Tuition free medical university in Cuba and application process

Cuba houses one of the best medical schools in the world. The country has the lowest doctor-patient ratio in the world and sends its doctors all around the world to countries that are medically underserved. On top of that they provide free tuition medical programs to students from all over the world at their largest medical school ELAM, located 22 miles (35km) west of Havana. ELAM is The Latin American Medical School which was conceived by former President Fidel Castro following Hurricanes George and Mitch, which devastated parts of Central America and the Caribbean in 1998.

Please note that students at ELAM spend up to a year learning Spanish, Cuban history and culture, and then dive deep into a curriculum that is focused on preventative health.

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Admission requirements

Students interested in applying must be:

–       Between 18 and 25 years of age when they apply

–       High school graduates or hold a bachelor’s (BS or BA) degree from their country of origin

–       Without a criminal record and free from substance abuse or addiction

–       From a low-income or underserved communities

–       Willing to abide by ELAM rules and regulations

–       Able to pass admission test

*Preference is given to low-income applicants. In return for receiving free medical education, students make a non-binding pledge to practice medicine in underserved communities.

Application Process

Non-governmental organizations, political parties and Cuban Friendship Societies offer information on how to apply. Visit the Cuban Embassy in your country for more insights. Alternatively, visit the website to learn about the application process. The

application process consists of filling out a completed application and submitting related paperwork (undergraduate transcripts, birth certificate and 2 letters of recommendation, one from your school principal and another from a community leader for example) and doing an interview. Depending on where you live, the process can take three months or more. The Application Deadline for 2016 is currently unavailable, but students are admitted in August. It is advisable that interested applicants start applying as early as January.

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Visa and Living Expenses

International students can gain entry into Cuba on a tourist card (visa) which can be obtained through a travel agent or the Cuban Embassy. If your total stay in Cuba will not exceed four weeks (28 days) this is probably all you’ll need. The tourist card costs USD 22.55 + USD 30.06 for delivery through the Embassy.

However if your total stay, including any vacation time, will exceed four weeks, when you arrive at your destination the Faculty will change your tourist card to a student visa. The conversion to a student visa costs 40 CUCs (USD 37.58) for four weeks. An extension for a longer period costs 25 CUCs (USD 24.05).

Living Costs: Students can expect to eat at an inexpensive restaurant while studying in Cuba for USD 5, have a cappuccino for just over USD 1, and purchase a monthly transportation pass for only USD 1.

For more info, visit website:

P.S Information on the website is written in Spanish, thus you will need some knowledge of spanish to navigate the website.

For more enquiries about admissions into universities abroad, send an email to or call +2348125835476

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