Engage with Havana, Cuba through the lens! Photographing the island of Cuba is an incredibly rare opportunity - now is your chance! Meet the warm and welcoming people, experience the natural beauty of the island and view the stunning architecture. Take a step into a place that is frozen in the 1950’s and witness countless vintage American cars from the 40’s and 50’s pass you in the street. Learn about the history of Cuba through classes that explore the music, visual arts and complexities of everyday life. There will be two trips outside of Havana to "Viñales" known for its tobacco fields, which plays a part in the production of the country's legendary cigars. This dialogue will also visit "Las Terrazas”, the nature reserve forest. This program will require a lot of walking every day.

The program will visit Pinar del Rio and Las Terrazas. Pinar del Río is a tobacco-rich province in western Cuba. In the provincial capital, also called Pinar del Río, the cigar-making process is shown at the Fábrica de Tabacos Francisco Donatien. North lies the fertile Viñales Valley with its striking rounded limestone hills. Viñales village, with its wooden bungalows and cultural center, is a base for visiting the vast cave system of Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás. Las Terrazas is a small community and nature reserve in the municipality of Candelaria, Artemisa Province, Cuba. It is located in the Sierra del Rosario mountains, which was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1984.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.50
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Interview: Interview with Faculty Leader will be required as part of application process. This program is open to students from any major and college.
  • Possible Student Challenges: The local cuisine is different from what students are accustomed to. Cuba is hot in the summer due to the Caribbean climate.


The goal of the program is to engage in daily life, understanding the history, culture and lifestyle of Cuba and be able to capture the experience in photographs by creating a lasting journal. By engaging in this program, students will enhance their education through entering a different country and engaging in a different culture for three weeks. This will allow them to understand the differences in educational systems, culture and the privilege of being a university student in the United States.

The Cuban Cultural History class will focus on the culture of the island, its music, visual arts and general history. The course will allow you to meet and form bonds with Cuban people from all walks of life and through this process will change the way you see the world. This dialogue will broaden your perspective on the privilege and choice we are afforded in the United States and will open your eyes to the reality of minimalism, teaching you how little you actually need to be happy.

  • ARTE 2500 - Photo Basic : (Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation Studies (EI) NUpath andInterpreting Culture (IC) NUpath) A hand on entry-level digital photography class for majors or non-majors in the Art and Design department. This class concentrates on digital camera usage, camera optics, current photographic digital software and digital printing. Assignments range from demonstrating technically proficiency to longer term conceptually based projects. A final project exhibiting proficiency in digital photography and visual concepts is required.
  • ARTE 2501 - History-Cuba Cultural History : (Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation Studies (EI) NUpath and Interpreting Culture (IC) NUpath) Lecture and field study class for students enrolled in Cuba Cultural History. This class will focus on the cultural history of Cuba; particular attention will be paid to the visual arts, music and architecture. Class visits to local studios, walking architectural lectures and musical performance will be an integral part of the class. Students will be required to pick and specific area of research that is covered in class that will culminate in a written paper.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $2,750
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and some group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $TBD
  • Students should anticipate spending the following out of pocket expenses during the program:  $XXX on meals and $XXX on incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Additional Resources
  • Tentative Itinerary : This is a tentative itinerary for the DOC. A final itinerary will be supplied by your professor in Spring 2019.


Experience the Caribbean Island of Cuba through its people in a cultural program that uses photography and history as a means of getting to know Cubans from all walks of life. The large Caribbean island offers us a unique view of a world; a place that has changed very little since the 1950’s. Photographing the island offers us the rare opportunity to capture the warm people alongside its natural beauty and stunning architecture as the vintage American cars from the 40’s and 50’s roll right in from you in the streets of Havana. While engaging deep into the Cuban Amazing City through the lens, the Cuban cultural history class will focus on the culture of the island, its music, visual arts and history.

The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about Cuba here. Please review this information before applying.


  • Hotel: Students will be staying in double occupancy rooms in one of the most historic hotels in downtown Havana. This includes a cleaning service and there will be internet access.
  • Student Residence: While in Boston, students will stay in a NU dorm. If students have other accommodations for this segment of the DOC, they may opt out of the dorms, and get a refund for that portion of the DOC.

Host University or Organization

The Center of Studies of Jose Marti (Centro de Estudios Martianos) in Havana, Cuba is the only academic institution entirely devoted to the study of Jose Marti life, writings and legacy. Marti is consider the most importan intelectual figure in Cuba of all times. The Center sponsors research, lecture, workshop, undergraduate and graduate courses. The student programs are designed to actively interact with Cuban culture, history, architecture, and the lifestyle of its people.

Faculty Advisor