W20 Havana, Cuba – Cultural & Language Immersion



Trip Destination


Approximate Price

$1699 +/- ($500 BWR grant applied)

Trip Date




Application Deadline


Cost Information

Cost for Domestic Students: $500-$1000 (includes IFS + BWR Course)
Cost for International Students: $1000 (includes IFS + BWR Course)
Cost for Students Not Willing to Take the BWR Course: ~$5000 (Full amount of IFS)

Program Information

This opportunity is available to all Niagara College students and alumni within 6 months of graduation. Please note that part-time students are not eligible for the Be World Ready Grant.

Physical Intensity



Steps to Apply

W20 Havana, Cuba – Cultural & Language Immersion

An island brimming with vibrant art, soul-stirring music and villages cloaked in colonial charm. Home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a population as warm and scintillating as its tropical climate and colorful arts!

Travel Visa + Immigration Documentation:

Students are responsible for researching and applying for any required visa(s) on their own; Be World Ready is not able to apply for any travel visa(s) on your behalf. Be World Ready will provide you with supporting documentation as needed to apply for a Visa once the deadline to register has passed. All international students will need to ensure that their Study Permits and Student Visas are not expired before the date of return from the international experience, to ensure that there are no challenges upon reentry to Canada. Travel restrictions and requirements for entry to Canada may change at any time. All travellers are responsible for remaining up to date with any restrictions and requirements for travel and re-entry to Canada leading up to and throughout their International Field Study. Niagara College Canada will assume no responsibility for any changes to governing body travel restrictions, required documentation for travel or any refused entry as a result of change. Travellers are encouraged to review the Government of Canada Website for the latest restrictions and requirements for entry to Canada, as well as to check entry requirements to their destination country as a Canadian citizen.

Day 1| Havana

February 22, 2020

Hola Havana! Pack your bags and prepare for the trip of a lifetime! As you board your direct flight to Havana from Toronto, prepare to visit the authentic side of Cuba as we look beyond the ‘all inclusive’ side of this beautiful country. You will spend the week learning about the diverse history of Cuba, spending time with wonderful local people, sharing stories over delicious food and maybe even squeeze in a dance lesson or two.

Direct flight to Havana
Arrive at Iberostar Habana Riviera for a 1 week stay
Day 2| Havana

February 23, 2020

Buenos dias! This morning we begin our day with an incredible tour of Old Havana. Have your cameras ready as you set out to visit the historical and colonial parts of Old Havana. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, take a step back in time as you walk through Francisco de Asis Square, the magnificent Arms Square, The Cathedral Square, Obispo Street, Ambos Mundos Hotel and many more amazing sights.

Following an amazing lunch at Café Opera Restaurant, you will visit the Callejon de Hamel where you might be lucky enough to see a demonstration of the Rumba, a typical Cuban dance. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Panoramic Tour of Old Havana
Lunch at Café Opera Restaurant
The Capitolio
Museum of the City
Café Opera Restaurant
Callejon De Hamel
Day 3| Havana

February 24, 2020

This morning we begin our day by doing a panoramic tour of Modern Havana.  Compare the different sides of Havana by touring the metropolitan and modern areas of the city including The University of Havana, The Revolution Square, the famous “Malecon” seawall promenade and the Vedado Residential from a vintage car!

For lunch, we test our culinary skills as we take part in a cooking class at La Foresta Restaurant.

Following our delicious lunch, we visit a local Cuban school to interact with students. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Panoramic tour of Modern Havana from a vintage car
Cooking Class and Lunch at La Foresta Restaurant
Visit to a Cuban school
Day 4| Vinales

February 25, 2020

Today we leave Havana and head out to the countryside of Cuba to visit Vinales Valley, located in Pinar del Rio Province. The Valley of Vinales is the region with the highest tobacco production in Cuba. Located in Western Cuba, fields with tall palm trees and extensive tobacco plantations are a part of the lush landscape as you venture into the heart of the jungle and visit the true Cuba. Highlights of the trip out to Vinales include a stop at Los Jazmines Lookout to take pictures, a tour of VinalesTown, a visit to the Indian Cave by boat and a visit to the prehistoric wall.

Upon our return to Havana, the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Day trip to Vinales Valley
Stop at Los Jazmines Lookout to take pictures
Panoramic tour of Vinales Town
Visit to the Indian Cave with a boat trip
Visit to the Prehistoric Wall
Lunch included at a local restaurant


Day 5| Vinales

February 26, 2020

Get your cameras ready as today we prepare to take a step back in time as we retrace the steps of Ernest Hemingway. As we go in search of the Hemingway route, we will visit places that became famous by Hemingway such as his home-Casa MuseoFinca La Vigia where he wrote “For whom the bells ring”, “Through the river and among the trees” and “The Old Man and the Sea”. The tour continues in Cojimar, east of Havana. Cojimar, whose name comes from the Arauco language,  meansentry of water into fertile land. Here is where we will visit the Hemingway Monument. This iconic monument was erected by Fernando Boada in 1962. The bust rests on a limestone pedestal and was cast by the sculptor using bronze propels donated by the fishermen of Cojimar. We break for lunch at Paladar BodegonLas Brisas and return to the hotel after lunch.

