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  • Locations: Havana, Cuba; Havana, Cuba; Mantanzas, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Summer, Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
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
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Dance & Culture in Cuba

Cuba, Winter 2021


Program Overview

The preservation and retention of West African cultural traditions in Cuba is unique in the Western Hemisphere.  Dance and music served as experiential threads that allowed specific ethnicities (e.g Yoruba, Fon, Congolese), within a system of social organizations called cabildos, to remember their ancestral homelands. 

Our program will investigate and participate in these vital traditions in daily studio classes in Havana and Matanzas (the center of African culture in Cuba).  Evenings will be spent digging into Cuba’s live music venues, and world-renowned social dance scene.


  • Classes in song, afrocuban dance, and salsa 
  • Free time to explore the cities of Mantazas and Havana
  • Learning from local studios and dancers


All undergraduate students are welcome to apply including students who do not attend George Mason University. Minimum 2.25 GPA.


3 credits

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

Course Options

Anticipated Course Offerings:
  • DANC 418: Cuban Dance and Culture

Program Dates*

29 December - 9 January, 2021


Sample Itinerary*

December 29: Arrive to Havana airport as a group and transfer to Matanzas. Group dinner included.

December 30 – January 2:

                Mornings: Classes in Song and Afrocuban Dance  
                Afternoons: Classes in Salsa

January 2: Morning class and afternoon transfer to Havana

January 3: No classes. Activity TBD

January 4 – January 8:

Morning: Classes in Afrocuban Dance
Afternoon Classes in Salsa  

January 9: Morning transfer to the Havana airport and return to 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 2020: $2,961

Winter 2021: Available August 30, 2020

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, round-trip Airfare Washington DC - Havana, accommodations, some breakfasts, some group meals, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance

Not included: Passport and visa fees, some meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

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

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20 This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.​

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 10 This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

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

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 are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

October 10


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.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

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

  Jim Lepore
Name Jim Lepore, MFA
Phone 703-993-1115

GEO Program Administrator

Name Jess Ostrowski-Wright
Phone 703-993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2021 10/10/2020 ** Rolling Admission 12/29/2020 01/09/2021

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.