Fantastic Winter Study Abroad course in Havana, Cuba Past Review

By (CUNY - Brooklyn College) - abroad from 01/01/2016 to 02/01/2016 with

SSA Education Abroad: Havana - Semester, Year or Summer in Cuba

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile. I made long-lasting connections with Cubans and with Cuban history, politics, and economics, and learned enough about the country to enable further academic study.

Review Photos

Spanish Studies Abroad: Havana - Semester, Year or Summer in Cuba Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Fantastic. Course was challenging, interesting, and small. Really a wonderful Spanish course.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was fantastic. We stayed with a Cuban family who cooked us breakfast and dinner and even called us with concern if we were out late. It was fantastic.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's difficult to integrate into Cuban society as a foreigner, but we found nothing but warmth and welcome from the Cubanos we met and lived with.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not personally have an issue with healthcare, but a close friend did. The program's administrator, Tom Millington, stayed through the night with the sick student and was attentive, diligent, and helpful.

* Safety:

Never felt anything but safe.

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

From the food to the program administration to the fellow students, I wholeheartedly recommend this program.


* 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)

Cuba is a very inexpensive place to live and study.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent approximately $500 over 3.5 weeks.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Speak to locals and figure out the best place to get cheap bites!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We were encouraged to use the language regularly. We lived with a family that spoke no English and very few shopkeepers, taxi drivers, or educators spoke anything other than Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Spanish III
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Programmatic support
  • Freedom to explore
  • Accessibility of staff
* What could be improved?
  • Timeliness
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The program does a fantastic job of preparing students for study abroad in Cuba.