After some free time at the hotel, we depart for the Fortress of the Cabin. The construction of this impressive fortress began in 1763 by military engineer Silvestre Abarca but was named after King Carlos III. On route to this iconic fortress, we will see Paseo del Prado and the Tunnel of the Bay of Havana. We will stop for a great photo op outside the Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro. Enjoy free time to explore La Cabana Fortress.

Hope you are hungry! Tonight we go to dinner at La DivinaPastora Restaurant. Enjoy a delicious meal and some time together with your new friends before heading back to the Fortress of La Cabana to see a Cannon Ceremony.  With exact precision, everyday of the year at 9:00pm since 1898, the Fortress of La Cabana has witnessed this unique event. Minutes before the appointed time, a drum roll is heard and then the impressive majesty soldiers appear forming a squad while dressed in the style of the time, to maintain and continue this important tradition.

Hemingway Tour
Hemingway Monument
Lunch at Paladar Bodegon Las Brisas
Fortress la Cabana
Dinner at La Divina Pastora Restaurant
Cannon Ceremony


Day 6| Las Terrazas

February 27, 2020

Lace up your sneakers as you embark on a day trip to Las Terrazas. Las Terrazas is a pioneering ecovillage that dates back to a restoration project in 1968. Today, Las Terrazas is a UNESCO-Biosphere Reserve that attracts visitors from all over the world. Upon arrival, you will visit Rancho El Curujey where everyone will be met with a welcome cocktail and will learn all about the community project of Las Terrazas. From here, you will tour the Las Terrazas community, visit the Moka Hotel and the San Juan River. Lunch will be included.

Upon return to the hotel, the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Tour of Las Terrazas
Lunch included
Day 7| Havana
February 28, 2020

Today is a bittersweet day as we head out for our final day of exploring in the beautiful Havana. We kick off our morning with a tour of a tobacco factory, followed by a visit to the rum museum. At the Rum Museum we will take part in a specialized tour and cap it off with a rum drink.

Next, we visit the San Jose Handcraft Market. This market is located in large warehouses that were built in 1885 on Avenidadel Puerto and have since been converted into functional installations to display beautiful works of art and crafts from local vendors. Be sure to bring some spending money!

After picking up a few souvenirs to mark our great journey through Havana, we will have lunch at Paladar Café Laurent one final time as a group.

This afternoon, we put on our dancing shoes and go to Club Chevere to take a dancing class with Cuban teachers and dancers.

Upon return to the hotel, the remainder of your day will be at your leisure.

Breakfast at hotel
Tour of a tobacco factory
Tour of the rum museum
Visit San Jose Handcraft Market
Lunch at Paladar Café Laurent
Dance lessons at Club Chevere


Day 8| Depart for Toronto

February 29, 2020

This morning we don’t say goodbye, but until next time. Hasta la proxima vez, Cuba. We return very early to Havana airport to depart for Toronto.

The Be World Ready program at Niagara College prepares you for global success through education, exchange, and international experience. This program offers you the opportunity to experience culturally diverse learning environments, understand different perspectives and connect practical skills with a global mindset to help you launch your career.
An international field study is a 7 – 10 day experience that incorporates both vocational and cultural elements, while visiting some of the world’s most famous sights! Many of our international field studies are customized for specific Schools and programs at Niagara College, allowing students to apply the skills learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. All international field studies depart during the Niagara College break weeks to ensure that students do not miss any classes.
All international field studies will include roundtrip airfare (where applicable), accommodations, travel insurance, entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary, and some meals as outlined in the itinerary. A detailed list of inclusions and exclusions will be viewable on the posted webpage for any international field study on our website. Participants can expect to purchase some meals on their own and will need to bring spending money for any souvenirs, extra excursions, incidentals or items of a personal nature.

No. All aspects noted as included in the overall cost of the selected international field study are mandatory with no exceptions made. Our international field studies are built using group pricing and it is important that we do not deviate from the inclusions as it could negatively impact our ability to offer fair pricing to all participants.

In addition to affecting group pricing, these are our Niagara College International Field Study policies, and we cannot deviate from them, as they are part of our risk mitigation and management.

No. Students are not able to book their own flight in any way or alter the flights confirmed by Be World Ready. The round-trip flights as confirmed by Be World Ready are part of the package pricing, and the group is to travel to and from the destination country together.

These are our Niagara College International Field Study policies, and we cannot deviate from them, as they are part of our risk mitigation and management.

