Cuba

June 19, 2017

Since individual travel is now prohibited to Cuba, we will be reinstating our group trips.  Call or email us to register for  our November 1 – 9, 2017 group Cuba trip. This is a People to People legally licensed trip including Havana, Viñales Valley, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Only 14 places available, and registration suggested by August 15

 

YOUR CHANCE TO STUDY IN CUBA!
Because of the U.S. restrictions of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, we can offer Spanish study in Cuba in a specific way through Language Link.  Spanish study trips to Cuba following the restrictions for U.S. citizens to travel under a People to People license are now available, starting on the date of your choice and from one to four weeks. 

You will travel under an approved category of a general license by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, which authorizes legal Cuba travel for U.S. citizens.  You will receive a letter documenting your participation.   U.S. law requires all travelers joining this program to adhere to the full time schedule of meaningful contact with the Cuban people, and you will be under the auspices of Language Link, a recognized U.S. organization which sponsors educational trips.

ABOUT CUBA

If you would like full information sent in PDF form about this school or any other school, please send your request to info@langlink.com   Thank you!  We want you to be completely informed to make the best choice

Why Cuba?  Because finally everyone, even U.S. Americans, can study Spanish in Cuba through Language Link in a completely legal, approved way.  U.S. Americans can now make an independent educational trip under the auspices of Language Link, according to the March 16, 2016, announcement of the U.S. government.

Not only is Cuba a beautiful country, it also has a population that is very friendly and hospitable in spite of the economic difficulties it has undergone in the past years.  It’s a country of music, poetry, dance, song and chats.  People still have time for each other and for their guests.  Cuba is like going back in time to the 50’s – vintage cars, a relaxed atmosphere, no hurry.  Apart from that, Cuba has a Caribbean climate.  All year round you can enjoy its beautiful beaches.

The materialistic climate will take a while to develop, so now is your chance to experience some of the real Cuba before that happens.  It is not necessarily the easiest country for in which to study Spanish, but you can be assured that it will be one of the most interesting!

About Havana

Havana, or La Habana, is called a city of faded glory, but it is just as much the city of unbridled high spirits.  After years of undeniable decline, this impressive metropolis, now included in the UNESCO list of World Monuments, is rising like a phoenix from its ashes.   Havana is a city one has to learn to appreciate.  It is a melting pot of cultures and races, an open-air museum still under the strict direction of the government.  Apart from the picturesque Havana Vieja and the famous Malecón (the immense boulevard that is considered to be the living room of Havana) you should take time to get to know other parts of the city such as Vedado.  This is the part of Havana where the host families live and where you will find many art deco buildings that would be considered national monuments in many countries.

Vedado is where all classes and accommodations are arranged.  It is a beautiful residential neighborhood and considered as the current Havana downtown, the area of business, commerce and nightlife.  It contrasts Old Havana with its cosmopolitan and lively style.  The district is very diverse, with a number of cultural centers, restaurants, theaters and parks.  There are many opportunities for entertainment.  Most banks, airlines and travel agencies are located in this area, making it the most convenient of the city, and it includes the Hotel Nacional, the University of Havana, the National Theater of Cuba and the Colon Cemetery.  The distance to Old Havana is just 10 minutes by car (try a vintage car taxi!) or coco-taxi and thirty minutes walking.

Other School Locations in Cuba

Trinidad – Trinidad, due to its history, is a “museum town”, but surprisingly lively place of 50,000 inhabitants.  It is the best preserved Spanish colonial town in Cuba and therefore offers a wonderful atmosphere.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Its colonial atmosphere, crafts, rustic streets and historical roots transport you to a different time.  The town is also close to a beautiful beach and a valley filled with former sugar cane plantations.  Most students fly into Havana, (overnight host family arranged if needed), and then take a bus to Trinidad (5 hours).  There are also local light-aircraft flights between Havana and Trinidad.

Santiago de Cuba – This is the second largest city in Cuba with a population of 420,000 inhabitants.  Its large natural harbor has made it an important port for almost five centuries.  During the 19th century French settlers arrived and contributed to the melting pot of Haitian, African and Spanish influences that have made this Cuba’s most Caribbean city.  Santiago represents the origin of all that Cuba means today – revolution, hospitality and music.  It is the birthplace of many artists and popular heroes.  There are diverse activities combining adventure, trekking and diving with ecotourism.  To arrive from Havana is a long bus ride of 16 hours.  There are also flights to the Holguin Airport from Havana, with a 3 hour long shuttle ride to reach Santiago.  An overnight Havana host family stay can be arranged if needed.

Travel to Havana

Airport transportation from the Havana airport and return are offered for a fee by the school.

