API offers students the opportunity to study abroad in Cuba at the Universidad de La Habana for a summer, January term, or semester. Programs in Havana are available in Spanish language, Cuban and Caribbean Studies, with coursework focusing on Cuban history, culture, cinema, and more. API also offers students the opportunity to study abroad in Santa Clara at the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Las Villas for the fall or spring semester. Programs in Santa Clara are available in Cuban and Caribbean Studies, Spanish language and Cuban culture, as well as international business and social sciences.

Over the centuries, Cuba has remained a prominent player on both the Caribbean and world stages. The country has transitioned from one of Spain’s most valuable colonies to a regional cultural and tourist destination, to a lynchpin in the Cold War.

Relations between Cuba and the United States have been mixed over the years. In 1898, the disputed sinking of the U.S.S. Maine precipitated the Spanish-American War, which saw Cuba freed from its Spanish colonial master (a title temporarily assumed by the U.S.), eventually gaining independence in 1902.

For decades thereafter Cuba was regarded as a tourist haven up through the end of the Second World War. The tumultuous period of the 1950s resulted in many Cubans migrating to the U.S., settling large communities in places like Florida and New York. Following the 1959 revolution, the failed “Bay of Pigs Invasion,” and the Cuban Missile Crisis, American tourism, and investment were heavily restricted.

While seemingly distant – Cuba and the U.S. are separated by a mere 90 miles of water – the two countries are divided more by politics than geography. As it moves into the 21st century, Cuba is adapting to changing political and economic realities at home and abroad.