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Cuba in the World: an Intercambio

Priority Application Deadline:  Monday, December 1st
Location:  Havana, Cuba
Program Dates:  REQUIRED weekend intensive pre-departure sessions in NYC on February 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15
Travel Dates:  March 13-22, 2015.  Students must be in Miami by the early morning on Friday, March 13th for the flight to Cuba the same day.
Instructor: Arturo Lopez-Levy

Degree Requirement:  With the approval of the department, this course can count as an International Relations concentration requirement or an International Development and Humanitarian Assistance concentration requirement. If not taken toward concentration requirements, the course will count toward your elective credits.  

Registration for program:  All students must apply for this program using the online application form and with the submission of a personal statement to .  Accepted students will be registered by the department.

Documents:  A valid passport and visa are required for entry.  Visas are arranged through our travel provider and the cost is covered in your program fee.  Documents necessary for obtaining travel authorization must be filled out by each program participant in January (date TBA).


This course takes us from New York to Havana and back again.  We begin in the classroom.  During two intensive weekends we will explore Cuba's history, politics, economy, and society through selected readings, special guest lecturers, and recorded media.  We begin by considering the colonial origins of Cuba's first revolution and the neocolonial period that inspired Castro's socialist revolution.  We then turn to Cuba's present, discussing its political and economic system, and its international relations.  We will also consider the major social implications of the Cuban Revolution - health and education, gender roles, and culture.  We then travel to Havana to experience the Cuban reality first-hand.  Upon our arrival in Havana, we will work in collaboration with the Ludwig Foundation Center,  a non-governmental organization dedicated to bridging understanding in Cuba and abroad through cultural exchange--to translate our academic discussion into an in-depth field study.  Students will gain exclusive exposure to an “inside out” perspective of a country that is most often viewed from the “outside in.” The seminar will be composed of organized lectures, site visits and meetings at local organizations and educational institutions. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in targeted one-to-one and small group meetings with specialists and academics related their planned research projects.


Arturo Lopez-Levy is a visiting lecturer at Mills College, Oakland, California. He is also a Doctoral Candidate (ABD) at the Josef School of International Studies of the University of Denver. Lopez-Levy is a co- author of “Raul Castro and the New Cuba: A Close-Up view of Change”. He has published articles about Cuba, Latin America, and the U.S. policy towards Latin America at Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy in Focus, The International Journal of Cuban Studies, The Chicago Tribune, The Florida Sun Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald and other American and international newspapers. Lopez-Levy is a political analyst in CNN Spanish and frequent guest at radio and TV programs in the U.S. and the international media. He has Master degrees in Economics from Carleton University (Ottawa) and in International Affairs from Columbia University (NYC). He has been a fellow of the Inter-American Dialogue, the Aspen Institute and the New America Foundation. He is a member of the Academic Board of Cuban Studies, the premier journal of studies about Cuba in the United States.  In 2005, Lopez-Levy received the Leonard Marks Foreign Policy Award of the American Academy of Diplomacy.


The majority of program lectures will take place at NYU’s partner institution in Havana, The Ludwig Foundation.  The Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (LFC) is an autonomous, non-governmental and non-profit institution in Cuba created to protect and promote contemporary Cuban artists and culture, develop research works and new technologies applied to the artistic field, and encourage dialog with both Cuban and international cultural communities. LFC acts as a cultural center to encourage the creation of bridges of understanding in Cuba and abroad.  LFC has established long-term programs with leading institutions worldwide. Programs include performances, festivals, exhibitions, exchanges, lectures, seminars, academic courses, workshops, conferences, scholarships and grants. The organization was founded in 1995 by Peter and Irene Ludwig, world-known private European collectors and funded yearly by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation located in Aachen, Germany.

Additional site visits and lectures may include but are not limited to:

·      Museum of the Revolution

·      Tour of old Havana

·          Visit to sugar cane plantation

·      Side trips to a local organic farm, and an overnight outside of Havana (location TBC)


Students will stay at one of the historic hotels located in the Vedado section of Havana and conveniently located to the Ludwig Foundation.  A generous buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel every morning.

Booking Flights – Arrive/Depart:  Miami

Student participants will be responsible for booking flights to and from Miami (from New York).  Students should plan to arrive in Miami by early Friday morning, March 13th (at the latest).  Students will depart as a group for Havana during the afternoon on Friday (time TBC).  More information will be provided upon your registration.   

Additional Registration and Documentation – IMPORTANT!

Students from New York University will be traveling to Cuba under a general license for universities granted by the U.S. Treasury Department.  In order to comply with U.S. legal requirements for this study trip to Cuba, students will need to fill out a number of forms provided by our contracted partner.  These forms will be provided to all students with clear instructions after registration for the course is confirmed.  It is imperative that you get all of the forms to us by the specified deadlines to ensure proper processing for the license and the visas.

Cost for the Program

Students will be responsible for covering the cost of the program fee (to be paid separately), 3 credits, and other travel related expenses (including the roundtrip flight from New York to Miami).  The program fee will cover the flight to and from Cuba, student lodging, visa requirements, required supplemental health insurance for Cuba, all breakfasts, some lunches, and dinners/special receptions, all meetings/special guest lectures, all in-country travel (including airport transportation in Cuba), and planned cultural excursions.

Program Deposit - $500 to confirm your acceptance

A Program Deposit of $500 is necessary in order to be enrolled in this program. This deposit will need to be submitted within five days of your acceptance in order to be confirmed for the program. This will be used towards the program fees.  You will be required to pay the full program fee after your registration is confirmed.  This deposit check is non-refundable after Monday, December 8, 2014.

Cancellations and Refunds:

Program cancellations must be made in writing.  To protect yourself, we recommend that you purchase flight cancellation insurance.


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