Airfare is a situation which is rapidly changing, especially in the area of flights from the U.S.  There a a few regularly scheduled flights departing from the U.S., but none of these fly into Havana.  You can fly into other Cuban cities.  To reach Havana, as of September, 201,, U.S. citizens may fly only through Mexico or Canada or on charter flights leaving directly from the U.S., many from Miami.  It is quite easy to connect through Mexico City or Cancun.  If you prefer to leave directly from the U.S. to Havana, you will have to directly contact one of the charter companies.  They are not always responsive and will only announce their schedule about two months in advance. 

About the School

StudyTeam Cuba has offered Spanish courses in Cuba since 1997.  Their purpose is to make a Spanish course in Cuba an adventure like never before!   The programs offered are either intensive mini group classes or individual lessons.  All teachers are native Cubans, highly educated speakers and have been well trained in language teaching to foreigners.  StudyTeam makes a special effort to have carefully selected host families in the best neighborhoods for a real experience of local lifestyle.  There are dance and music classes to be added for a complete immersion in the artistic Cuban culture.  Excursions are offered to help make your stay enjoyable and also to directly learn of the rich culture of Cuba.

Style of Teaching – The approach is communicative, with high emphasis on conversational fluency.  The cultural level and teaching methods, plus talent and personality, of the teachers have always impressed the most demanding students.  Many comment that these are the best teachers they have ever had. Students learn to speak in meaningful, real-life situations.

Levels Offered - All levels of Spanish ability are welcome, from complete beginners to very advanced.  You will have an oral and written evaluation at the beginning of your course to ensure proper placement and teacher assignment.

Class Size and Hours - The maximum number of students per class is THREE!  There is a minimum of 2.  Private classes are available, and Language Link encourages them, as the cost is only slightly more than a group.

Group or private classes begin at 8:30 a.m.  There is also an afternoon schedule available.

Materials - It is important to note that provided materials are simple, as this is characteristic of the chronic shortages of Cuba.  Grammar books are only available during class hours.  Students are advised to bring their own pen, paper, the grammar book of their choice, and a simple small dictionary.

Calendar - Classes can be started any Monday, year round.  Any number of weeks is possible, from one to four.  To study longer than 30 days requires a visa extension.  Please note that only private classes are permitted if your stay is only of one week.  Group lessons have a minimum of two weeks.

National Holidays - Classes will not be provided on these days, and classes will not be made up (except private classes)  Jan 1 – Liberation Day, Mar 8 – International Women’s Day, April 14 - Good Friday of Holy Week, May 1 - Labor Day, Jul 26 – National Revolution Day, Dec 25 – Christmas Day

Academic Credit - This may be available and is in the approval process.

Students - Statistics are before being open to the U.S. market, so we predict that this will change. Although people of all ages come to study, the average age of current students is 30 years. They mainly come from the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan.  There is no maximum age limit.  The minimum age is 18, although younger students may study if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Activities - Please note that under the program descriptions, you can do add on programs of cultural and social visits.  These are scheduled in the weekday afternoons.  There are also dance and music (guitar) classes offered.

Welcome Meeting – 8:30pm of your first Monday.  There will be a general orientation meeting where you will be given much practical information such as where to change money into pesos convertibles (CUC), information about taxis, buses, trains, international phone calls, internet use, nightlife and excursions. 

Every Thursday – 8:30 pm.  All students gather to make plans for the weekend and to share excursions in taxis. 

Courses and Descriptions

It is important to note that classes are always held at a LOCAL HOME, either in the teacher’s home or in the house of a host family.  Students are informed about the location of their classes upon arrival.  In Havana all are in the Vedado area.  There is a designated meeting point at Avenida Universidad 456 entre J y K, Plaza de la Revolución, Vedado, Ciudad Habana.

Group lessons with three participants maximum, minimum two, of 20 lessons per week, 4 lessons daily.  Each lesson is 50 minutes and includes other students at your same level. There is a minimum of two weeks study in the group lessons class.

Group Plus lessons as above, but with two added hours of private classes daily. 

One on one private classes, four hours daily.  If you are studying only for one week, this is the necessary class, as group classes have a 2 week minimum.

Two on one private ​classes, four hours daily.   If you are studying only for one week and you are your travel companion are at the same Spanish level then this is an option.

ADD ONS per week – the following may only be booked with a language course

        Language and Social Projects in Havana – Three visits to provide you with a close encounter with Cuban reality and community projects.  Projects can include such as an organic, collective farm, a local artist studio, public hospital, recreational centers, etc.  Visits include either social interaction or hands-on experience.  Projects to visit are assigned according to availability and are usually held in the afternoons.  You can spread your three visits over a two week period.  IMPORTANT - this program has a minimum of two weeks of study as well as an intermediate level of Spanish.  Please do not include the cost of this add on in your deposit calculation.

           Dance Classes (salsa, son, rumba, mambo) – 1 hour daily, total of 5 hours per week. Teachers for these classes are qualified through the Escuela Nacional de Arte.

           Music Classes (percussion or guitar) – 1 hour daily, total of 5 hours per week.  In Santiago voice lessons are possible.

