Create, shoot and edit your own documentary film in a landscape with a rich cultural and political history.
21st century Havana is a city of contradictions — steeped in tradition but on the verge of a radical change in cultural direction. From rhumba and salsa, Revolution-era art and literature to the recent opening of American influence, Havana is a landscape that is overflowing with possibilities for documentary storytelling — and it’s yours to discover.
"By studying abroad, you'll be faced with the big challenge of a finding a story in a new place where you don't know anyone, don't know the culture, or even don't speak the language. You need to take a lot of walks around the city and walk up to strangers to be able to find stories and subjects. It trains you to look around, open your eyes for stories and to not be afraid to approach people. It's also a good reminder as you meet and interview people that we all have the same wants, needs and fears in life no matter what culture we are from."
— Ilona Szekeres, spring 2018
The documentary video production course, offered in collaboration with the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the Cuban National Institute of Film and Television (ICAIC), and the University of Havana, takes you through all the crucial steps from the development of ideas and research through editing and post-production. In addition, you attend screenings of Cuban documentaries, workshops, master classes, and class discussions exploring various aspects of documentary practice and Cuban cinema.
Outside the classroom, you live in a historic Cuban ‘casa particular’ with a Cuban family and other students, centrally located within walking distance to the campus of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba and the University of Havana.
Your semester abroad consists of your core program course and three additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16-18 unit semester.
Charter Flight/Student Arrival: Sunday, January 27, 2019
Charter Flight/Student Departure: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Arrival and departure dates are subject to change.
Tisch Film/TV Majors: Sight & Sound Doc (FMTV-UT 80) and one more Sight & Sound of your choice, Production Safety & Set Protocol (FMTV-UT 101)
NYU and Visiting students: Fundamentals of Digital Filmmaking (OART-UT 560) or college level experience in film production.
Please note: one college-level Spanish class is highly recommended in advance of the semester.
The application for spring 2019 is closed.
For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.
Application: Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.
- Academic Year 2018-2019 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $27,176
Additional Fees Include:
- Nonrefundable Registration and Services Fee: $1,286
- Program Fee: $649
- Media & Production Fee (Documentary): $602
- NYU Housing (doubles, includes 2 meals per day): $6,815
- Required group flight to/from Havana from New York (we are leaving from JFK): Approx. $750
Tickets from group flight are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Meals: $1,000-$2,000
- CSI Insurance $155
Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.
Visit the NYU Office of the Bursar for more information on tuition and fees.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.
Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.
Food in Cuba
Meat and carbohydrates are staples in the Cuban diet. While fruit is plentiful, and it is possible to get vegetables at certain food markets, it is easier for students to purchase fruit than vegetables but both come at a higher cost as they are not readily available as they are in New York. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have special dietary restrictions, please contact Tisch Special Programs to discuss food options.
You will be housed in the Vedado district of Havana in home-stays (casas particulares). Students are provided with breakfast and dinner at their casas.
- Double bedroom
- Breakfast and dinner included in program costs
- Limited laundry facilities on-site
- No internet available in residence*
- Rooms furnished with linens and towels included
- No overnight guests allowed
*Internet access is unreliable across Cuba. There is no internet available in the casas particulares; intermittent wifi connection is available nearby for an additional cost.