish in 4-hour-a-day sessions at the University of Havana. Tom Millington, the program's director in Cuba, was kind, attentive, and diligent. He made sure the students had everything they needed to succeed.

The language immersion was very helpful – when not a single person, from taxi drivers to salespeople, speaks English, you have to orient yourself linguistically very quickly. Cuban Spanish is a bit more difficult to understand than dialects from other Latin American countries, which adds another step to the steep learning curve.

We were given an immense amount of freedom to explore but were never out of reach from the program staff. Marta María, Hugo, and Tom were all just a short phone call away, and at one point accompanied a student to the hospital as if they were their parent. They took care of us in Cuba as though we were their own. On my last day in Cuba Hugo spent three hours taking me to souvenir shops so I could find the perfect trinkets to take home. At one point, my roommates and I missed the departure for the bus and without even thinking Tom hired a cab and driver to follow the bus and ensure we made it to meet the group on the excursion.

The course equivalency work between my school and the Spanish Studies Abroad program staff was also seamless. In fact, the only hiccups I felt were from my school's sometimes-inept study abroad administrators.

I can't speak for other Spanish Studies Abroad programs, but if they're anything like the trip I took to Cuba then it will certainly be money well spent. I highly recommend this administrative team, the program, and the country.

As a direct result of my time in Cuba, I was able to apply for and be hired as a producer on the first international music festival in Havana. I returned two months later and helped produce the historic Diplo/Major Lazer concert for 400,000 fans on La Tribuna. It was amazing, and I was able to navigate Havana deftly and on my own as a direct result of my fantastic experience with Tom and Spanish Studies Abroad.

Please, take this trip!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Cuba

I really enjoyed my study abroad program! It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it. We were able to see so much of Havana and learn about the people and culture there. I felt very safe with our program director who was neither right in our business nor hard to reach if needed.

Academics:
This is not a reflection of most of the classes there--I happened to have a professor that was hard to understand and to work with while I was in a class I didn't exactly belong in anyway.