Cuba: Discover Cuba J-Term

  • Cuban dancers and drummers

J-Term Study Abroad Program

Discover first hand the rich cultural and artistic life of Cuba through this January-Term course. Led by Prof. Lina Lee, UNH Spanish Program, students will participate in an online academic component prior to a 10-day experiential learning trip to Cuba. The course (LLC 555, Discover Cuba: An Arts Experience, 4 credits, FPA Discovery) will illuminate the art, history, culture, music, and architecture of Cuba through lectures, tours, guided readings, and site visits. The program will be based in Havana in partnership with Spanish Studies Abroad and will include field trips to the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos. All course and site work conducted in English - no knowledge of Spanish required. 

video link Havana

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Program dates

January 8 - Jan 15, 2024 (tentative dates) 

Information Session

Sep 14, Thursday, 1-2 p.m, Murkland 201  

Application Deadline

Monday, October 3rd, 2023

Deposit deadline

Monday, October 10th, 2023

How to apply Financial Aid/scholarships


Lina Lee
Professor of Spanish
Granada, Costa Rica and Cuba Program Director
Phone: (603) 862-4742

Mike Merrill
Education Abroad Advisor
Phone: (603) 862-4788


At the time of application, all students are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • At least 12 credits earned at UNH
    • Freshmen students not meeting the 12-credit requirement may be allowed to participate in the program. Approval is needed from both the Program Faculty Director. Contact the COLA Center for Study Abroad for guidance.
  • A declared major
  • A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
    • Students who do not have a declared major or who have an established GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 may still apply. Admission will be at the discretion of the program faculty director.
  • Good standing with the Student Conduct System
    • A student who is on probation, regardless of the underlying violation, must successfully petition through the Academic Standards and Advising Committee (ASAC) for permission to participate. Students who have had a past violation will also be required to petition. Please contact your Dean’s Office for more guidance and the petition form, if needed.

Cuban culture and society is warm and welcoming, but also different from what students may be used to in the U.S. Students should be flexible and maintain a high level of comfort with situations that may vary significantly from the schedule, even at the last minute. Additionally, due to supply shortages on the island, students must disclose any chronic health conditions and discuss strategies with the faculty leader and care provider.

LLC 555: Discover Cuba: An Arts Experience (4 credits, FPA Discovery)

Course Description

Cuba grafitti building

This course is a four-credit course designed to provide students with first-hand experience of the art, history, culture, architecture, music and visual art of Cuba. The course combines an online academic class with on-site experiential learning through an eight-day trip to Cuba. The course takes a highly contextual approach, locating the artwork in its historical, social, economic and cultural context for students to analyze and understand the complexities of modern Cuba. The emphasis of the course is on the hearing the perspective of Cuban professors*, historians, architects, local artists and seeing of contemporary Cuba and its revolution through guided field trips to resorted Old Havana, museums, historical sites, art studios, and schools of music, theater, dance and performance. Students will attend lectures and culturally significant events, participate in discussions, and maintain a journal reflecting on field trip experience. Field trips provide concrete illustrations of the topics discussed in the lectures, and expose students to many aspects of Cuban vibrant social and cultural life, such as the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos. The course will strive to reveal how key social, political and economic changes have affected Cuban artists and their work, and learn about the connection between the history and its contributions to the body of fine performing arts.

*It should be noted that most professors, lecturers and artists from the University of Havana and art studios speak English. Interpreters will be available if necessary.

Course Objectives

After successfully completing this course, students will have:

  • A good knowledge of the history of Havana from the past to the present.
  • A working knowledge of many of the most important Cuban artists from the early 1960s to the present.
  • An understanding of and an appreciation for the architecture of Havana’s most important buildings and structures from the past to the present.
  • Developed a good understanding of the history, politics, economics, religion and culture of the Cuba through exposure to the country’s fine and performing arts, as well as visits to many of the Cuban leading museums and historic places.
  • Gained confidence for future international travel.

