Ohio University

Cuba: Food in Cuba, Policy and Practice

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Program Feature

Gen Ed

Program Term

Spring Break

Program Type

OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

Sustainability, Food, and Environment

For more information, contact:  

Theresa Moran  
Program Director    

Art Trese  
Program Director    

Cherita King  
Senior Program Coordinator    


Fruit market


With 80% of the world’s population now living in cities, urban areas are increasingly important places in developing ecologically sustainable food systems. Cuba provides a fascinating and compelling case study in the challenges and opportunities of feeding urban populations through nearby agricultural production sites. 

This program examines issues of food access, food security and food sovereignty in the urban context and in this Havana program, the socio-political and cultural framework and policies that enabled Cuba to develop its urban farming system will be examined. The program will examine claims that Cuba’s urban agricultural production is small-scale, diversified and largely organic as a result global politics and well as national policies. 

The health, socio-cultural and labor market benefits that are purported to accompany this focus on urban agricultural production, including innovations in agroecology, and advances in developing a more environmentally sustainable society will also be examined. Changes in public policies and food subsidies arising from the unforeseeable consequences of Soviet collapse and the American embargo will be investigated. The benefits of Cuba’s urban agricultural system have been internationally researched. 

Cuba, is now opening its economy to American trade and consumer products. Questions regarding policies to both promote and protect agriculture and public health arise. This program examines the Cuban urban agriculture phenomenon and looks for lessons and best practices both in terms of the mechanics of sustainable agricultural production and within the sociocultural and political framework supporting the urban food system. 

Living Arrangements 

Students will stay in shared residencias- student housing.        

Program Dates 

Spring Break 2021 TBD 


Students will choose from the following courses to earn a total of 3 credit hours. 

  • T3 4414: The True Value of Food  
  • CAS 1410: Food Matters: Explorations in Food Across the Liberal Arts  
  • PBIO 4900: Special Topics in Environmental and Plant Biology  
  • PBIO 2900 :  Special Topics in Environmental and Plant Biology    


The program fee for this program includes: Student airfare, accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, two group additional group meals, (Columbus, OH to Havan Cuba), Cuban entry visa, airport transfer, excursion, welcome dinner, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 3 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet 2018

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  

Funding Opportunities 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program is open to all majors. Applicants must be in good judicial standing and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Participants must be enrolled degree-seeking students of the institution at the time of travel.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. Entry and exit requirements for Spain can be found  here

While there are restrictions on travel to Cuba, students participating in the program will be able to travel to Cuba under a general license for educational travel.  Students must stick to the program itinerary and cannot plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates. 

US citizens will need a visa to enter the country for the length of this program. You may need to show sufficient funds to support yourself while in-country. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here