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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Havana, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Penn Summer Abroad
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

Experience the complexity of contemporary Cuba through its modern art, architecture and visual culture. This intensive summer travel course runs during Summer Session I and features 12 days on the island. While in Cuba, you visit various artists' studios, collections, architectural monuments and historical sites in the cities of Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and the rural village of Viñales. You are also asked to document these travel experiences digitally on Instagram (#penninhavana). Upon return to the US, you are required to complete two written projects—a daily journal from the trip and a longer research essay.

Prior to travel, class is held in on campus, and you are required to maintain a Philadelphia residence through the end of June 2018.


General Eligibility Requirements

Penn Summer Abroad programs are available to undergraduate students at Penn or another accredited US institution. To take part in a Penn Summer Abroad program, all students, including Penn and visiting students, must complete an online application and maintain a strong academic standing.

Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity

In order to qualify to study abroad, you need to be in good academic standing at Penn. In addition, your disciplinary status may affect your eligibility to study abroad. You may not be eligible to study abroad if you currently stand charged or are charged prior to the beginning of your study abroad semester with a violation of a University regulation under the University of Pennsylvania's Code of Student Conduct or Code of Academic Integrity, or if there is a pending, current, or outstanding disciplinary matter (academic integrity or conduct). When the charge results in a warning or reprimand, the student may be eligible to study abroad pending a review of the situation. When the charge results in probation, suspension-not-imposed, suspension, or any sanction as serious as or more serious than probation, students are not eligible to study abroad during the period of the sanction.

Students who have received a sanction of probation or suspension-not-imposed may be eligible to study abroad during a future semester after the expiration date of the sanction. However, students must provide confirmation from the Office of Student Conduct that the terms and conditions of their sanction have been met before receiving Penn Abroad approval to study abroad. If there are new charges during the period of the sanction, approval to study abroad may be rescinded.


Cuban Visual Culture
ARTH 384 / AFRC 384 (1 c.u.)
  • Taught by William Schmenner
  • Fulfills requirement: Cross-cultural analysis
This course focuses on the urban history and cultural politics of contemporary Cuba with an emphasis on contemporary art and contemporary developments in the city of Havana. Students learn about the Spanish influence on early colonial art, the development of formal academic art training, the changes to art instruction, as well as the form and content of art created since the Revolution.

While in Havana, students continue to read and participate in daily discussions as we visit various artists' studios, collections, architectural monuments and historical sites. Several short online quizzes are administered through the course Canvas site in advance and upon conclusion of the trip. This course is an intermediate survey in art history appropriate for continuing undergraduates at the sophomore and junior level. No previous courses in art history or architectural history are necessary. However, priority is given to art history majors, minors and students who have taken previous Penn art history courses such as ARTH102, 106, 278 or 294.


Students live in pairs in a hotel arranged by Cuba Educational Travel. The hotel provides breakfast each day with bagged lunches most days and two dinners at local restaurants during the stay.

Cost and Finance

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice. 
Tuition and fees for 2018 will be posted in February 2018.  
  • Tuition for summer 2017: $4,072
  • Program fee for summer 2017: $3,480
    Includes accommodation in Havana with breakfast as well as some lunches and dinners; cultural activities; excursions planned by the program; Cuban insurance and visa.

Next Steps

For more details about Penn-in-Havana please visit our website or attend one of our info sessions:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Williams Hall 306

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Williams Hall 307

This program is currently not accepting applications.