Northwestern Hillel Cuba Seminar 2018

Start Date:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

End Date:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Primary Trip Segments

  • Havana and Trinidad, Cuba

Program Highlights

  • Engage in valuable work at a community center that serves one of Havana’s poorest neighborhoods
  • Attend discussions with local experts that will introduce you to some of the most pressing social, economic and political issues that impact on the island’s development
  • Visit El Patronato, the main Havana synagogue, and meet with the Jewish Community
  • Visit Beth Shalom Temple, considered one of the main centers of the Cuban Jewish Community
  • Trip to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cobblestone streets and pastel colored homes
  • Volunteer at a small farm in Trinidad

Program Description

Trip Duration:

8 days and 7 nights


  • Cuba’s ability to sustain itself has been ever more important due to its geographical and political isolation. Students will gain a better grasp of how the U.S. policy of isolating Cuba for 53 years influenced the country’s economic, healthcare and education systems, as well as its urban and rural infrastructure.
  • The focus of the Seminar will be to genuinely contribute to the lives of Cubans, in both Havana and Trinidad, by engaging in community service activities that deepen the students’ understanding of important social, economic and political trends that will shape the island’s development into the 21st century.

Faculty Leader:

Jonathan Rosenblatt

    Important Deadlines

      • Before February 1, 2018: submit CLI’s Student Information Form
      • Before February 2: submit 500 USD deposit
      • Before February 9: submit first half of program balance
      • Before February 7: submit final half of program balance

Cuba Alternative Break To-Do List

If you would like to enroll in this Cuba Alternative Break, please complete each of the following steps in preparation for your travels. As CLI is a Hillel International partner and helps manage this program’s enrollment and logistical needs, please feel free to contact CLI anytime at 888-781-8383 or email our Director of Enrollment at if you have questions regarding the enrollment process.
  1. Complete CLI’s Student Information Form
    Please complete our Student Information Form as soon as possible, but no later than February 1, 2018. Be sure to enter information exactly as it appears on your passport. In the days and weeks after you submit this form, you will receive several important emails from CLI in preparation for your program. Please be on the lookout for these emails and stay up to date on CLI and Hillel International requests.
  2. Submit your Cuba Alternative Break deposit
    In order to secure your space in this Alternative Break, please click the link below to submit your 500 USD non-refundable deposit by February 2, 2018. Please note that in order to submit your deposit, you must first complete CLI’s Student Information Form (step 1 above). Please use our secure and convenient online payment system (secured by Stripe) to submit your Alternative Break deposit.

    Submit Alternative Break Deposit

  3. Stay current on important travel information
    Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed health and safety information from both the CDC and the U.S. State Department well in advance of your departure to Cuba. When traveling to any foreign country, it is important that you familiarize yourself with relevant health and safety information.
  4. Secure your passport
    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, double check that its expiration date is at least six months after the end of your upcoming Alternative Break. If your passport’s expiration date is within six months of your Alternative Break end date, please renew your passport as soon as possible.
  5. Secure your visa
    Educational activities fall into the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba. However, you are advised to review Cuba’s consular service website Cuban embassy at least two months prior to your Alternative Break’s commencement date.
  6. Consider learning survival Spanish
    A great selection of free Spanish learning resources is available online. Please take time to review and familiarize yourself with the resources available online.
  7. Complete CLI’s Medical Allergies and Dietary Restrictions Form
    Please complete our medical allergies and dietary restrictions form upon reading this prompt. It’s important that your travel logistics providers have access to information regarding any medical allergies you may have or other medical considerations of which we should be aware. Please also use this opportunity to inform us of your dietary restrictions (if any).
  8. Review CLI’s Cuba Pre­-Departure Packet
    Carefully read through the Cuba Pre­-Departure Packet.
  9. Purchase Health Insurance
    All foreigners who travel to Cuba must have insurance that includes medical care. Upon arrival, travelers may be required to present a proof of medical coverage valid for the entire period of their stay in Cuba. This can be presented in the form of an insurance policy, insurance certificate, or medical assistance card. If you do not have this, you will have to purchase a health insurance plan with a Cuban company at the point of entry. For more information on health insurance plans, see this page.