Study Abroad in Cuba

11-Day Summer Session. Open to the general public.
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Experience the Rhythm and Pulse of Cuba

Join ThisWorldMusic on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the heart of Afro-Cuban music and dance!

Take hands-on classes with internationally acclaimed artists and learn about Cuba’s rich history and culture from leading experts — all while immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes of this iconic island nation:

  • Study traditional drumming, dancing and singing with the world-renowned Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba
  • Explore Cuba’s diverse offerings, including walking tours of Old Havana, museums, restaurants and nightlife
  • Attend fascinating lectures on Cuban history, culture and politics
  • Enjoy relaxing excursions to some of the island’s most scenic and culturally vibrant locations
  • Participate in unique cultural exchanges with community groups in Havana and Matanzas

ELIGIBILITY: Enrollment is open to students and professionals worldwide, as well as to the general public. No prior music or dance experience is necessary.

“The National Folkloric Ensemble of Cuba acts both as conservator and showcase. Its performances are educational as well as artistic.”

–Washington Post


DATES: June 22–July 2, 2019
ELIGIBILITY: General public
CREDIT: 3 graduate credits
DEADLINE: Rolling admission

Cuban Music & Dance: Course Overview

In this 11-day summer study abroad program, participants are introduced to a variety of topics related to Cuban culture, history, politics, philosophy and daily life. Hands-on dance and drumming classes at CFN’s Havana studios are interspersed with lectures on Afro-Cuban performing arts at Centro Estudios Martianos (CEM).

Lodging for all 10 nights is at La Casona de Calzada, a charming colonial house conveniently located close to restaurants, nightlife, shopping and the ocean.

The group also takes part in local cultural events, including meetings with community groups, museum visits and tours of Havana. In the province of Matanzas, participants visit Museo de la Ruta del Esclavo (Museum of the Slave Route) at historic San Severino Castle, as well as take part in interactive performances with a traditional Arará group and a local Rumba group.

Program Highlights

Day 1

  • Arrive José Martí Airport
  • Check-in at La Casona (colonial house)
  • Orientation at Centro Estudios Martianos
  • Welcome dinner at El Idilio

Day 2

  • Lecture: Overview of Cuban Music
  • Walking tour of Old Havana
  • Afro-Cuban show and museum visit at Casa de África
  • Dinner at Fabio

Day 3

  • Dance class #1 at Conjunto Folklórico Nacional (CFN)
  • Lecture: The Creation of Cabildos and Popular Religions in Cuba
  • Drumming/singing class #1 at CFN

Day 4

  • Dance class at CFN
  • Visit Santeria House Temple
  • Drumming/singing class at CFN
  • Dinner out in Havana (restaurant of choice)

Day 5

  • Dance class at CFN
  • Lecture: The Abakuá Fraternity Society as Socio-Cultural Practice
  • Drumming/singing class at CFN
  • Dinner/private concert at La Casona

Day 6

  • Dance class at CFN
  • Visit Abakuá Temple
  • Drumming/singing class at CFN
  • Dinner out in Havana (restaurant of choice)

Day 7

  • Final dance class at CFN
  • Meeting/private show with hip-hop duo Grupo Obsesión
  • Final drumming/singing class at CFN (rehearse for show)

Day 8

  • Final performance at CFN
  • Farewell lunch with CFN instructors
  • Cultural exchange/workshop with Peña Bailadores de Santa Amalia
  • Dinner and live music at Abdala

Day 9

  • Excursion to province of Matanzas
  • Tour Museum of the Slave Route
  • Drum-and-dance show by Arará group
  • Meet with local community members
  • Dinner out in Matanzas

Day 10

  • Half-day excursion to Jibacoa Beach (includes lunch)
  • Farewell dinner at Atelier
  • Cannon firing ceremony at Fortaleza de La Cabaña

Day 11

  • Final group breakfast
  • Course wrap-up and group photos
  • Check out of La Casona
  • Depart José Martí Airport
  • Arrive home (same day)

Summer Study Abroad: Credit & Cost

K-12 teachers who attend our Cuba study abroad program have the option to earn 1, 2 or 3 graduate credits from Ashland University in Ohio, one of ThisWorldMusic’s partner institutions. Admission on all programs is rolling, meaning enrollment first-come, first-served.

$3,595 program fee includes:

  •  Lodging for all 10 nights
  •  Breakfast and lunch on all days (including at La Imprenta and Palador Mallorca)
  •  Dinner on 8 of 10 nights (including at Atelier and El Idilio)
  •  All excursions and cultural activities
  •  25 hours of instruction
  •  In-country transportation, including daily to/from classes (air-conditioned bus)
  •  Complimentary enrollment in Asistur travel health insurance
  •  Visa procurement (including fee)

*Based on best estimate based on past years. Prices subject to change.

Additional benefits:

  •  Pre-departure advising
  •  Full-time program leadership and support
  •  Airport pickup/drop-off

Not included:

  • Graduate credit: $175 per credit (3-credit maximum)
  • Airfare: $300-$700 (estimated)
  • Additional meals and bottled water: $175 (estimated)
  • Internet access credit: $25 (estimated)
  • Vaccinations/immunizations: depends on insurance