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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate
Recommended GPA: 2.0 Language of Instruction: English
Prerequisite: Priority is given to 3L applicants Study Abroad Contact: Dominique Brown
Program Description:
Cuban money
**Please note: During the selection process, priority is given to 3L applicants.

After 50 years of estrangement and conflict, the United States and Cuba have started the process of normalizing diplomatic, political, and economic relations. Over the next few years, substantial opportunities will open up for American investors, business people, and the lawyers needed to facilitate and provide legal advice for trade and investment transactions.

This course will provide an introduction to Cuba, the evolving Cuban legal system, and the Cuban legal and economic framework regulating foreign investment, trade, and international business transactions. Students will study the Cuban legal, political, and economic system, and recent Cuban legislation and regulatory changes in the areas of foreign investment, migration, small enterprises, and self-employment. In addition, students will study the major legal and regulatory issues in key sectors of the Cuban economy such as tourism, energy, mining, and agriculture, to help prepare them for advising U.S. clients doing business in Cuba. The program will include visits to the Cuban Bar Association, a major Havana law firm, the recently renovated Capitol building (built in 1923 after the U.S. capitol in Washington, DC) where the national legislature meets, and a Cuban court proceeding.

In the evenings, students will have ample opportunities to sample Havana's exciting night life, including its numerous jazz and salsa clubs; enjoy the stunning 17th century colonial architecture of Old Havana; visit a wide array of newly sprung restaurants offering amazing cuisine; attend Cuba's world-renowned National Ballet; and interact with Cubans from all walks of life in the midst of a very exciting historic new chapter in relations between Cuba and the United States.

Born and raised in Cuba, Alberto R. Coll is widely recognized as a leading expert on Cuba. He has traveled to Cuba on academic visits 18 times since 1999, most recently in June 2015, developing extensive connections with Cuba’s legal community, government officials, and private sector. His commentaries on Cuba are often cited on U.S. and international media. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations 2000 Task Force on Cuba, the Council on Foreign Relations 2008 Task Force on Latin America, served on the board of Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, and is a board member of the Cuba Research Center. In 2010, Professor Coll was asked by the Chicago Bar Association to accompany a visiting delegation to Cuba to develop connections with the Cuban Bar. The group included 12 judges, including Justice Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court. Most recently, Professor Coll taught a widely attended week-long course in Havana on the subject of US-Cuba Property and Damage Legal Claims and Alternatives for Resolution and Settlement.

All students will be enrolled in the following course:
Course LAW 593: Cuba: Preparing U.S. Lawyers For Future Foreign Investment, Trade and Business Transactions
Credits 2 credit hours
Term registered Spring 2020
Taught by Professor Alberto R. Coll
Course description This course will focus on Cuba's legal framework for foreign investment, trade and international business transactions. Students will study in detail the Cuban legal, political, and economic system, and recent Cuban legislation and regulatory changes in the areas of foreign investment, migration, small enterprises, and self-employment. In addition, students will study the major legal and regulatory issues in key sectors of the Cuban economy such as tourism, energy, mining, and agriculture, to help prepare them for advising U.S. clients doing business in Cuba.

Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.

Under current U.S. law, 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are allowed: 1) family visits; 2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; 3) journalistic activity; 4) professional research and professional meetings; 5) educational activities; 6) religious activities; 7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; 8) support for the Cuban people; 9) humanitarian projects; 10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; 11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; 12) and certain authorized export transactions.

All students traveling to Cuba as part of the study abroad program require two documents: 1) A US government affidavit stating they you are going to Cuba under category # 5 (educational activities). You can secure that affidavit either online from the US government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or from the airline / air carrier you are flying to Havana. 2) You also need a Cuban visa or permit by the Cuban government to enter Cuba. You can secure this document also from the air carrier/airline you are using. For questions, please contact the air carrier you are using. Currently, most US airlines have regularly scheduled flights to Cuba, and you can make reservations and purchase your Cuba tickets online.

Students are free to explore options likely to be much less expensive than regular hotels through Airbnb. In fact, last year, all of the program's students used the services of Airbnb to secure housing. Airbnb is authorized by the US government to operate in Cuba, and it provides access to reasonably priced private lodgings with hospitable Cuban families. Neighborhoods that are within reasonable distance of the University of Havana include Vedado, Malecon, Centro Habana, y Habana Vieja. The Havana public transportation system is unreliable, so students should make every effort to live within reasonable walking distance of the University.

The University of Havana's address is: Corner of L and 27 streets. Participants should use Google Maps to track the address of the university in relation to any private lodgings they may be considering.


Cuban Bar Association: how the Cuban Bar is organized and structured, and key legal and regulatory issues facing the Bar as it seeks to provide legal services in a changing legal, economic, and social environment.
Havana Law Firm: the practice of law and the structure and workings of law firms in Cuba; different kinds of legal cases law firms handle in the Cuban legal system; challenges and rewards of operating in a law firm in the Cuban system.
The Capitol (site of the national legislature): how the Cuban legislature functions in the discussion and passage of laws; an analysis of the differences between how the Cuban legislature operates in comparison to other legislative bodies in Latin America.
A Cuban court proceeding: students will be able to observe a court proceeding. Prior to the start of the proceeding, they will hear a presentation on the proceeding’s contents and key issues, and reflect on some of the basic differences between the Cuban and U.S. legal systems.


All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.


If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require travelers to obtain visas. In that case, contact the local consulates or embassies of the countries you will be visiting for up-to-date instructions on how to apply for them.

Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
  • To save money and get the best out of your lodging experience, choose AirBnb rather than going through a travel agency.
  • Try and find a place within two to three blocks of the University as there is so much nearby (big hotels and lots of restaurants) and it is easy to get to the beach and into old Havana.
  • Carry toilet paper and soap sheets everywhere you go, and don't flush paper as their plumbing system is not very developed.
  • There is a lot of walking, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes!
  • Obtain a cursory understanding of the language.
  • Some restaurants change prices if you are a tourist, but they are required to have menus with the price and currency listed so always ask for it.
  • There are two currencies that have similar names but the exchange rate is vastly different (24:1), so know which currency you are required to use based on location.
  • The in-class learning is very fast paced, so make sure to stay on track and ask questions if needed.
  • Bring gifts to tip with like packs of gum or American candy.
  • Download maps of Cuba on your phone prior to travel.
  • Bring lots of cash, most places do not accept credit cards and there are no ATMs.
  • Be sure to bring medicine for all sorts of ailments (especially for stomach issues).
  • Stock up on snacks, coffee, and tea, because grocery stores are not as widespread in Cuba.
  • Be ready to negotiate on taxi fares!
  • If you plan to keep your trip low-key and visit the basic tourist attractions, $500-$800 should be enough money to bring.
  • Be adventurous with cultural activities, cuisine and read as much as you can about the Cuban culture.
  • Call your airline for visa requirements ASAP!
  • You can get up to 3 internet cards per day for $1 each at the government ETECSA stands. You will need a passport or ID to make this purchase.
  • Do not eat the street food to avoid getting sick, and try your best to stick to bottled water.

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.

Dates / Deadlines:

Thank you for your interest in this program! We are not currently accepting applications. In general, applications open about 6 months before program application deadlines.

This program is currently not accepting applications.