Founded in 1515, Havana is Cuba's largest city and political capital, as well as one of the cultural capitals of the Caribbean. The city's majestic setting along the country's northern shore speaks to its historic significance as a center of exchange for commerce, peoples, ideas, and cultures. Havana today maintains a historic aura as reflected in the beautiful archiecture that typifies Old Havana, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. But the city is also a diverse and busy metropolis, home to a thriving and unique Cuban culture, and wildly popular tourist destination (attracting over 1 million tourists annually). Students will enjoy a warm, welcoming culture and an unforgettable experience in one of Latin America's richest urban centers. 

January Term tuition and course fee will cover instruction, excursions, housing, breakfasts and dinners. Students also pay a study abroad administration fee and a mandatory international health insurance fee to UNH. In addition to these fees, you will need funds for all personal and incidental expenses and travel to and from Cuba. Costs below are subject to change.

2024 Estimated Costs 

  NH Residents Non-NH Residents
UNH J-Term Tuition (4 credits) $1,884 $2,072
Program Fee $1,700 $1,700
UNH Technology & Registration Fees $46 $46
UNH Study Abroad Administrative Fee $100 $100
UNH International Health Insurance Fee $35 $35
Total Cost $3,765 $3,953

Travel to Cuba

The program will not be organizing a group flight to Cuba, but the program faculty director will provide guidance to students in booking tickets to and from Havana. Students arriving in Havana within the designated arrival window will be met at the airport and transported to host families upon arrival. Travelers will require a visa to enter Cuba. The fee for the visa will be included in the program fees and the program partner institution, Abroadia, will assist students with obtaining the visa and necessary entry documentation.


  • Pre-departure and on-site program orientations
  • Housing in a double room in a casa particular (host family) in Havana. All host families are arranged by UNH's partner institution, Abroadia
  • Two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) included at casa particular, as well as Welcome and Farewell meals
  • Cultural activities and visits in Havana. The exact itinerary is subject to change, but may include: guided walking tours of Old Havana and Malecón (at sunset), visit a local gallery,  the Museum of the Revolution, Casa de las Américas, the Fine Arts Museum, the Wilfredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art, traditional Cuban music and dance show at the National Hotel, a visit to a theater community project, guided visit to Colón Cemetery, Santeria tour of Callejón de Hamel, visit to Fábrica del Arte, visit Hemingway’s home at Finca Vigia, visit to Instituto Superior del Arte (ISA), and a visit to Fuster Studio, an art community project in Jaimanitas
  • Ground transportation when necessary for all included study trips, excursions and visits, including arrival and departure transfers in Havana at one designated time
  • Full-time accompaniment by a local Group Leader
  • Visa fees
  • 24/7 support from on-site Resident Director in Cuba, including staff-accompanied visits to clinics on request

Not Included

  • Airfare to and from Havana (est. $500)
  • Some meals (breakfast and dinner provided daily)
  • Extra spending money

Payment Info and Refund Policy

Accepted students must submit a $250 non-refundable program deposit following acceptance to confirm a spot on the program.

View study abroad payment deadlines, cancellation and refund policy

While we cannot guarantee complete security abroad (just like on campus in Durham) the University of New Hampshire and the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) make every effort to facilitate safe international student experiences. Please find below important information on health and safety-related resources, policies, and procedures. If you have additional questions, please contact the program faculty director or the COLA Center for Study Abroad.

Travel to Cuba

  • Program Location and Support. UNH's Cuba program is facilitated by Spanish Studies Abroad, a US-based study abroad organization founded in 1969. Spanish Studies Abroad has been hosting educational programs in Havana for US university students since 1996. Spanish Studies Abroad arranges all host family accomodations and local travel/activities for the program. Their full-time, local staff are available to support students in addition to UNH faculty, Prof. Lina Lee, who will be in-country with students throughout the program. The UNH Cuba J Term Program operates within full legal parameters as an educational program in partnership with Spanish Studies Abroad. Their organization maintains helpful health and safety information specific to their programs online.
  • US Department of State Country Information
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Information for Travelers to Cuba
  • Emergency Contacts at UNH
    • COLA Center for Study Abroad: 603 862-3962 
    • International SOS (UNH Membership #11BCAS000009): 215 942-8478
    • UNH Police Dispatch (emergencies only): 603 862-1212
    • UNH SHARPP (Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program):  603 862-723
  • Additional Contacts

UNH Global health and safety information