Not just a communist country: Cuba will change the way you view the world. Past Review

By (History and Literature, Harvard University) for

Harvard University: Havana - DRCLAS Program in Cuba

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a ton!Just being apart of the university was a fantastic insight into the way things work in Cuba.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

In Cuba it is often difficult to organize things, but our faculty advisor was always open and helpful. Things are never as organized or punctual as they are in the US, but things do get done. The program size was great, and I have zero regrets about having gone to Cuba.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was organized for us. The location was good, in a safe area relatively near to the center. The university is about a 20 minute walk away, the ocean about 10 minutes.

* Food:

Lots of pork. Lots of rice.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Cubans know how to enjoy life, despite economic/political difficulties. I saw so many amazing dance shows, plays, concerts. The theater and film festivals were wonderful. (and everything is soooo cheap).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Easy to walk around. You have to be a little bit careful at night, but that's about it. The healthcare system was great, and of course, free.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Lunch is under $2 a day. The most money I spent was on going out- perhaps about $5-7 on an average night.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? --


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? advanced
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Everyone! People do not speak very much English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cuba!
  • Harvard-only class
  • enrollment at the University
* What could be improved?
  • Better orientation
  • End program before Christmas
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be ambitious, excited, ready to be challenged, puzzle about the world and its problems, your problems, society's problems. Cuba will change the way you see the world and your life. It's wonderful. No regrets at all.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

History of Cuba

Course Department: Sociology Year 1
Instructor: Leidy Abreu
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Great overview of Cuban history from the beginning. Was a great course to take while I was in Cuba.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Cuban Culture

Course Department: History Year 3
Instructor: Pitaluga
Instruction Language:
Comments: Awesome lecturer. Fun compliment to Cuban history and literature classes
Credit Transfer Issues: