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Hampshire in Cuba

Program Details

Location: Havana, Cuba
Term: Spring (end January to end April)
Partner Institution: Fundación Alejo Carpentier
Housing: family-stay
Language of Instruction: Spanish and English
Prerequisites: Intermediate Spanish language skills (two semesters college level Spanish) and CSI274 Cuba: Revolution and Its Discontents  
Fields of Study: Many options, most common: Latin American studies; race, gender and ethnic studies; studio and performing arts, literature and creative writing, art history and archival studies, architecture and urban studies

This program presents students with the unique opportunity to develop their academic potential within several disciplines. Working with the Hampshire faculty director and renowned Cuban writers, historians, visual artists, performance artists, or musicians as tutors, participants are able to pursue their own set of academic goals through an independent study project they design and implement throughout the semester.

Hampshire's Partner in Cuba

Hampshire works in partnership with the Fundación Alejo Carpentier (FAC) in Havana, Cuba. Hampshire College’s connection to this institution allows students to receive independent tutoring and project supervision from Cuba’s most prominent intellectuals and artists, while the tuition fees generated go directly to helping the Foundation restore Carpentier’s personal library, publish books, grant scholarships to Cuban researchers and supply its offices with better equipment to facilitate its ongoing work. Past collaborators/tutors have included Nelson Rodriguez, editor; Alfredo Prieto, editor of  Temas magazine; and Juan Valdes Paz, writer; Rafael Rodríguez Beltrán, Vice President of the Alejo Carpentier Foundation. 

For more information about the Alejo Carpentier Foundation and other collaborating partners please visit Our Partners in Cuba.

Photo by Nicola Chavez-Courtright 08F
Photo by Nicola Chavez-Courtright 08F, Spring 2012 Program Participant

Academics

The Independent Study Project: Rather than take on the traditional classroom approach, students work in conjunction with their tutors to design and execute a semester-long independent study project during which they are engaged in a wide range of activities that may include  historical research, ethnographic field work, arts performance or practice, literary study or archival work (to name a few). Through participation in this program, Hampshire College's tradition of individualized work and collaboration with advisors is sustained. Via a series of meetings, students exchange their ideas, discoveries, and developments with their tutors' feedback, thus enriching their studies with the invaluable point of view of experienced scholars. For more information please review, the Independent Study Project Proposal and Tips for Creating your Proposal.

Additional coursework: In addition to the independent study project, students are also required to participate in a Spanish class, a formal course on Cuba and Cuban culture, co-taught by Hampshire and Cuban faculty, and a Seminar designed to support the students’ projects and their process. These courses help students assimilate the Cuban experience into their semester projects by providing opportunities for more in depth cultural integration.

Housing and Meals

Housing is arranged for students in “Casas Particulares," which is a mixture of a homestay and a guesthouse situation. Students can request to live independently or with other students. All housing options are centrally located in the iconic Vedado neighborhood of Havana. As part of the program students are provided breakfast and dinner. A small living stipend is given to students to cover other food and living expenses in Cuba. 


Photo of a street in Havana
Havana Street Scene

Program Costs

Hampshire Exchange Fees and Financial Aid provides detailed information on the fee policy, withdrawal policy, and how financial aid may apply.

  • Hampshire Fees: Students are billed for Hampshire tuition and room and board. Comprehensive fee covers tuition expenses, housing, meals, Cuba insurance, visa fees, and occasional excursions.
  • Other expenses: passport fees, international and local transportation including airfare; books and supplies; health insurance with international coverage and personal expenses. GEO provides each Cuba program participant with a stipend for living expenses. A travel stipend may also be awarded by GEO to offset the cost of airfare.

Eligibility and Prerequisites

  • Open to qualified Hampshire and Five College students. All applicants must be in good academic and behavioral standing. Detailed information on Hampshire eligibility requirements and policies is available under the Eligibility Requirements in the Exchange, Field Study, and Short-term Field Course section of the Hampshire College Handbook.
  • Hampshire College students must be Div II or first semester Div III. Five College students (Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) must be in their sophomore or junior years.
  • Intermediate Spanish language skills are required to participate (minimum of two college semesters of Spanish)
  • Prerequisite course about Cuba: CSI274 Cuba: Revolution and Its Discontents

How to Apply

  1. Meet with the GEO: Students are required to meet with the GEO program manager for this exchange program before submitting an application. Call 413.559.5542 to make an appointment.
  2. Review Applying to a Hampshire Exchange Program: Includes deadlines, application instructions, requirements, and procedures.
  3. Review Cuba Program Supplemental Application Instructions: An instruction sheet designed to assist you in completing the Supplemental information for Cuba on the online application
  4. Apply now: Students apply online through HampGOES (Hampshire's Global Experience System).

Questions?

Contact the GEO program manager:

Katie Irwin
413.559.5542
kirwin@hampshire.edu

Travel Information

For more information about travel to Cuba:

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Frequently Asked Questions related to Cuba (last updated January 6, 2017)

U.S. Embassy in Cuba

Other helpful travel resources:

Marazul Travel

Common Ground Travel

Faculty Contacts

If you would like to hear more about the academic content and options for the Cuba program, please contact one of these faculty members.

Carollee Bengelsdorf
Professor of Politics
School of Critical Social Inquiry
413.559.5402
cbengelsdorf@hampshire.edu

Roosbelinda Cárdenas
Professor of Latin American Studies
School of Critical Social Inquiry
413.559.5409
rcCSI@hampshire.edu

Margaret Cerullo
Professor of Sociology
School of Critical Social Inquiry
413.559.5514
mcerullo@hampshire.edu

Michele Hardesty
Professor of U.S. Literatures
School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies
413.559.5490
mlhHA@hampshire.edu

Jacqueline Hayden
Professor of Film and Photography
School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies
413.559.5617
jhayden@hampshire.edu

Flavio Risech
Associate Professor of Law
School of Critical Social Inquiry
413.559.5504
frisech@hampshire.edu

Stay In Touch
With The Global Education Office (GEO)
Snail Mail
Global Education Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
413.559.5542
Fax: 413.559.6173
geo@hampshire.edu
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