Study Abroad

IFSA University of Havana

  • Location: Havana, Cuba
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors


COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, and read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.

IFSA Virtual Information Sessions

Set where the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico meet the Caribbean, this nation is just 90 miles southeast of the Florida Keys, yet feels a world away. Although Cuba shares many aspects of its physical beauty with its neighbors—pristine beaches; lush, green mountains; and urban palm trees—its culture, politics and economy are unlike any other. In Cuba, one comes face-to-face with history and learns firsthand how historic events influence the present. At the same time, however, students in Cuba will see daily changes as the country adapts to the new century and prepares for the future.  Culturally, Cuba offers a rich setting for an international student. The country is known for the arts, including the Afro-Cuban beats that dominate Cuba’s omnipresent and inspiring array of music, or the world-class movie industry.

Universidad de La Habana (UH) is Cuba’s oldest university. UH offers study in 15 faculties, and its academic excellence attracts students from throughout Latin America and around the world. Located next to the heart of Havana’s historic district, UH offers a unique study abroad opportunity for the adventurous and flexible student.

Students on this program should be flexible and patient, as university affairs in Cuba will be quite unlike those in the U.S.

  • Visa:

    Required. Non-US citizens should consult with IFSA and the Office of International Student Support before applying to the program.

    Additional Visa Information
  • Fees: Students pay Haverford directly to Haverford. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting tuition payment to IFSA. Students pay all room and board costs directly to IFSA.

Since students are expected to have attained a usable level of language proficiency, one course beyond intermediate Spanish or its equivalent of five semesters of Spanish is required.  Haverford recommends that students have at least one course at the 200-level in Spanish.  Students should successfully complete a Spanish course the semester before studying abroad.  Native Spanish speakers or other students who have not taken university-level Spanish must take a Spanish placement exam.

Academic Credit

Students choose their course load from UH courses alongside Cuban students. Students can only choose four or five electives from the Facultad de Artes y Letras and Facultad de Filosofia e Historia. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


Foreign students can only enroll in courses through the Facultad de Artes y Letras and the Facultad de Filosofia e Historia. Students attempting science classes should know that a higher level of Spanish is required.  The classes are mostly lecture-style and range from 15-35 students in a class.

Course Highlights

African Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Community Studies, Cultural Studies, Ecology, European History, Historic Preservation & Conservation, History, International Studies/Affairs/Relations, Latin American Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Population Studies, Sociology, Spanish

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


The eight-day on-site orientation includes transportation, accommodation, activities, and some meals. The orientation includes an introduction to Cuban Spanish and culture, a discussion of academic differences and expectations, and IFSA-Butler staff-led sessions on academics, living in Cuba, and integrating into the host university.

Number of Students


Housing/Meal Plans

Host family – Students are placed in Casa Particulares, which are private accommodations with a Cuban family. The concept of a casa particular is similar to a bed and breakfast or room rental. This is common in Cuba, in which private family establishments provide paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. Rooms are shared doubles with air conditioning, shared bathroom and access to a refrigerator and safety box. All linens are provided. Housing is within walking distance from the university. Students are provided with three meals a day.

Please note there is extremely limited WiFi available in Cuba.


Please note that the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba and as such, there is no U.S. consulate or embassy in Cuba.  Students who are applying to Cuba must have both parents sign the Parent Waiver on the Travel Resources website.  We also strongly suggest that parents of students studying abroad, especially in Cuba, also have valid passports.

IFSA Virtual Information Sessions

Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester
  • Direct Enrollment


  • Semester I: August to December
  • Semester II: January to May

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 15
  • Semester II: October 1

Faculty Contact