Ready to Go Study Abroad

Whether you’re still deciding on courses or you’re packing your bags, you can always contact our staff to help you along. Yes there is paperwork and yes there are decisions to make around course selection, housing preferences, dates, travel necessities, registration, budgeting and more. Our staff can walk you through it all.

Once you apply to Arcadia, our program managers are in regular contact with you about the status of your application and they send out extensive information that will prepare you to go abroad, including information on culture, politics, history and the local higher education system.

Once you arrive, our staff will meet you and introduce you to your accommodation and your orientation program will begin – to help you settle in academically, practically, culturally and socially.

First! Home school arrangements

  • Let your study abroad advisor know that you are taking part in an Arcadia University program.
  • Cancel any housing or meal contracts for the time you’ll be away and make arrangements to reactivate them when you return.
  • If registration for next year's courses on your home campus will take place while you are abroad, ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made with your registrar or study abroad advisor.

Travel Information

In order to study in Cuba, you are required to have a valid Cuban visa and a passport. Cuba presents unique challenges when it come to travel and documentation, and while this may seem daunting – don’t worry – your program manager is very experienced and will work with you every step of the way. If you are traveling internationally in the months leading up to your program start date, please let your program manager know.

Student Travel

We try to make your travel overseas as easy and affordable as possible. Please note that all students studying in Cuba are required to travel on the group flight arranged by Arcadia.

  • Do not book your flight(s) until you have received confirmation of the program dates from your Program Manager.
  • The Group Flight will depart from either New York City or Miami.
  • You are responsible for making any connecting travel arrangements to your city of departure.


Arcadia will work with you to secure your Student Visa for your semester or summer in Cuba.

  • You are required to submit all requested documentation to Arcadia University.
  • Arcadia will submit documentation on your behalf as part of the visa application process.
  • All students are required to complete this process in order to study abroad with Arcadia University in Cuba.


It’s important to think about all the expenses you are likely to incur while abroad so you and your family can plan ahead. Your program Fees section explains what your program fee does and does not cover, and will provide you with an overall estimate of expected expenses. For example, your airfare to Cuba is not included in your program fee. It is important to note that the Estimate of Additional Expenses information is provided for planning purposes only, and may vary according to your own personal spending habits.

Items to consider

  • Expect to spend money on lunch near the university - inexpensive options are available. The student residence includes breakfast and dinner seven days per week.
  • The University of Havana will provide your books for class; however, you may need to purchase additional materials as needed.

Sample Budget WorksheetExpenses
Full program fee (including $500 deposit) $              
Orientation expenses
Meals (#program weeks _ x $ _ per wk)
Special Courses Fee
Local transport
Personal expenses
Vacation expenses
Total Expenses

Family contribution $              
Your savings
Stafford Loan (deduct 5% for origination fees)
Other financial aid
Other resources
Total Resources


Financial Tips

  • With Cuba’s dual currency monetary system and  unique political situation, managing your money can appear a bit daunting. Your program manager and resident director in Cuba will help you understand and navigate Cuba's foreign currency exchange.
  • Like most other foreign destinations, you can exchange U.S. currency into the local currency. However, Cuban currency is NOT traded internationally, so you can’t buy it in advance. You’ll buy it when you arrive in Cuba.
  • The major legal currency for Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso, CUC. This is what you’ll exchange your U.S. dollars for and use for all of your purchases while in Cuba if you are on the summer program. There is a 10% penalty charged when exchanging US dollars cash in addition to a 3% currency exchange fee.
  • The second legal currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso, CUP. This is the currency you will mostly use as a semester program student, as you are eligible to use it as a semester resident of the island.

Carrying Cash

  • As you cannot exchange your currency until you arrive in Cuba, and U.S. issued debit and credit cards are not accepted in Cuba, you will need to bring cash with you which you will be able to store in the safe provided at the student residence.
  • For current recommendations on how much money (USD) students should budget to bring on the program, please reach out to a Program Manager.
  • The best place to exchange cash is a Bank. The next best exchange rate is at any Cadeca. A Cadeca (Casas de Cambio which means House of Exchange) is a government exchange facility. They're located at airports, many resorts and hotels and at various street locations all over the Island. Your Resident Director will indicate the closest one to the student residence.
  • Students can receive money via Western Union in Cuba from the United States if they exhaust their funds prior to the end of the program.

Debit and Credit Cards

U.S. issued debit and credit cards are not accepted in Cuba. The Cuban government requires the use of convertible Cuban pesos or non-convertible Cuban pesos (“moneda nacional”) for all transactions.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from using credit cards in Cuba. U.S. credit card companies do not accept vouchers from Cuba, and Cuban shops, hotels and other places of business do not accept U.S. credit cards. Neither personal checks nor travelers’ checks drawn on U.S. banks are accepted in Cuba.

In an Emergency

When the program is in session, our Resident Director in Cuba can make emergency loans to students. Students must sign a promissory note and repay the loan as soon as they receive money from home.