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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Havana, Cuba; Mantanzas, Cuba; Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Summer, Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Summer, Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Homestay 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: Dance Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Dance & Culture in Cuba

Cuba, Winter & Summer 2022


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. Evenings will be spent digging into Cuba’s live music venues, and world-renowned social dance scene.


  • Classes in song, Afro-Cuban dance, and salsa 
  • Free time to explore the cities of Matanzas and Havana or Santiago de Cuba
  • 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 be registered for the 3-credit course below during the application process.

Tentative Course Options

  • DANC 418: Cuban Dance and Culture (fulfills Mason Core: Global Understanding)
    • This course will survey, in situ, Afro-Cuban dance and music of Cuba. Our investigation this winter will be mentored by Reynaldo Gonzales ( who was born and raised in Matanzas, and was a principal dancer with Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas ( We will study traditional dances—folkloric and social—in formal studio settings during the day. In the evenings we will view performances and visit ceremonies (bembes, toques…) or social venues with live music where Cubans engage in these art forms on a regular basis. Video viewing, music listening, reading, and response papers—as laid out in the syllabus below—will serve as preparatory course work for our time in Cuba. At least one pre-travel lecture/demonstration will also be announced prior to our travel.
  • INTS 399: Study Abroad (3 credits)

Program Dates

Winter 2022: December 29 - January 9, 2022 (Tentative)
Summer 2022: May 19 - 29, 2022 (Cancelled)

Tentative Itinerary*

Winter 2022: Travel to Havana & Matanzas
Summer 2022: Travel to Havana & Matanzas OR Santiago de Cuba (Location TBD)

Day 1:  Depart Washington D.C. as a group; Arrive in Cuba

Day 2:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 3: Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 4:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 5:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 6:  Travel Day

Day 7:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 8:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 9:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 10:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 11:  Morning Class, Afro-Cuban Dance | Afternoon Class, Salsa Dance

Day 12:  Depart for the U.S. as a group
*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

Summer 2022: $3300

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 and mandatory fees 
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Visa fees
  • Accommodations
  • Some group meals
  • Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
  • International emergency medical insurance
Not included: 
  • Passport fees 
  • Covid-19 Testing 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Some meals 
  • Personal spending 
  • 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 
  • 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 are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Winter 2022 Deadline: October 10, 2021
Summer 2022 Deadline: March 10, 2022

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

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

GEO Program Administrator

Name Jess Ostrowski-Wright (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.