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Interview with Program Director Adrian Lopez-Denis 

Cuba 2012: Public Health, Culture & Society
by Michael Hernandez

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad
(847) 467-6953

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Havana, Cuba
Institutions: Universidad de las Artes
Term: Summer Quarter (2014 Program Dates: June 21 - August 17)
Application Deadline: March 1, 2015
Fellowship Application Deadline: March 1, 2015
Language Requirement: Intermediate Spanish skills; Student must have completed the two-year foreign language requirement in Spanish (or equivalent) to be eligible for this program.


The Northwestern IPD Cuba: Culture & Society program exposes students to the unique relationship between the United States and Cuba, the effects of political transition on society, and a rich culture that has influenced music, art, and literature around the world. The program focuses on Cuban social transformation, with an emphasis on race, gender, and the influence of globalization, through the study of literature and cinema. The program combines study and various site visits to cultural and historic places in Havana and surrounding areas. All courses are taught in Spanish, and students must demonstrate two years of Spanish at the university level (or equivalent) to be eligible for the program.


Established in 1976, Universidad de las Artes provides education and training to approximately 800 students in 39 specialties of visual and performing arts. Many of Cuba’s most famous artists and musicians have studied in one of its five “Facultades,” or Schools of Music, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Dance, and Arts and Audiovisual Communication Media. The Universidad de las Artes also facilitates international exchanges with more than 30 universities in Latin America, Europe, and the United States.


SPANISH 215-SA: Introduction to Cuban Culture & Society (1 credit)
This course introduces students to major issues in Cuban society through an examination of recent issues and debates and through the study of recent Cuban cultural production (music, architecture, visual arts).
Course Instructor: Victor Fowler Calzada

SPANISH 380-SA: Topics in Film: The Silver Screen in Latin America and/or Spain: Cuban Cinema Since 1960 (1 credit)
This course provides an introduction to Cuban cinema since the early years of the revolution. Students will analyze and compare how issues of gender, race, and class have been presented in classic and more recent films.
Course Instructor: Joel del Rio

SPANISH 395-SA: Special Topics in the Literatures of Latin America and/or Spain: Cuban Literature Since 1960 (1 credit)
This seminar will provide an overview of Cuban literature since 1960. The course will explore how Cubans have experienced the complexity of political and economic systems in daily life since 1960 and how this has influenced literary production.
Course Instructor: Margarita Mateo

GBL HLTH 331-SA: Health and Healing in Contemporary Cuba (1 credit)
This course will approach human encounters with disease and wellness in contemporary Cuba from the point of view of medical anthropology. It will be based on the notion that understanding how Cuba achieves its impressive public heath indicators requires the study of both policies from above and practices from below. Through seminar classes and interaction with practitioners, patients, and scholars in a variety of settings, students will examine how society and culture influence health and disease in contemporary Cuba.
Course Instructor: Adrian Lopez Denis


Students on NU-IPD programs in Cuba will have the opportunity to participate in several guided excursions to famous sites in and around the city of Havana. Possible excursions include trips to Old Havana, Parque Lenín, Maqueta de la Habana, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana, among others. Students will also take a weekend trip to Viñales Valley in Piñar del Río Province, and a trip to Trinidad and the surrounding provinces.


Students will stay in Casa Lilly, a casa particular located within walking distance of Casa de las Américas, the Malecón, and the Universidad de la Habana. Students will stay in double or triple rooms, equipped with air conditioning, secure lockers, and private bathrooms. Breakfast and some group meals are included.


Summer 2014 Program Fee= $7,700, which includes tuition, program-related excursions, housing, visa, health insurance, and round trip airfare between Miami and Havana. Students should also budget about $500 for domestic airfare to and from Miami, and approximately $2,000 for books and discretionary expenses, including meals, non-program transportation, and incidentals. Students are not charged the Study Abroad Administrative Fee for this program.

Students applying to this program may be eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.