Do I need a visa?

Yes. You will work with your program manager and submit documentation to Arcadia in order to obtain your travel clearances and visa from the Cuban government. Once all documentation has been collected, Arcadia will submit it on your behalf to secure your visa.

Will I be issued a physical visa in my passport?

The Cuban visa is a separate paper document that will accompany your passport.

What's the weather like?

Summer (June to August) are the hottest months and the heat can seem quite intense. Temperatures can rise to 100 degrees on the Eastern side of the island, which when coupled with high humidity, can be quite unpleasant. Hurricane season is from July to November with September and October being the months with the highest probability of activity. On average, there is more rain in these months, but they usually comes in short afternoon bursts. Cuba's safety record concerning hurricanes is excellent. Cuba is very well prepared for such events and there are excellent evacuation procedures. The rest of the year enjoys beautiful warm weather. December, January, and February are the coolest months of the year with average maximum daily temperature is 77F, and an average of 64F at night. Occasionally, temperatures at night can drop to around 50F in some places.

What should I pack?

Whatever you bring, you carry in two checked luggage bags and one carry-on bag. Be prepared to move your luggage through airports, on and off busses during orientation, and up several flights of stairs to your room.  Here are some tips:

  •    The Leave Half Behind Rule – Select what you think you’ll need and leave half of it behind. Nobody ever complains about having too little luggage.
  •    Layering – Pack lighter clothing that is comfortable, avoiding jeans and other articles of clothing that may compromise comfort in hot and humid weather. A light rain coat is especially useful during hurricane season or throughout the wet months. Shorts and light shirts for men, and light dresses for women offer the most comfort while providing the appropriate level of dress for a university environment. Your program manager will provide more packing suggestions that are vital to life in Cuba.
  •    Use Duffel Bags - with wheels or an internal framed backpack. Closet space will not be as generous as what you are used to, so even if you can get it there, you won't necessarily know where to put it.
  • Be versatile - Student rooms are normally equipped with very little space for storage. Go for multi-purpose clothing.

Will I get the courses that I initially requested?

There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested. Because every program is different, course approval and registration processes vary. Please see your program page details.

Will my credits transfer back home?

Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe – ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need.  For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.

Should I make copies of my papers?

Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to you. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.

Should I take my computer?

You will need to bring a laptop and adapter plug for European wall sockets. In addition, it is crucial to bring a small portable USB drive to transfer files, as printing is very expensive on the island. Faculty typically transfer readings to the students via USB flash drive, and you are expected to work on assignments on your laptop and submit them in the same fashion.

What happens when I arrive overseas?

You and your group will be greeted and collected by Arcadia’s Cuba Resident Director. From the airport, you’ll make your way into central Havana to get settled into the student residence and begin your orientation program, which covers a variety of important topics and includes a welcome dinner and tour of Havana.

Can I still vote while abroad?

Before you leave home, check with the Board of Elections at your County Court House about procedures for voting by absentee ballot. You may want to arrange for a member of your family to pick up the ballot and mail it to you. Visit the Federal Voting Assitance Program for more details.

Do I need a passport?

YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond your program end date.

How can I phone home?

There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home. Please understand that communication in Cuba can be challenging, and internet connections are not as reliable as what you are used to in the U.S.

  • Phone in Student ResidenceStudents will be able to receive free incoming calls directly to the residence. Instructions on calling students are distributed to their family contacts upon student arrival in-country.

When will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?

We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Most transcripts are issued within three months of the end date of the program.

Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines, or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.

How much money will I need?

Given the embargo, swipe card and ATM access is not available in Cuba. You are advised to bring cash for the entirety of their study term. Access to a safe is provided at the student residence, and you can exchange funds for Cuban pesos as needed during the term. For current recommendations on how much money (USD) students should budget to bring on the program, please reach out to a Program Manager.

What about insurance?

Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a comprehensive health and accident insurance plan. Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.