Havana is an endlessly fascinating location in which to learn Spanish. The capital of Cuba, Havana was colonised by the Spanish in the 16th Century and became key in the conquest of other lands in Latin America. One of the most important cities in the Caribbean, Havana is famed for vintage cars, cigars and a vibrant, colourful culture.
Whilst it certainly draws in tourists and offers a wealth of museums and other cultural attractions, perhaps what is most attractive about Havana is its authenticity. Havana’s history is etched onto the buildings; a strange, yet delightful mix of architectural styles. Present day Havana may appear a little faded from colonial grandeur, but this only adds to the appeal, helping it outshine many more ‘polished’ cities. To truly believe and appreciate Havana is to experience it first hand and what better way to do this than fully immersed on a Spanish language course?
Our Spanish programmes in Havana are a little different to most of our other courses. There is no central school building, as your lessons will take place in your teacher’s home, or in the home of one of the host families, all of whom live in the area of Vedado, the downtown area of the city. You will be given the contact details of the local coordinator, whose job it is to assist and support students throughout their stay in the Cuban capital.
Our Spanish courses in Havana usually take place in either the teacher’s home or in one of the host family’s homes. Groups are kept very small (maximum 3 students per class) to ensure that students receive as much individual attention from the teacher as possible. Your teacher will be a fully-qualified, native Cuban teacher.
You can choose to take group lessons, private lessons, or a combination of the two. Generally, as group sizes are so small, most students choose the ‘Intensive’ course of 20 group lessons per week.
Our school also offers a special ‘Spanish + Salsa’ course, which, as well as language lessons, includes 5 mini-group or private (depending on student numbers) dance lessons per week.
Another popular course is ‘Spanish + Music’, wherein you can take percussion or guitar lessons alongside your Spanish course.
Finally, if you attend a language course for a minimum of 2 weeks and have at least an ‘intermediate’ level of Spanish, then you could take part in volunteer work alongside your course. Examples of typical projects include collective farms, local artist studios, public hospitals, recreational centres etc. Of course, the placement will depend on availability at the time.
In Havana, the host families are all located in the area of Vedado, within walking distance of old town Havana. Of course, staying with a Cuban host family will help you learn Spanish more quickly, as well as enable you to meet Cubans more easily and give you an insight into the local culture and daily life in Cuba.
Before you arrive in Havana, you will be provided with the contact details of the local coordinator, as well as the address of the meeting point where you will need to meet him on arrival. From here, the local coordinator will take you straight to your accommodation and will introduce you to your host family. Please note that the accommodation address is not usually provided in advance.
Our colleagues in Havana meet with students regularly to discuss what activities they would like to take part in. Our colleagues then assist students in arranging these activities. Possibilities include guided city tours, swimming, trips to the beach and trips to tobacco farms. Please note that activities may incur an additional charge to cover costs. Most activities will require a minimum number of participants in order to proceed.
Fly into Havana Airport and take a taxi to the meeting point. The journey should take approx. 30 minutes. Alternatively, an airport transfer can be arranged for an additional charge.