Spanish Language, Literature & Cuban Culture

Universidad de las Artes
Havana, Cuba

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Program Name

    Spanish Language, Literature & Cuban Culture

  • Location


  • Host University

    Universidad de las Artes

    Located in the Cubanacán neighborhood, the Universidad de las Artes (ISA) is one of the most unique universities and architectural achievements following the Cuban Revolution. Once a country club that was frequently visited by Communist Party officials, Ernesto (Che) Guevara had the idea to build a school that would nurture the talents of the young who were fueled by the arts.

    During this critical time of innovation, it was decided that the architectural design should depict this reinvented vision of society. This blank canvas of a project was given to three modernism-inspired architects. Each of them brought their own specializations and aesthetics, which can be seen in the structures still standing to this day. You will have the opportunity to take Spanish Language & Culture courses in one of the leading institutions in the arts.

  • Term

    Summer 1 2019

  • Program Dates

    Jun 01, 2019 - Jul 06, 2019

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Mar 01, 2019

  • Credit

    90 - 105 Contact Hours

  • Eligibility

    2.50 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • Apply Now

Program Description

Designed for those interested in Cuban culture and are looking for opportunities to grow in their Spanish speaking abilities, this program offers courses to international students in all levels of Spanish, from beginning to advanced. Spanish language courses are taught in Spanish, while culture courses (covering topics such as literature, history and politics) are taught in either Spanish or English. The higher your language level is, the more opportunity you will have for taking culture courses (see academic information section for more details). All courses are taught by host university faculty at the Universidad de las Artes (ISA).



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student in a U.S. college or university.
  • You must submit an official certificate of enrollment from their home institution in the u.S., a personal statement, a valid passport copy, and their remaining required application materials. 
  • Enrollment is determined on a first-come-first-served basis and will accept no more than 25 students.

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Meals and Laundry Service

Bridging Cultures Program

Full-Time Resident Staff

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities

Subscription to The New York Times


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities



Contact Hours

90 - 105

Recommended U.S. Semester Credits

6 - 7

Recommended U.S. Quarter Units

9 - 10

Academic Information

Course Selection

  • Students must enroll in 90 - 105 contact hours during their five-week summer program. This program is open to students at the beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish proficiency level.
  • Course availability is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-aproval for alternate courses in the event of last-minute class cancelations.
  • Requests for sample syllabi can be made to the Cuba Site Specialist.

Course Credit

  • Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students’ home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Language Placement

  • Enrollment in Spanish courses is determined by the results of a language placement exam administered by the Universidad de las Artes. Please note that your performance on the placement exam may not reflect the number of semesters of language instruction you've already completed at your home university. We strongly suggest that students who are trying to place into any level of language beyond true beginning prepare for the language placement exam by reviewing previous coursework.
  • It is recommended that students who have not completed one semester/quarter of college-level Spanish or the equivalent elect to take a language course through this program.

Transcript Information

  • The transcript from the Universidad de las Artes will reflect contact hours for each course listed below. Please be in touch with your home university regarding credit transfer for this program.

Online Courses

  • ISA does not recommend that students sign up for online courses through their home university. Please keep in mind that uninterrupted internet connectivity is difficult to obtain while in Havana.


Filter by Language Level

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Universidad de las Artes
ISA Students Only
60 Contact Hours
60 Contact Hours
Intermediate / High Intermediate / Advanced
High Intermediate
60 Contact Hours
60 Contact Hours
Taught In English
Course Disclaimer
  • Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations
  • Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
  • Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
  • Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
  • Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Natalie Laurence

Program Advisor, Cuba

Kim Sarna

Program Manager, Cuba

Johanna Alvarado

Site Specialist, Cuba


Dachelys Valdés Moreno

Resident Director, Cuba

Funding Your ISA Program

As an ISA participant, you will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, please visit the Funding Your Program page. 

View all Funding Options


Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the Cuban lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor to Cuba. With an open-mind and flexibility, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.

We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations, however, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.


Host families are best if you are seeking full linguistic and cultural immersion during your time abroad. Host families in Havana are also known as "Casa Particulares." Each host family has been carefully selected by ISA's resident staff in order to best accommodate your needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation. Homestays will provide breakfast seven days a week and laundry service once a week. You will typically share a room with another ISA student of the same gender. Single rooms may be available for an additional fee.



ISA excursions allow you to explore the diverse, distinct and gorgeous landscape of Cuba that you may not have the chance to visit on your own. While abroad, you will have the chance to go on one weekend trip, and one optional weekend trip to the following destinations.

Santa Clara & Trinidad

Santa Clara is a city of significant importance, as it was the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in 1958. This victory for Fidel Castro was extremely tactical as it resulted in Batista's flee from the country.

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad and the Valle de los Ingenios contributed to Cuba’s economy, as they heavily relied on the production of raw/white sugar harvested here.


Soroa & Viñales

Soroa, lovingly referred to as the Rainbow of Cuba, is home to the largest botanical garden in the country. The Natural Reserve Park has hundreds of orchid variations, and is beautiful sight to all nature-lovers. You will enjoy Soroa's natural landscapes including a 20-meter waterfall, tropical mountains, and caverns!

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Viñales Valley, is best known for its traditional agricultural practices.