Spring Break in Cuba

Trip to Havana, Cuba:  March 5-9, 2017

Twenty Stetson Law students will be selected to participate in the Spring Break study abroad program in Cuba. The class will be held in the Spring semester once per week, culminating in the five-day, four-night trip to Havana, Cuba from March 5-9, 2017. One additional class meeting will be held after returning from Cuba, and a reflection paper will be required to earn credit for this course. 

The Spring Break in Cuba study abroad program is only available to 2L and 3L Stetson students.

Course:  The Cuban Legal System and Society (1 credit)
Instructor:  Jason Palmer 

This course will give law students the opportunity to study the historical underpinnings of the Cuban legal system and society, including gaining an understanding of the current legal system in Cuba. Students will gain a substantive understanding of Cuban laws, US-Cuba policy, Cuban society, and current legal issues relating to Cuba. This will include the following:

  • A comparative perspective on US and Cuban law that includes a comparison of the common law with civil law
  • A study of the evolution of the legal profession and law in Cuba that will trace the history from the time before the Cuban revolution until the reforms of 1973 that banned private legal practice and required lawyers who wanted to practice to join legal collectives
  • Understanding the role of “lay judges” who serve beside professional judges in Cuba’s civil code system
  • Studying the change in Cuban laws brought about by the downfall of the Soviet Union that eventually led to the Constitutional amendments of 1992, which legislated for the first time that individuals could own private property and provided a non-discrimination clause based on religion but still kept a fairly firm control on Cuban society
  • Studying the development of Cuban society from before the revolution up to present day – including the underground that has developed as access to the Internet has grown
  • Studying the human rights violations that are alleged to occur in Cuba.
  • Studying the possibility for future economic development in Cuba.

Tuition for this program is in addition to the normal full-time Spring tuition rate. Please see the Student Budget below.

Selection Process

Program participants will be chosen through a process that will be based on a review of each applicant’s personal statement, answers to questions 4 and 5 on the application, and a short interview with Professor Palmer and Director of International Programs JR Swanegan.

» Student Budget

» Online Application

Deposit and Tuition Refund

A participant's application in the Spring Break in Cuba study abroad program requires an accompanying deposit of $200 for tuition and $100 for housing; these amounts are applied to a participant's tuition and housing costs, respectively. Once an applicant has been accepted, all deposits are nonrefundable.

Students are obligated to pay tuition and housing as of Dec. 15, 2016. Any attempt to withdraw from the program after that date will not discharge the student's obligation for payment of the tuition and housing.