Each international field study destination has different accommodation providers or themes. Accommodation types that are used may include a combination of dorm-style rooms, homestays, tourist class hotels, or occasionally hostels. We strive to ensure we use centrally located accommodation when in city centres, allowing our participants to explore their surroundings more easily. Private accommodation is not guaranteed.

Rooms will vary in style on each trip; however, they are commonly twin share (2 people to a room with separate beds where possible). Single rooms may be available for an additional room fee provided adequate notice is given to Be World Ready staff. We strive to ensure you have comfortable, affordable accommodations anywhere you travel.

Students will be given the opportunity to meet their fellow travellers before the deadline to submit their roommate requests. Be World Ready does their best to accommodate rooming requests, but please note that final rooming arrangements are subject to room occupancy requirements and availability. A rooming list will be created by Be World Ready staff and shared with our accommodation providers before your departure. All participants will be emailed and will have the opportunity to identify their preferred roommate(s). While we will make every effort to ensure all preferences are met, we cannot guarantee it.

As long as they are current full-time Niagara College students and meet the program eligibility requirements. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any persons to participate in any of our international field studies that are not current full-time students at Niagara College.

In addition to regular communications shared with participants leading up to the departure of their international field study of choice, Be World Ready requires students to attend the Be World Ready course, which includes but is not limited to, online trainings and pre-departure training sessions. During the pre-departure training sessions, students will be presented with the overall expectations of the trip as well as in-depth details concerning their itinerary.

During their time abroad, students will be able to communicate with their trip leads directly, 24/7, with any questions or concerns.

All participants are required to hold a passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond any expected date of return to participate in any opportunity involving outbound travel.

You are responsible for researching and applying for any required visa(s) on your own. Be World Ready is unable to tell you what visa you require and how to apply. Be World Ready will provide you with supporting documentation as needed to apply for a Visa. While Be World Ready is not able to advise or guide you in a heightened level of detail through any particular visa process, you may consider hiring a travel visa service to assist you with the visa application process, such as CIBT visas. Please note that Be World Ready and Niagara College do not endorse any third-party vendors, nor have any influence or control over any outcomes or services rendered. We cannot apply for a visa on behalf of any participant.

All international students will need to ensure that their Study Permits and Student Visas are not expired before the date of return from the international experience, to ensure that there are no challenges with reentry to Canada.

Yes, while it is great to have a Nexus card, all participants must hold a passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond any expected date of return in order to participate in any opportunity outside of Canada.
Depending on your destination country, we encourage you to book an appointment with a travel health professional regarding any additional vaccinations and medications you may need. It is strongly encouraged that you book an appointment with the Campus Nurse to go over this information. To do so, please visit the medical office to book an appointment at your respective campus.
Be World Ready takes the safety of our staff and students very seriously and has a rigorous risk management assessment when creating all opportunities. Be World Ready staff monitor destination country risk levels as communicated by the Government of Canada. Your safety is the most important aspect of this trip. Be World Ready and Niagara College take all possible precautions to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable experience while travelling abroad.
Students who sign up during the active promotional period for the international field study will be presented with a payment schedule to follow. At time of registration, students will be only required to pay the full non-refundable deposit that is disclosed at time of registration. Students who are permitted to sign up late will be expected to catch up on any payments missed according to the payment schedule advertised. In some instances, there may only be one payment due date.
Complete the eligibility quiz linked on the webpage of the International Field Study you’re interested in to find out if you meet eligibility requirements.
No. Students will not directly receive grant money as the full value of the grant has already been applied to the final payment to offset the total cost of the learning experience abroad. For students who do not complete all grant requirements by established deadlines (including the time of submission), the full grant amount may be charged directly to their student account. Details on grant requirements will be shared with you as part of the mandatory Be World Ready (SOCL 1128 or IDPL 9103) course, which all students participating in a Be World Ready International Field Study must enroll in and successfully complete to receive funding.
Students are only permitted to travel on an IFS to their home country if the IFS is program specific. IFS’ that are open to students from all programs do not permit students to travel if the destination is their home country. The purpose of the grant funding is to help students gain global competencies that they would not otherwise be exposed to, and as such, travelling to destinations they’ve previously lived in does not support this goal.
Students have the potential to travel and receive funding through Be World Ready up to 2 times; students can travel once on either an International Field Study, Summer Institute, or Semester Exchange, and they can potentially travel again for a Work Abroad opportunity (if eligibility requirements are met – please note that if more applications are received than work abroad grants available, priority will be given to those who have never travelled on any type of Be World Ready experience before). So, if you’re wanting to travel on an International Field Study, note that participation on an IFS is permitted only for students who have not yet experienced a Be World Ready IFS, Summer Institute, or Semester Exchange since beginning their studies at Niagara College.


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