Princeton Program: Princeton in Cuba
Princeton students with advanced Spanish and a keen interest in contemporary culture, political economy, history, and anthropology of Latin America have the opportunity to apply to Princeton in Cuba for the spring semester.
Now affiliated with the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS), Princeton’s program in Cuba offers two required courses exclusively for Princeton students, The Urban Landscape of Havana and Cuban History, Literature, and Politics Since the Revolution, taught by Professor Rubén Gallo (Director of PLAS), who is the Resident Director of the program in Spring 2015. Students also take a seminar on political and social issues in contemporary Cuba at CEDEM, and one course selected from offerings in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Havana. These four courses constitute a full course load for the semester (four Princeton courses).
Founded in 1728, the University of Havana is the largest, oldest, and leading academic institution in Cuba. The main campus of UH is on the edge of the historic center of Havana in the Vedado neighborhood. The University is organized into three divisions—Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Economics—and has total of 15 faculties and 14 research centers. Twenty-five majors are taught at the university and approximately 6,000 degree students are enrolled in regular classes each year. Courses are taught on a semester basis with each period lasting 16 weeks.
Havana, the capital of Cuba and a metropolis with 2.2 million residents, is the cultural, educational, and industrial center of the island. Contemporary Havana can be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. Old Havana, with its narrow streets and overhanging balconies, is the traditional center of Havana’s commerce, industry, and entertainment, as well as being a residential area.
Vedado, where the Princeton students will live, is a newer section that has become a rival to Old Havana for commercial activity and nightlife. A third Havana is that of the more affluent residential and industrial districts that spread out mostly to the west of the city.