Quick Info

  • Havana, Cuba
  • Spring Break
  • : Panther Program
  • : Social Work
  • : Saturday, March 9 - Saturday, March 16, 2019
  • : Generous scholarships offered by the Center on Race and Social Problems. See More Information Below!
  • : Sunday, November 11, 2019
  • : 3.0 GPA, Graduate Students


A one-credit Center on Race and Social Problems study abroad course, Cuban Social Policy Issues, will be offered to graduate students in the School of Social Work for the spring term. The course will focus on several different fields, such as education, public health, gender concerns, social security (i.e., safety net), and social work. Students will meet in Pittsburgh four times before traveling to Cuba. At these meetings students will discuss a book on Cuba and hear lectures by Cuba experts. Early in the course each student will choose a social issue of interest and will then gather information on the topic throughout the course. After re-turning from Cuba, each student will write a research paper on the social issue in Cuba, how it is addressed through policies, programs, and organizations, and possible lessons for the U.S.

On-Site Faculty And Staff

Dr. Larry E. Davis is the Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is the Donald M. Henderson Professor and also the Director of the Center on Race & Social Problems. Dr. Davis came to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2001 from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where he was a professor of social work and psychology and held the E. Desmond Lee Chair in Ethnic and Racial Diversity.

Dr. Valire Copeland is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the associate director of the Public Health Social Work Training Program, and faculty affiliate in the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. She also co-directs the Center for Minority Health’s Cultural Competency, Health Literacy, and Participatory Research Core. She is Co-Director of the Faculty Diversity Seminar, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor.

About the Sponsoring Unit:
The University of Pittsburgh established the Center on Race & Social Problems (CRSP) in 2002 to help lead America further along the path to social justice by conduction race-related research, mentoring emerging scholars, and disseminating race-related research findings and scholarship.  CRSP is multidisciplinary in its approach and multiracial in its focus and was the first race-related research center to be house in a school of social work.



El Costillar de Rocinante (also known as the Journalist Hotel, El Hotelito, and many other names) is your home for the program. Located just 5 minutes on foot from La Universidad de Habana and 15 minutes from the Malecón, El Costillar de Rocinante is a comortable and typical Cuban residence.  A large dining room (with two meals per day included) and a spacious and cool lobby open onto a wrap-around veranda.  Enjoy the Cuban breeze as you work on school work, relax with friends, or chat with other guests at the hotel.  Double rooms (with air conidtioning) open onto a second-floor veranda as well. El Costillar is no Hilton but is a safe and comfortable place to stay in Havana. 

Pricing And Dates

Depart from Pittsburgh:  Saturday, March 9, 2019
Return to Pittsburgh:  Saturday, March 16, 2019

Through the generosity of the Center on Race and Social Problems, students who are accepted to the program and complete the required pre-departure meetings (two Saturdays before departure, dates TBA by application deadline) will receive a full scholarship for the cost of the program.  Please see "Inclusions and Exlcusions" to the right to see additional costs.

Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 1 credit
  • Health insurance
  • Housing in Havana
  • Most breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Group transportation from the airport on arrival and departure days
  • City tour of Havana
  • Round-trip airfare from Pittsburgh to Havana

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Personal expenses ($300)
  • Cuban Tourist Visa ($70)

You must plan to bring cash for all expenses incurred in Cuba.  The use of ATMs, credit cards, and any other form of payment is not permitted.

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

This program is open to graduate students in the school of Social Work who have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.  Undergraduate students interested in applying should contact Penny Miller.



Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Brice Lynn

Walk-In Advising Hours: By Appointment Only

Hey there.  I'm Brice and I'm one of the Assistant Directors at Pitt Study Abroad.  I'm a born-and-raised Pittsburgher (and have the accent to prove it).  My own study abroad experience as a Pitt student took me to Granada, Spain.  Between my host family, the food, and all of the embarrassing language mistakes I made, it turned out to be some of the best months of my life. Now, I'm here to help you make your own study abroad experience a reality.  When I'm not in the office, you can usually find me falling out of yoga poses, riding my bike, and ruining all of these physical activities with a plate of pierogi (extra butter and onions, please).  Get in touch with me at bel18@pitt.edu or 412-383-1029.

Schedule an Appointment With Me