Lodging

Your best choice for lodging is a host family stay.  Because of the high demand and cost for hotel rooms in Cuba just now, alternative housing is very difficult to arrange.  Your Cuban experience will be much more authentic with selected host families who live in spacious homes with some of the highest standards possible.  A host family can be an elderly couple, a younger couple with children, a single mother with children, a widow etc.  All families have an official license to welcome foreigners into their homes.  No family address is provided before arrival, but will be given to you at the meeting point.  (This is why we encourage you to do the airport transfer arranged by the school, as your driver will take you directly to this point.)

Living with a Host Family

Single, double (and twin) rooms    (double rooms must be booked together at the same time)
Half board (breakfast and dinner) included
Dinner served 6:30pm – 8pm
All rooms have air conditioning or a fan
Most rooms have a private bathroom.  We can request, but not guarantee.
Towels and sheets are provided.
Laundry is not included, but families will take care of it for a small charge.
All homes are in the same area and within walking distance to class and from each other.

Fee Schedule in EUROS

PLEASE NOTE that fees are given in EUROS.  Except for your deposit paid to Language Link, it is not possible to pay in U.S. dollars.  Because of the constantly changing exchange rates, we feel it most fair to quote fees in euros.  Your deposit will be charged in U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of the day in which we receive your registration.  See xe.com for the current euro-USD rate.  Your balance is due at least two weeks before arrival.  You must do this in the form of a wire transfer in euros to the school in Europe with an account in Spain.  We will send full information with your confirmation.

Your deposit is 25% of the school registration fee, Spanish classes, dance, or music classes.  If you add on Social Service courses, please do not include this cost in your deposit calculation.
The school registration fee is €85.  This is added to class costs and is part of 25% your deposit. 

Your lodging deposit is 10%.  Please do not add any deposit for airport transfers.

PLEASE ADD TO YOUR DEPOSIT A Language Link RECORDS FEE OF €25.  This is necessary due to the administrative cost of a Cuba program.

As a special Language Link bonus, PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU BOOK CLASSES PLUS LODGING, we have negotiated  €25 EUROS deducted from your balance due!  This will be clearly shown in your confirmation.

​2017 Fees

Add €25 Language Link Records Fee

Add €85 School Registration Fee

Deduct €25 if you book a homestay with your courses

COURSES 1 week 2 weeks additional wk
Mini group 4 hrs daily n/a €415 €120
One to one €325 €475 €150
ADD ONS per week    
Social/Cultural Project 3 visits  (Havana location only) Intermediate level required not available €70 for 3 visits *do not include in deposit calculation
Dance 5 hrs €83    
Music €102    

LODGING

Host Families, 2 meals

1 week   (6 nights) 2 weeks (13 nights) Extra week
Double room, booked together (extra night €38) €228 €494 €266

Single room    (extra night €51)

€306 €663 €357
  Havana Santiago Trinidad

​Airport transfer one way only, per person
€39 €20 €10

Cuba Registration

Please scroll down to see the link to online registration.

Register through Language Link, and you benefit from our professional expertise and sponsorship to allow U.S. Americans to legally study in Cuba.  You will also enjoy fast, easy, knowledgeable communication, as well as a U.S. connection.

Your deposit is the 25€ Language Link records fee plus 25% of the total of classes, add ons (except Social Service) and registration fee, plus 10% of the total of lodging.  This is paid with your registration in US dollars and may be paid with a credit card.  The amount is calculated at the euro to the dollar exchange rate of the day. Your balance due is payable 2 weeks in advance of arrival and paid directly to the school by wire transfer in Euros.  We cannot accept balance payments by credit card or arrange your balance transfer except by special arrangement and an additional fee.

The process is easy.  Simply complete the registration form, send to Language Link at info@langlink.com, and make your deposit with a credit card or send a check to Language Link, 2008 W. Kellogg Ave., Peoria IL 61604.

For the sake of your security, please call us at 800.552.2051 to give us credit card information for your deposit, should you choose to pay that way.  You can always call us for help with the registration form at the same number.

We will contact you within 3 days of receiving your registration, and we will confirm the deposit amount with you before making any charge.  Later you will receive a prompt confirmation and full information with details of your course and balance due.  It will also include a packing list, contact information and airport pickup instructions.  You will pay your balance at least 2 weeks in advance of arrival, and we will send instructions about making this payment.

REFUND POLICY

If you must cancel up to 15 days before the course, $100 of the deposit will be reserved as a cancel fee.  If you cancel 15 days or less before the course and have paid the balance for your course, $200 of what you have paid will be applied to a cancelation fee and the balance returned.  Three business days prior to the start of the course or lodging, no fees paid are refundable.  (Reservations in Cuba are in high demand and costly to cancel).

Register online now or call us at 1.800.552.2051 and let us register you by telephone.  Please note that if you use the online registration the Cuba choices will be at the end of the school listings in the school choice.