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Reasons why you should study abroad in Cuba

Reasons why you should study abroad in Cuba

Skipping the -40 weather and other compelling benefits of Augustana’s unique program

Augustana’s Santiago de Cuba program is a unique opportunity for students to spend a semester abroad, earn full academic credit, and explore a new country.

With the expertise of Universidad de Oriente and Augustana faculty, students explore the historical, social, cultural and political realities of Cuba. While in Santiago, students live in Cuban homes, study with Cuban professors, interact with Cuban organizations, and learn to communicate in Spanish. In the birthplace of the Cuban revolution, students are challenged to explore political and historical lenses through which to interpret Latin American and world relations.

The next Cuba study abroad program will run from January to April 2020. Here are some reasons why you should go:


Winter is coming. Spending a semester in Cuba is the easiest way to avoid it. Enjoy humidity and temperatures of up to 35 degrees.  

Cuban friends

The Santiago de Cuba program is built upon the strong partnership between the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta in Camrose, Alberta, and Universidad de Oriente in Santiago de Cuba. Augustana students have the opportunity to work closely with Cuban students. Cuban friends will help you with your Spanish, show you unique places, and help you refine your salsa skills.

Costs are relatively low

The Cuba trip is significantly cheaper than other trips and it can be cheaper than a semester in Camrose, depending on how much in-country travel you plan to do.

Group grant

The Cuba study abroad program has received the group international travel award from the U of A for the 2020 trip. There are 24 funded spots that provide a grant of $2150 to each student.

Salsa dancing

Learn how to salsa dance from the experts. During the last Cuba trip, students organized lessons twice a week for a cost $15/each for the entire four months.  


Cuba has amazing rum. Enough said.


Cuba has beautiful historical buildings and unique architecture.

Fresh tropical fruits

Ever had a freshly picked pineapple? It’ll change your life.

Learn Spanish

There’s no better way to learn a language than to spend time living and studying in a country where it is spoken. The Cuba study abroad trip allows you to live with a Cuban family and meet Cuban friends, which makes it an easier atmosphere to learn Spanish.


Santiago de Cuba is known for its rich and vibrant nightlife. From salsa dancing in the main square to dance parties in the streets, the nightlife is never dull.

Field trips

There are a variety of courses you can take while studying abroad in Cuba; most of these classes involve many field trips and hands-on learning opportunities. Visit everything from Fidel’s memorial, to museums and art galleries, to Santiago’s famous Caribbean fortress, Castillo del Morro.


You get to live with a Cuban family, which allows you to experience Cuban culture in an exclusive and unique setting.

Cool cars

There are vintage cars everywhere.

Cake and ice cream

Fidel Castro was a lover of dairy products, especially ice cream. After the Special Period, he set up government-owned ice cream parlours to help raise people’s spirits. You can get seven scoops of ice cream with cake for less than 50 cents.


Imagine heading to class for the morning and going to the beach for the afternoon. In Santiago, you can either walk down to the ocean boardwalk or head on a short bus ride to Siboney or other nearby beaches that have stunning views, Carribean blue water, and great coral reef snorkelling.  

No poisonous insects

Though many tropical countries have an array of gross and poisonous bugs, Cuba does not. There are very few insects and none that are dangerous. It’s basically paradise.

There’s something for everyone

Whether you’re a fan of nightlife, history, culture, or beaches, the Cuba study abroad program has many options and opportunities to learn and experience the country. There’s truly something for everyone on this trip.

On Nov. 21, head to the forum between 11-12:30 p.m. to ask questions and learn more about the trip.
The Santiago de Cuba program is open to all University of Alberta students. Students from other post‐secondary institutions may also apply and participate in the program. Please contact Dr. Sandra Rein at for more information.


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