Brown in Cuba

At a Glance
City: Havana, Cuba
Partner: Casa de Las Américas and University of Havana
Housing: Student Guest Residence
Language requirement: HISP500; HISP600 recommended
Calendar: Fall or Spring semesters
Accepts non-Brown students: Space-available basis


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 captial 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. 

Brown in Cuba provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to examine firsthand the key political, social, economic, and cultural issues affecting this island nation and its Caribbean and Latin American neighbors.

Brown’s principle institutional partner is Casa de Las Américas (“Casa”), the Cuban government's premier research institution – since its founding in 1959 – on Caribbean and Latin American studies, Cuban culture and the arts, and the University of Havana.  


Brown's Cuba program begins with a one-week on-site orientation that introduces students to the city of Havana, as seen through pre- and post-revolution lenses. This 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 have an opportunity to enroll in up to four courses taught in Spanish in either of the following combinations:

  • Four courses offered through the Cuba study center


  • Combination of courses offered through the Cuba study center and direct-enrollment courses through the University of Havana

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.

Courses Offered through the Cuba Study Center:

  • Transatlantic and Caribbean Literature of Modernity
  • Gender, Race and Inequality in Cuba: Visions from Cuban Scholars
  • Health and Society in Cuba
  • Cuba Social and Political Processes

Visit the Brown in Cuba Program of Study for individual course descriptions.

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.

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.

Academic Calendar

NOTE: The academic calendar below is an approximation. Specific dates may vary.

Fall Semester

  • Student cohort meets in Miami: August 23
  • Orientation: August 26
  • Program Ends:  December 13 

Spring Semester  -  Late January to mid-May

  • Student cohort meets in Miami: late January
  • Orientation: late January
  • Program Ends: mid-May


Students will share living accommodations in the Residencia Paseo Habana, a safe, clean and secure guest residence located in the Vedado district within a short walking distance from the Cuba study center and Casa de las Americas. Students will share ample double rooms that are air conditioned, with modern amenities and will be provided breakfast and dinner daily.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.