Spend a month in Cuba to learn about this island’s dramatic history and dynamic contemporary culture. Cuba remains one of the last places in the world with a revolutionary socialist ideology. Due to Cold War politics, until very recently Cuba has been off limits to U.S. travelers, so this program offers an in-depth view of a nation long inaccessible to American students. This program will consist of two courses, which will include lectures and discussions and will be supplemented by field trips and excursions to relevant sites.
Please note that undergraduates can enroll in SOC M178 & PS 119 and graduate students should enroll in SOC 285C & PS 218.
8 quarter units
SOC M178: Sociology of the Caribbean (4 quarter units)
The Caribbean has been the scenario of processes of “globalization” for 500 years now. It was the first region of the Americas colonized by Europe. The first processes of genocide of native populations took place there, and several forms of servitude and slavery characterized the region's labor force for centuries. The population of the Caribbean islands is today composed of descendants of Africans, Europeans, and Asians. Two major social revolutions have taken place there—the Haitian revolution of 1791-1804 and the Cuban Revolution of 1959. From the earliest days of the conquest, most of the islands of the archipelago have remained linked to the world market and under the domination, direct and indirect, of European colonial powers. In a sense, the Caribbean has been a thoroughly “modern” place for centuries, not isolated at all but connected socially, politically, and economically to the European dominated world economy.
This course looks at some central themes of the Sociology of the Caribbean, with a focus on the island of Cuba. Readings are organized thematically, and will be complemented by lectures by Cuban scholars who specialize in these topics.
PS 119: Special Studies in Political Theory: The Role of Political Thought in Cuban and Puerto Rican Independence Movements (4 quarter units)
Fidel Castro is reported to have claimed that José Martí, the Cuban thinker and political advocate of political independence from Spain, was the intellectual author of the Cuban revolution. But Martí’s writings and analyses were part of a broader tradition of Latin American and Caribbean pro-independence political thought extending from the 19th century to the current period. In his study of Martí, Alfred J. Lopez argues that he was part of a “broader pan-american vision of freedom and democracy.” (p. ix, José Martí, A Revolutionary Life). This course will focus on several figures who have contributed to this tradition, including its contemporary expression in what is referred to as decolonial theory.
SOC 199: Directed Research
Students will also have the option of enrolling in SOC 199, allowing them to do an additional research paper on a topic related to the travel study program. Be sure to obtain your instructor's approval on the subject and format. There is an additional fee for this optional course.
All schedules, itineraries, and group activities are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
You are responsible for purchasing your own textbooks. We strongly suggest you read as much of the text material as possible before you depart. More information on textbooks will be available at a later date.
Budget and Financial Aid
|Budget||UC Undergrads||UC Grad Students||Visiting Students|
|Spending Money (estimate)||400||400||400|
Program fee includes registration and course fees, accommodations, 2 meals a day, program excursions, as well as roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Havana and visa assistance.
Textbooks, optional courses, other meals and optional excursions are additional.
Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents.
Non-UCLA students will be charged a $50 Document Fee. This is a one-time document fee which covers fees for first-class mailing of official transcripts, diploma and much more. Please visit the Registrar's Office Website for more information. Matriculated UCLA Students: Please visit the Registrar's Office Website for document fee information.
All undergraduate students will be charged a $61 IEI fee per summer. The IEI (Instructional Enhancement Initiative) fee is a course materials fee that is charged in order to support the use of technology in undergraduate education at UCLA. For more information please click here.
We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, Internet cafes, emergencies, etc. How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment, and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. Take the time to research the cost of living in your destination and the activities you want to participate in while abroad.
Optional Course Fee
|Optional 199||UC Undergrads||UC Grad Students||Visiting Students|
Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents.
Financial aid for Travel Study programs is available to qualified UCLA students. All other students should inquire about financial aid at their home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
Notes on Travel to Cuba
Americans are not allowed to fly into Cuba unannounced and students are not permitted to stay after the program has ended. Therefore, UCLA Travel Study will organize a group flight for all participants from Los Angeles to Havana, included in the program fee. Detailed instructions will be emailed to enrolled participants in Spring 2016. UCLA Travel Study will also help students to obtain a visa for Cuba and will have more details regarding this process in 2016.
The United States is currently re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Cuba welcomes American travelers and Americans are generally well received. The United States Government provides consular and other services through the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana.
Accommodations & Study Center
Students will live in double occupancy rooms in private Cuban homes (casa particulares) licensed to rent to foreigners. Breakfast and dinner each day at the house, as well as laundry services once a week are included in the program fee. Housing will be arranged by the CIEE Havana Center, with a housing coordinator on-site to help advise students regarding their housing experience and adjustment to life in Cuba. Students will also take classes at CEM, the Centro de Estudios Martianos, in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.
UCLA Summer Sessions reserves the right to change housing & study locations. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable facilities elsewhere.
Your program fee includes breakfast and dinner daily at your accommodations. There are affordable options near your study center where you can purchase lunch. If you have strict dietary requirements, this program may not be able to accommodate your needs. Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs as well as any physical or medical conditions. We will advise you accordingly.
Readings, lectures and discussions will be supplemented by field trips and excursions. All program excursions will be announced at a later date.