Cuba is a Spanish speaking country located in the northern Caribbean. It is the largest country in the region and offers some of the best opportunities for tertiary education, especially in the field of medicine. As of 2012, over 30, 000 international students were studying in Cuba – putting the country firmly on the study-abroad map as a prime location for earning a degree. In entirety, Cuba has more than 60 public universities to choose from.
The Cuban Tertiary education System
As it obtains in most countries, Cuban higher education is split into three stages –corresponding to the bachelor’s, masters and doctoral (PhD) system. Earning a bachelor’s degree usually lasts for a minimum of four years and up to five or six years for medicine.
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Studying In Cuba
Numerous overseas universities and colleges around the world offer opportunities for students to spend part of their undergraduate years studying in Cuba. There are also student exchange programs available from most schools.
Many nations provide full scholarships for their students to be trained in Cuba as physicians so that they can return to their countries to provide services in the most medically neglected and impoverished regions. If you are a young adult from the working-class or any underserved areas throughout the U.S. and cannot afford to pay the regular $200,000 tuition to study medicine in the United States, then Cuba may just be the place for you.
Who Studies In Cuba?
The majority of students choosing to study in Cuba originate from other Latin American and Caribbean countries, most of which have signed agreements to facilitate such studies. Regardless, many other countries are beginning to recognize Cuba’s attractiveness as a higher education exchange partner. As an example, South Africa has signed an agreement to promote academic and student exchanges with Cuba. While complex political relations between the US and Cuba has largely restricted travel between both countries, students and academics are among those exempt from restrictions.
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While many countries and organisations offer scholarships and grants to help those wishing to study in Cuba, funding cuts have meant that university enrolment has dropped dramatically in the 2011/12 academic year. To this end, if you wish to study in Cuba, you will need to work hard to secure your place.
Studying Medicine in Cuba
Decades ago, who would have believed that one of the best medical programs in the world would be free and offered in a third world country — primarily filled with people of colour? Healthcare is extremely important in Cuba. Not only is it universal and free, but Cuba trains some of the best physicians in the world.
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Lifestyle and General Features
If you wish to travel to Cuba for schooling, a general idea of lifestyle in the country will be advantageous. While the Caribbean region is generally known for its wonderful tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and laid-back lifestyle, Cuba offers all of these with a larger-than-life kind of national identity. For instance, Cuba’s charming capital city — Havana is the Caribbean’s largest city, filled with iconic images of vintage cars, revolutionary slogans and colourful murals moulded in an imposing colonial architecture.
Cubans are a warm, welcoming, and humble. The country’s largely communist state ensures that public amenities such as health and education are accessible to all. Regardless of its ‘third world’ classification, Cuba is a developing country that will offer an experience that will rival that of any first world country, the world over.
By: Norvan Martin