La Habana, Cuba
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La Habana, Cuba

Course Information: 2018 January Session

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You will enroll in at least three and up to four credits. At least one 3-credit course is required in all sessions. This list of courses is intended for informational purposes and does not guarantee availability or descriptions. Courses are subject to minor changes resulting from on-going curricular review, faculty assignments, and program revisions. Course availability is conditional on student interest and enrollment.

Cuban History, Society, Politics, and Culture | Latin American Studies

The following courses focus on the culture and history of Cuba. Courses are taught in English unless otherwise noted in Spanish; courses taught in Spanish are for students with four or more semesters of college Spanish unless otherwise indicated.

To request a course syllabus:

US Professors

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following US professor is also teaching as a Visiting Professor.

Dale Graden | University of Idaho

Course Offered: Ernest Hemingway and Cuba

Dr. Dale Graden is a professor of History.  He has twice taught at USAC program at University of Alicante.  Additionally, he received Fulbright awards to Brazil (1985, 1999) and Venezuela (2008).  He has won numerous teaching awards at the University of Idaho and he is the author of two books and numerous articles.

Course Descriptions

Cuban Cuisine

January Session (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

The cuisine functions as an activity that is generated in daily practice and transmitted orally from generation to generation. History is part of civilization and tells about the culture of people. The cuisine is traditional, magic, art, experience, human tenacity and also refined technique.

According to some, has to do with the family inheritance, the transmission of knowledge and a sum of traditions. No one is closer to an artist as we would say that a good cook, but there is some talent to which all human beings are not touched with the same grace.

The kitchen, like music, literature and other arts, is part of the cultural treasure of every nation to be missed. The kitchen is a symbol of identity.

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Dances of Havana and the Caribbean

January Session (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)

The objectives of this course are to understand the antecedents of Latin American dance and to learn to perform correctly folkloric dances from Costa Rica as well as the spicier Caribbean salsa rhythms.

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Discovering Digital Photography

January Session (Workshop)

Description not available at this time.

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Ernest Hemingway and Cuba

January Session (English; 300-level; 3 credits)

On April 1, 1928, Ernest and second wife Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway arrived at the docks of Havana harbor at 10:50 p.m. They stayed overnight at the Hotel Ambos Mundos (Both Worlds Hotel). Rising early the next morning, the two departed at 5:29 a.m. on the ferry to Key West, Florida. So began Ernest Hemingway’s passion for all things Cuban.

During the 1930’s, Hemingway rented a room at Hotel Ambos Mundos in the center of Havana on numerous occasions while he fished in the Gulf Stream off Cuban shores. The island became the setting for some of his writings during this period, including the novel To Have and Have Not (1937). In December 1940, Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn (third wife) purchased Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm). The house remained Hemingway’s primary residence until his departure on July 25, 1960 in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s victory in the Cuban Revolution.

We will read three Hemingway novels and visit various locales where the author spent time, including Hotel Ambos Mundos, Finca Vigía in San Francisco de Paula (six miles southeast of Havana), and the seaside village of Cojimar (seven miles east of Havana), where he kept his fishing boat the Pilar (now preserved at Finca Vigía).

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Government and Politics in Latin America

January Session (Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)
January Session (Political Science; 600-level; 3 credits)

Politics in Latin America have been changing constantly, according different events that have been happened in its societies. During and after World War II, Latin America and the Caribbean have passed in different behavioral politics, according US foreign policy; but not only the United States intervened on internal issues of each states and governments in the whole region, also former USSR and some Middle East countries (such as Israel) were part of the dynamics of political changes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides, the region had been involved in different kinds of wars like revolutionary and contra-revolutionary movements financed by United States and former Soviet Union. Dictatorships, coups d’état, torture and continuous violations of human rights have been arising in South and Central America as well as in the Caribbean.

After the collapse of the “ancient regime” (the Post Cold War period) in the world, secular democracy “returned” to Latin America and the Caribbean region. A new political concept became part of modern analysis as “governance”, culture of peace and democracy by electoral processes promoted societies to vote for a new government. The modern political leaders and modern societies in Latin America and the Caribbean face the difference between “representative democracy” and “participative democracy”. But the question aboutdemocracies solved the problems in the region tends to be more and more questioned by political instability increase in modern Latin American and the Caribbean states.

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Latin American Social Revolutions

January Session (History, Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course examines the major social revolutions that occurred in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with the only successful slave rebellion that brought forth the independent Republic of Haiti (1791-1804), through the Mexican and Cuban Revolutions and going to the Nicaraguan Revolution. The cases of Chile and El Salvador will also be studied. Students will analyze the causes, nature and consequences of these revolutions in America.

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Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills

January Session (Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)

A course that complements the development of linguistic skills emphasizing the oral mode of the Spanish language. It aims to improve students' ability to maintain a sustained monologue as well as oral interactions.

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