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Programs in Latin America | Programas en Latinoamerica

CUBA (via Cornell Abroad)


Cornell in Cuba (CASA Consortium)

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. 

Click here for further information about the courses.


Cornell in Cuba Research Program


 Students affiliate with a research labs at the University of Havana (see below) and take the equivalent of 8 credits of directed research or 4 credits of research and a course in the Faculty of Biology.  Students then take their remaining courses through the University of Havana's courses for foreigners or regular university courses.

There are several research groups to choose from (depending on availability):

  • Group of Ecology of invertebrates
    • Working mainly with lepidopterans and terrestrial insects
  • Group of Birds Ecology
    • Mainly birds in wetlands
  • Group of Vertebrate Ecology
    • Mainly working with amphibians and reptiles
  • Group of Microbial Biotechnology in the Department of Microbiology 
    • focused on environmental bioremediation with the use of microorganisms
  • Group of Plant Physiology
    • focused on the effect of different abiotic stress in corps of economical interest
  • Center for Protein Studies
    • CPS is devoted to the structural and functional characterization of proteases, proteases inhibitors and citolysins mainly from marine invertebrates and microorganisms and the use of liposomes as immunoadyuvants.

Courses available to students with SPAN 1230 or above Students take a Spanish language class and choose from the electives listed via the link above.Courses available to students who are eligible to take 3000-level SPAN courses Students choose from the Spanish and Area Studies courses as well as regular university courses listed via the link above.

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.

Click here for further information about the program.


Programs at Cornell/ Programas en Cornell

Student organizations at Cornell University have taken initiative and created programs in which students can learn about and travel to different regions of the world.


Las organizaciones estudiantiles en Cornell han creado programas mediante los cuales cada estudiante puede aprender sobre y viajar a regiones diferentes del mundo.


Bridges to Community Nicaragua

The purpose of this organization is to broaden the scope of the undergraduates Cornell experience on an international and sociologic level.Through a week long trip to Nicaragua, partnering with the non-profit group Bridges to Community, students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with local people in impoverished communities in constructing houses. The cultural engagement occurs at many levels; through the work of constructing houses as well as community involvement and historical background. Last year the group of 35 students was successful in constructing 4 houses for first-time owner families!


El propósito de esta organización es ampliar el ámbito de la experiencia de los estudiantes en Cornell de una manera internacional y sociológico. A través de una semana en Nicaragua, junto al grupo sin fines de lucro "Bridges to Community," los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de trabajar al lado de la gente local en comunidades empobrecidas para construir casas. La experiencia cultural ocurre en varios niveles; por el trabajo de construir casas tanto como estar involucrado en una comunidad y su historia. El año pasado, un grupo de 35 estudiantes construyeron 4 casas para familias que por la primera vez son los dueños de su propia casa.


*A supplementary course (DSOC 4500) ensures that the experience is more informed and academically oriented.

* Un curso suplementario (DSOC 4500) asegura que la experiencia es más informada y presentada de una manera académica




Engineers for a Sustainable World/ Ingenieros para un mundo sustentable

Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is a national, non-profit network committed to building a better world. Established in 2002 at Cornell University, ESW is comprised of 2,000+ students, university faculty and professionals who are dedicated to building a more sustainable world for current and future generations. Projects in Nicaragua and Honduras.


Ingenieros para un mundo sustentable (ESW) es una organización nacional sin fines de lucro cometida a la meta de construir un mundo mejor. Establecido en el año 2002 en la universidad Cornell, ESW cuenta con más de 2,000 estudiantes y profesores universitarios que están dedicados a construir un mundo más sustentable para las generaciones del futuro. La organización tiene proyectos en Nicaragua y Honduras.





The AguaClara Project Team is a group of Cornell Students, who travel to Honduras and create water treatment plants. The team is led by a Cornell Professor and travels to Honduras every year.

Read more on the Tech Award that AguaClara received!


El equipo de AguaClara se compone por estudiantes de Cornell que viajan a Honduras y crean centros de tratamiento del agua. El equipo es dirigido por un profesor de Cornell y viaja cada año a Honduras.

Lea más sobre el premio de tech que AguaClara acaba de recibir



AguaClara website: 

Project Sites: (Sitios de proyectos)

LASP Opportunities/Oportunidades LASP
Street in Mexico

Experience Latin America II - Chiapas Edition/Experiencias en Latinoamérica II - Edición Chiapas

Prerequisite: Students must take IARD 4010 (Experience Latin America I) before taking this course.

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to observe the rich living cultures, environments, ecologies, rural and urban communities, and development issues in tropical southern Mexico. It is also designed to promote interdisciplinary exchange among faculty, staff, and students and their Mexican hosts and counterparts. Students will take a two week field study trip to Chiapas, Mexico the summer before this course. The Fall component of this course will include discussions, written projects, and oral presentations dealing with a range of topics pertinent to the target cultures of Chiapas.


Pre-requisito: Estudiantes tienen que tomar IARD 4010 (Experiencias en Latinoamérica I) antes de tomar este curso.Este curso fue deseñado para dar a sus estudiantes una oportunidad de observar las culturas ricas, ambientes, ecologías, comunidades rurales y urbanas, y cuestiones del desarrollo en el sur trópico de México. Promueve un intercambio interdisciplinario entre profesores, estudiantes, y sus anfitriones mexicanos y sus colegas. Los estudiantes tomarán un viaje de dos semanas a Chiapas, México durante el verano antes del curso. El componente del otoño de este curso incluirá discusiones, proyectos escritos, y presentaciones orales que destacarán una serie de asuntos pertinentes a las culturas de