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  • Locations: Havana, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Hotel Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Government and International Policy, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Economics, Global Affairs, Integrative Studies Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Economic Development & Social Change 

Cuba, Winter 2022

Cuba Images
Previously called Foreign Investment & Global Integration, this course provides students with both a background to Cuba’s economic situation (from the 1959 Cuban Revolution to the present) as well as an on-the-ground look at the country’s emerging economic transition in the context of globalization. We will pay special attention to economic reform in Cuba surrounding the economic crisis of the 1990s up through the current economic crisis resulting from the pandemic. Using texts, tools, and methodologies from across the social sciences, this course equips participants with a well-rounded set of analytical tools that help them assess both Cuba’s economic situation in the 21st century as well as the scope and effectiveness of recent economic reforms the country has undertaken.

This experience will offer you an intellectually stimulating, innovative and diverse program of study in a safe environment, with maximum exposure to the economic, cultural and political life of contemporary Cuba. The structure of this study trip revolves around guest lectures at Cuba’s premier academic institutions, class meetings, and relevant site visits.

Program Highlights

  • This course provides students with a background to Cuba’s economic situation (from the Cuban Revolution to the present).
  • On-the-ground look at the country’s emerging economic transition in the context of globalization.
  • Students will attend lectures at the University of Havana and go on relevant site visits.


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. 

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.

Course Options

  • Global Affairs - GLOA 480: Study Abroad
  • Economics - ECON 492: Study Abroad
    • Prerequisites for ECON 492: must have completed at least one of these courses with a 'C' or higher: ECON 103, 104, or 385.
  • Government - GOVT 398: Study Abroad
  • Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad
  • Conflict Analysis - CONF 695: Selected Topics

Program Dates*

January 1 - 15, 2022


Sample Itinerary 

Day 1 Group arrives in Havana.
Day 2 "Alternative" tour of Old Havana. Topic: Heritage, History and Culture readings
Day 3 Morning seminar: "The Economic Dynamics and the transformation process in Cuba".  Afternoon meeting with students from
the University of Havana.
Day 4 Morning seminar on the "Foreign Direct Investments in Cuba: current trends and perspectives".  Afternoon meeting in PROCuba, Center for Promoting Foreign Trade and Investment
Day 5 Morning seminar: "External Finance in Cuba: external debt and the access to multilateral resources".  Afternoon visit to the Center for the Study of Cuban Youth. Evening: El cañonazo de las nueve. San Cristobal de La Cabana Fortress.
Day 6 Morning seminar: "The Current Cuban Foreign Trade: obstacles and perspectives".  Afternoon meeting with young entrepreneurs. 
Day 7 Morning seminar: "Equity and Development: opportunities and challenges for Cuba". Afternoon visit to an agricultural micro-industry, Project: The Organoponic Urban Cooperative in Alamar, Habana del Este. 
Day 8 Excursion: Day trip to the Cuban Countryside (Pinar del Rio)
Day 9 Excursion: Guanabo Beach
Day 10 Morning Seminar: "Family structure and family law in Cuba". Afternoon meeting with a group of students from the Higher Institute for International Relations. 
Day 11 Morning Seminar: "Political System in Cuba: keeping the consensus". Afternoon meeting and debate with a specialist
on current Cuban policy on sexual diversity (CENESEX).
Day 12 Morning Seminar: "The Cuban' external relations with China and Russia". Afternoon free to explore on own. 
Day 13 Morning Seminar: "Cuba – USA Relations: current status and perspectives". Afternoon visit to the community integral transformation project, People's Council "Principe," Revolution Square.
Day 14 Morning Seminar: "The Cuban' economic relations with Latin American and European Union nations". Afternoon free to explore on own. 
Day 15 Students depart for the U.S.

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Winter 2022: $4000

The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges are put on your student account for this course, a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equal the published Program Cost for this course.

  • Application deposit 
  • Tuition for 3 credits and mandatory fees
  • Round-tip airfare between DC and Havana
  • Accommodations
  • Breakfasts and dinners daily
  • Some additional group meals
  • Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
  • Entry visa to Cuba
  • Pre-departure Orientation
  • International emergency medical insurance

Not included:
  • Passport fees
  • Some meals
  • Personal spending
  • COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure
  • COVID-19 testing while abroad
  • Vaccinations 
  • Required textbooks and/or course materials

Program Payments

The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment.)

Application Deposit: $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit
Note: You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account. George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.

Financial Aid: 
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO.  Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.

If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must: 
  • Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in

After acceptance: * Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:

VA Benefits: The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Tuition Exemptions
If you plan to apply for a tuition exemption (for example VMSDEP or senior citizen exemption) to cover a portion of the total cost of the Study Abroad program please contact GEO immediately. Not all exemptions are eligible for use on study abroad courses. When an exemption is eligible for use, only tuition charges are covered. The participant will be required to pay program fees, which may include housing, meals, and direct payments to our overseas partners.
Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit
Global Education Office (Study Abroad) courses and trip fees are ineligible for tuition waivers under this policy. For more information please see the Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit for details.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:



Application Deadline:

October 10, 2021


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

  • Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
  • Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

GEO Program Administrator

  Admin photo Allie
Name Allie Wallace (she/her)
Phone 703-993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.