Duke in Cuba
The Politics of Salsa: Music, Urban Spaces and Globalization
Study cuban music & culture for advanced level Spanish creditApply Now
This four-week, one course program in Havana, Cuba will provide an immersive experience that combines academic Spanish language objectives with cultural studies content objectives. Students will have unparalleled access to Cuban musicians, concerts, guest speakers who are unable to visit the U.S., and landmarks, particularly as they relate to urban spaces. Students will be able to witness in real time the transformation of Cuba in a globalized world with particular emphasis on its impact on cultural production.
PROGRAM FAST FACTS
Location: Havana, Cuba
Dates: May 20 to June 17, 2018
Application Deadline: Extended to February 15, 2018
Academic Theme(s): Spanish language, Cuban music and culture
Credit Type: Duke Credit
Eligibility: Must have completed Spanish 204 or have the consent of the Director of the program. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.
Duke Affiliation: Duke Department of Romance Studies
Housing: Private homestays
Physical Requirements: Students will need to be able to walk medium distances. The streets of Havana have uneven surfaces in certain parts of the city. Casas particulares do not have elevators, so students will need to walk up stairs to their residences.
GEO Advisor: Abigail Grubbs
Morro Castle at Havana Bay, originally built in the 16th century.
Classes are held at the Centro de Estudios Martianos, dedicated to the study of Cuba's most famous poet: José Martí.
Overlooking the Vedado neighborhood, where students will live with homestay families in casas particulares.
Plaza Vieja, Havana
Viñales, on the western side of the island, is known for agricultural production.
You'll enroll in one course, offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted. The course may be used to count toward Spanish major or minor requirements.
SPANISH 344A/ MUSIC 325A/ CULANTH 348A
The Politics of Salsa: Music, Urban Spaces and Globalization
(ALP, CCI, FL) 1.0 Credit
Instructor: William Villalba
Pre-requisite: SPANISH 204 or equivalent
Students will improve their academic oral and written Spanish language proficiency through coursework, related excursions, and interactions with Cuban musicians, intellectuals, artists, and other members of the host community. Likewise, the programs will foster critical thinking by analytically examining the impact of globalization vis-a-vis cultural production. As we pay close attention to historical and socio-economic urban development in cities such as Havana, San Juan, New York, or Caracas, the students not only will develop abstract level discourse, but will also expand their critical thinking skills. Coursework includes readings from cultural studies, history musicology, primary source research, and a final essay written in academic Spanish.
The program includes weekly activities in the city, such as live music events, dance performances and discussions, guest lectures from local musicians, a walking tour of Old Havana, and one or two excursions outside Havana that are yet to be determined. Students will receive a proposed itinerary of activities (subject to change) two months before the program start date.
HOUSING & MEALS
Students will be housed in casas particulares (private homestays operated out of a single family residence) in or near the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. Bathroom facilities may be shared. Laundry services are not included. On excursions outside of Havana, students will also be placed in casas particulares with students in shared rooms.
Daily breakfast and dinner in Havana are included in the program fee. Breakfast is included on excursions outside of Havana. Additionally, the program will arrange a welcome meal upon arrival in Havana and a farewell meal on the last night of the program.
These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.
Explanation of Costs
The program fee for this program includes:
- Airport pick-up/drop-off in Havana for participants arriving/departing as a single group*
- Academic visas for Cuba
- Daily breakfast and dinner at the casas particulares; Breakfast on excursions outside of Havana
- International SOS Coverage
- Program-sponsored activities and excursions
- On-site orientation program
- Health and accident insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)
What is not included?
Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Textbooks and class materials
- Mobile phone
- Independent travel and entertainment
- Items of a personal nature
Visa cost estimates shown in 'Other Costs' link above are based on U.S. citizenship status. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please be sure to research the cost of obtaining a visa.
Some students may need to travel to a consulate or embassy to obtain a visa. If you receive financial aid, and need assistance with travel costs, please contact your financial aid counselor.
Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.
Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.
Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.
This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:
Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.
- Arrival: May 20, 2018
- Departure: June 17, 2018
Students are responsible for securing their own flights. However, due to current immigration procedures in Cuba, academic visas for students are only guaranteed for those who arrive on the flight suggested by the program. Therefore, all participants must arrive on the same flight which will be determined and communicated to accepted students after the program application deadline. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.
VISA & PASSPORT
A visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non-U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect.
All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.
PROGRAM FACULTY & STAFF
Program faculty director(s) can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.
Deadline: Extended to February 15, 2018
This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; due to the logistics of obtaining a student visa, applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Application opens November 1.
Priority: Priority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the prerequisites.
Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.
Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:
Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs. All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.
Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution. Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program. This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO.
Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.
Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.
Submit the following items using MyGlobalEd:
- Online application
- Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted.
- Personal statement, written in Spanish, no longer than one page, explaining your interest in Cuba, its music, arts, and/or socio-cultural life.
- Two letters of recommendation: one must be from a language instructor.*
*If you have not taken a Spanish course at Duke, please email the Faculty Director, William Villalba, to set up an interview to assess your language level. Recommendation letters from high school teachers will not be accepted.