Loyola University Chicago

Study Abroad

Havana, Cuba (PLSC 300)

Faculty-Led Summer Program in Cuba

Central Havana (2017)

PLSC 300/GIST/LASP: Cuba Today: Politics and Society

Program Highlights

  • Learn about the dramatic changes facing Cuba as it works to re-establish ties to the United States, while still retaining its socialist system. Students will spend time in the nation’s capital, Havana, the Viñales Valley, located in western Cuba, and visit a local beach near Havana.
  • Explore how the changing role of religion, with particular emphasis on the Catholic Church and the practice of Santeria, is altering the political landscape in Cuba by meeting with local religious leaders and parishioners.
  • Transform your understanding of the politics and society of one of the last surviving communist political systems through visits to Cuba’s hospitals, schools, and small businesses with LUC faculty member Dr. Peter M. Sanchez.
  • Click to read an article about Dr. Peter Sanchez and the recent group of students who completed this program in Cuba



Click to see the program flyer.

Program Description

Spend two weeks on a beautiful tropical island, in a city once called the Paris of the Caribbean; witness one of the last remaining communist regimes; learn about renewed U.S.-Cuban relations; experience rich cultural traditions; consider the quest for social justice; engage with local school administrators and students by donating needed supplies; learn about the revitalized Catholic Church and the continuing practice of Santeria; and visit Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in western Cuba.

Course Description

This course will provide students with a unique study abroad learning experience. Most of the contact hours for the course will take place on the island of Cuba, allowing students to get a first-hand look at the politics and society of a rapidly changing communist political system. Students will gain a better understanding of contemporary Cuban political and economic systems by considering Cuba’s accomplishment in the spheres of education and health, while also examining the negative effects of authoritarian politics and a state-controlled economy.

Viñales Valley, Pinar del Rio, Cuba (2017)


Click to see the tentative syllabus.

Course Offering:

PLSC 300/GIST/LASP: Cuba Today: Politics and Society

Credit Hours Earned:

Three credit hours

Taught By:

Dr. Peter M. Sanchez
Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of Political Science

Housing & Meals

During this course, students will stay in locally owned Residencia Apartments in shared rooms. Two nights in a hotel in the Province of Pinar del Rio, in western Cuba. Two meals per day, plus other group meals, will be included.


Click to see the tentative itinerary.

May 20 - June 5, 2018

  • 1/20 — Application Deadline
  • TBA — Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation and Class Sessions
  • 5/21 — Students Arrive in Cuba
  • 6/5 — Students Leave Cuba

Program Costs

Program Fee: $3,725*


  • Two meals per day
  • All accommodations in Cuba (shared rooms)
  • On-site transportation
  • Round-trip airfare from Chicago to Havana, Cuba
  • Cuban visa
  • Cuban and CISI health insurance
  • On-site program support from local staff and Loyola faculty
  • All program academic excursions and activities

Tuition Fee: $2,310

  • Three credit hours of Loyola summer term tuition (graduate students must pay the graduate tuition rate)

Total Cost: $6,035*

*Please note that this may vary depending on final flight costs

Not Included:

  • Personal spending money
  • Some meals

Application Process

Application Deadline: January 20, 2018

As part of the online application you must:

  1. Upload a copy of your valid passport or passport application receipt
  2. Pay by credit card a $100 non-refundable Office for International Programs (OIP) study abroad fee

For more information, contact the Office for International Programs at studyabroad@luc.edu or 773.508.3899; or contact Dr. Peter M. Sanchez, Ph.D., Department of Political Science at psanche@luc.edu.

Cuba today class in 2017 during classic car ride